Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Southern Style, West Side Destination

Last Wednesday evening, my husband and I found ourselves on the West Side and hungry. Thinking about where to eat, I realized that it was Fried Chicken night at SoHo Kitchen & Bar in Ohio City, an opportunity to build your own meal around self-selected and hands-down delicious bird parts. I was an easy decision.

Ordering drinks proved to be its own kind of pleasure. The restaurant was running a bourbon promotion — you could choose any brand from their rather large and diverse offerings, get it any way you want it, and then reach into a bag and pull out a token to find out how much the cost will be discounted. My husband, a big fan of the brown spirit, chose a pricey pour, and picked himself a 20 percent off deal. I went for a cocktail dubbed the Cape Hatteras, mostly for the name because we used to vacation there with our kids, and was more than happy with the combination of light rum, St. Germaine, fresh lime and grapefruit soda.

Settling on sides was a challenge. He went with the weekly bargain options: grits and asparagus. I was leaning toward one of my favorites from the regular menu, the Dixie Ceasar. The romaine is grilled, speckled with peanuts, chunks of country ham and avocado, and shreds of cheese then dressed up in green goddess vinaigrette. But at the last minute I went rogue and got fried green tomatoes. Topped with corn kernels, pickled green onion and okra remoulade, they were, as my Savannah friend's mom likes to say, D.I V. Divine.

And then there's those fluffy biscuits. They get me every time. Warm out of the oven and served with soft flavored butter and fruit jam, they're irresistible. Good thing they only give you one apiece on the house. Otherwise I'd be too full to enjoy all the other fine things that come out Nolan Konkoski's kitchen six days a week.

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