High-Low Country

Smoke and swagger at Swank Southern Kitchen in Davie

When we hear "swank," we don't envision a barbecue establishment where diners sit at sauce-smudged tables and toss peanut shells on the floor.

The new Swank Southern Kitchen does self-consciously shout "This is a country kind of place in Davie" in some ways: Servers criss-cross the restaurant clad in checks and boots and John Wayne's flinty visage looms from artwork lining the walls.

Southern (or southwestern) purists might recoil at the mashed-up menu. Co-owner Oscar Ferreira (also of Soï) and the Swank chefs–whose collective résumés include Tuyo and Swine Southern Kitchen & Bar–channel a mythical "low country state of mind."

A modest offering of barbecue dishes allows the chefs to hone their smoky craft on plates like their superb pulled pork, which we tried in slider form tangled with crunchy pickles ($7).

The sauce on their ribs didn't quite achieve the satisfying tang expected from St. Louis barbecue ($18), but we did relish the beer-can chicken, anchored by a smoky gravy that we sopped up with a cushion of sweet corn bread ($5).

Banana cream and Snickers pudding cups at Swank (Photo: Rene Guirola)

And despite a recent rambling about how we hate desserts in jars, you should absolutely try the banana cream pudding cup ($5). Our issues were put to rest once we tasted the mashed banana, folds of whipped cream and cookie wafer crumbles.

Work off a meal at Swank by line dancing at the nearby Roundup Country Western Club. It's the Davie (and country) way.