From boiled peanuts to roasted bone marrow, the motto “from farm to table. . . Southern style” takes in a lot of territory at Driftwood Southern Kitchen, which opened last week in Lafayette Village.
On a menu riddled with cleverly named dishes showcasing chef/owner Nunzio Scordo’s fresh takes on Southern cuisine, other options include Pamlico Sound blue crab bisque, Fancy Hillbilly Nachos (hand-cut fries, lobster gravy, cheese curd) and Angry Mussels with green chiles, bacon, garlic and basil.
And those are just for starters. The entree list reveals more of the chef’s dedication to the locavore ethic (not to mention his wit) with the likes of chicken-fried chicken chop with mushroom red-eye gravy; seared line-caught tuna with smoked pimento aioli; and a riff on pork and beans featuring a center cut chop, braised white beans and Southern greens. An entire section of the menu is devoted to mac ’n’ cheese variations, from lobster to Lamburger Helper.
A selection of moonshine-based cocktails (Cherry Cola Shine, anyone?) offers a suitable apéritif for such a meal, and desserts such as New Orleans donuts and chocolate-crusted Virginia pecan pie promise a sweet conclusion.
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Scordo, whose resume includes chef stints at Hot and Hot Fish Club and Highlands Bar and Grill (both nationally acclaimed restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama), has given the former Antonio’s Gourmet Market space a thorough makeover with a rustic farmhouse feel. A communal table near the bar has been popular in the early going.
Greg Cox, the N&O’s longtime restaurant critic, also reports restaurant news. Tune in at 11 a.m. Saturdays on WPTF to hear Greg’s radio show. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.