There is only one place you should go when looking for live jazz music and some of the best Southern cuisine in Philadelphia, South Restaurant. Named one of Philadelphia’s Top 50 Restaurants by Philadelphia Magazine. Owner and designers, Robert Bynum teamed up with Chef Paul Martin, a Lafayette, Louisiana native who has worked at Catahoula, Heirloom and with the STARR restaurant organization to bring South and Southern food and to life.
His menu showcases the diverse, dynamic, genre-defining cuisine of the American south. Working with local purveyors, Chef Martin sources indigenous Southern ingredients such as Anson Mills grits, Sea Island red peas, sorghum molasses and Carolina Gold rice.
Since opening in October 2015, guests of the restaurant can expect weekly specials including a signature gumbo, based on Chef Martin’s mother’s recipe and other seasonal seafood dishes. In addition, the culinary team makes their own sausage, a bourbon steak sauce, hot sauce and all breads are prepared in house, as well.
Whether its dining in the jazz lounge, courtyard outside, or at underneath the skylight of the main dining room, grab yourself a delicious cocktail. The most signature drink, of course is The South Sazerac, the restaurant’s take on the New Orleans classic. This boozy and balanced spirit forward cocktail is made with Salignac cognac, Bulleit Rye, demerara sweet syrup, house made bitters and absinthe mist. For these hotter months we’d also reccomend the Summer Berry Cobbler This classic American cocktail highlights the culinary cocktail union of Philadelphia’s own Stateside Vodka & Byrrh with a berry compote, peach syrup, splash of soda and garnished with fresh berries. For a kick of spice try the Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita. This modern twist on the margarita is made with Hornitos Tequila, cucumber water, lime and jalapeno syrup.
Even if you aren’t very hungry we’d highly recommend you try the complimentary biscuits served here. For brunch or dinner these buttery morsels melt in your mouth with the subtle smokiness of bacon and creamy insides mixed with cheddar cheese. The Skillet Cornbread is also quite good, but served in a big portion for at least 4 people. The Seasonal Cheese Board is also expertly crafted you can select 2-4 cheeses both soft and hard paired with crackers and jams.
Surprisingly South also has some great salad options when you’re looking to dine light. The Local Kale is made with roasted kobacha squash, pickled onion, almonds, and a buttermilk dressing. Try the Baby Gem Lettuce which is a modern twist on a Caesar salad with fried green tomatoes, white anchovy, and smoked gouda Caesar dressing. Our other favorite appetizers include the Crispy Rock Shrimp which are buttermilk marinated with baby tomato relish drizzled with “comeback sauce” and Blue Crab Toast with lemon caper ravigote, avocado, and peppadew relish.
Our favorite entrees for dinner include the Carolina Shrimp & Grits made with Anson Mills lobster grits, N.O.L.A. sauce, and pea greens. This dish can be made gluten-free without the sauce. We also loved the Sirloin Strip Steak with root vegetables, crispy potato, bourbon steak sauce, and parmesan fondue. The crusted seasonal fish is a great special to try and the Berkshire Pork for 2 is a huge pork
For dessert, the crowd favorite is, to no one’s surprise, Bourbon Pecan Pie, with cornmeal crust and butter pecan ice cream. We loved the Alabama Chocolate Lane Cake also made with bourbon, pecans, and coconut meringue.
Whether you stop by for dinner, a drink, or just some live jazz. Every Tuesday is “Open Jazz Jam” with no cover charge. Reservations can easily be made with Opentable. If you want to bring South to you, try delivery via Caviar!
Upcoming musical acts include:
AUG 24: JEFF “TAIN” WATTS
AUG 25 & 26: MARION MEADOWS
AUG 31: REGGIE WATKINS
SEPT 9 & 10: JEFF BRADSHAW
SEPT 14 – 18: PHILADELPHIA UNITED JAZZ FESTIVAL
SEPT 22 & 23: FREDDY COLE
OCT 2: JEREMY PELT
OCT 6 & 7: JASON MARSALIS
OCT 8: MANDY HARVEY
OCT 14 & 15: ALLAN HARRIS
Happy Hour is deemed “Hours of Happiness” Monday to Friday 4-7 pm, with a variety of food and drink specials. From $4 Hushpuppies or House Pickled Veggies & Cheese Board, enjoyed with a Starhill Daily Grind, Evolution Summer Session, glass of Riesling, or House Herbal Collins. There are also $5 Pork Boudin Croquettes, and Cheese ‘N Crackers to enjoy with a Nodding Head Berliner Weisse, Conshohocken Blink Lever, or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Sunday Evening Punch. For $6 you can enjoy the Mushroom Flatbread or Chicken Fried Oysters with a Yards Cape of Good Hope IPA, Summer Berry Cobbler, or glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. And for $7 they offer the Fried Oyster Po’ Boy and Louisiana Crawfish Fritters, with the South Sazerac, The Hampton Manhattan, Before the Sunset or a glass of Zinfandel.