A recent influx of Southern-inspired food has made Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn's own Mason-Dixon Line, and with it comes the potential for a showdown of Hatfield-McCoy proportions.
Buttermilk Channel serves killer fried chicken, and Char No. 4 does barbecue proud, but Carroll Gardens newcomer Seersucker is the real McCoy, the only restaurant devoted exclusively to Southern cuisine--specifically, the foodways from Virginia to Arkansas and Louisiana to Florida.
At the helm are Arkansas native Rob Newton--who's cooked at Aquavit, Le Cirque and Tabla--and Kerry Diamond, a journalist-turned-PR-exec. Acknowledging that "Southern food gets pigeonholed as globs of fried stuff," Newton says Seersucker's menu is more aligned with the Edna Lewis tradition of backyard gardens and home canning.
That translates as stone-ground grits spoon bread ($11), country cassoulet with an exceptionally crispy duck leg ($21), chicken and dumplings ($18) and the best shrimp and grits this city's ever seen ($18). Sides and snacks--especially flaky biscuits and spicy, mayonnaise-y pimento cheese--also shine. Beer and wine are American and hyper-local, with Red Hook Winery rosé on tap.
The thin wooden beams lining the walls of the space evoke the namesake material. Jars of house-pickled okra, fiddlehead ferns and peppers line the window looking into the open kitchen. Newton is also making his own preserves--and has enough rhubarb to last till summer.
But there's one thing that Newton won't ever have on the menu: barbecue.
Seersucker, 329 Smith St. (between President and Carroll sts.), Brooklyn; 718-422-0444 or seersuckerbrooklyn.com
Please check your inbox to verify your email address.