Looking for Southern Style Fine Dining in NYC
Yes, I've seen previous soul food search postings but they all look a bit dated.
More importantly, I'm looking for something closer to a fine dining experience with a southern/cajun/creole/lowcountry influence (see Georgia Brown's in D.C.)
The greasy spoon spots are what we will be hitting for lunch i.e. we never miss a chance to hit the Pink Teacup! But there used to be places like Mr. Leo's in mid-town that was a more "polished" southern cuisine restaurant complete with a chitterlings and champagne special, Baby Grand piano etc.
Manhattan is preferrable but any of the five boroughs is within scope if need be. Thanks in advance!!
Yikes...That's a tough request. The closest thing to regional/Southern-style "fine" dining (and that's a stretch) would probably be Bar Americain. There's a lot of debate on this board about the food, but I was pleasantly surprised by my last visit (a week ago). Menu items include: Shrimp and grits, Johnny cake, Kentucky Hot Brown, "plates of the day" that include ribs or fried chicken, etc.
Try The Redhead -- it's not "fine" as in white tablecloth, but it's definitely more upscale than a dirty spoon. I hail from Atlanta and this is the best example of southern food I have had in this city (most attempts are bad bad bad). It's mid-range price wise, but they "posh it up" with great cocktails and tidy plating. The space is a bit lacking in atmosphere (very cramped, low ceiling), but the food is worth it for my money. Great fried chicken (just like my mom's - it's like she was back there in the kitchen!) and delicious shrimp & grits.
Did you look into Londel's in Harlem? It is white table cloth service. Not quite fine dining, but clearly upscale. There have been fine dining soul places in NYC, but they only last a few years at the most like Beulah's, Mr Leo's (already mentioned), Ida Mae's, Honeysuckle, Jezebel's to name a few. Another option, though not fully southern could be Sugar Bar, granted it is more of a supper club/bar. NYC doesn't even have a Georgia Brown's like DC, sadly.