The Southern Gentleman, opening in mid-November, is the latest restaurant from Southern Proper Hospitality (owner and operator of Smokebelly BBQ, The Big Ketch, Milton’s Cuisine, and the now opened Gypsy Kitchen).
The restaurant is a celebration of everything Southern—a modern, regional spin on chef-created, locally sourced gastropub fare and cocktails.
“We want The Southern Gentleman to feel reminiscent of a time gone by in a lot of ways, yet with a modern update,” explains co-owner Chris Hadermann. “There are places doing traditional Southern food, but we wanted The Southern Gentleman to be a lighter, fresher take on it. This isn’t Grandma’s front porch; it’s a reflection of what we feel it means to be from the South in this day and age.”
Using farm-fresh produce and regional ingredients, the menu from Southern Proper’s Executive Chef Randy Lewis will showcase Southern fare. Lewis’s small plates, entrees and desserts will take traditional dishes of the region and put an updated twist on them.
“It’s a gastropub-style menu, but it won’t be as focused on heavy meats and fried everything,” says Lewis. “We will be getting seafood from the coast, produce from local farmers and lots of veggie-heavy dishes that will represent tried-and-true flavors in a playful way. A few of my favorites include the salad of sunflower – hearts, flowers, petals and seeds tossed in a brown butter vinaigrette, chicken liver mousse on a housemade buttermilk waffle and my interpretation of a Low Country boil with andouille sausage made in-house from local wild shrimp. I’ve been playing with an upside-down peach cornmeal cake for dessert. So we’re taking those Southern staple ingredients and giving them a fun, modern makeover.”
The bar program, led by General Manager Garron Gore, will explore the artistry and history of classic Southern cocktails—everything from barrel-aged cocktails, bottled cocktails and cocktails on tap. The wine list will focus on New World labels from the Americas and Australia, and the beer selection will feature mostly craft beers.
Just like the menu, The Southern Gentleman’s space will reflect traditional Southern touches done in surprising new ways. New York-based design firm Lacina Heitler (who also designed Southern Proper’s Gypsy Kitchen, directly next door) developed the space with seersucker window treatments, tufted camel leather booths, herringbone wood floors, marble countertops, vintage plateware, chandeliers throughout, 25-foot vaulted ceilings and an oversized portrait of Mark Twain painted by local Atlanta artist, Christian Waggoner, for the semi-private Twain Room.