Cuisine New Southern Comfort
Owner Michael Carpinillo
General Manager Walter Roeder
Seating Capacity Total Seats: 46
Bar: 10 bar stools
Hours Sunday – Wednesday; 11am – 2am
Thursday – Saturday; 11am – 4am
Credit Cards All Major
Accessibility Wheelchair accessible
Reservations Highly recommended
THE SOUTH IS ON THE RISE IN NYC; SOUTH HOUSTON IS NOW OPEN
Bringing Southern comfort up North to SoHo, South Houston showcases regional Southern cuisine with a modern twist. After countless hours of testing recipes and experimenting with ideas, Owner Michael Carpiniello (owned the now closed Lusso) and Executive Chef Omar Drammeh (Amy Ruth’s, Le Bernardin) have put their own spin on Southern cuisine. Like they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in this case, beauty is three mini corndogs with jalapeno and cheddar dipping sauce (Above), popcorn doused with butter, brown sugar, bourbon and bacon (you must taste it); and fried chicken and waffles with peach Amaretto syrup.
Visitors to South Houston step into a casual, friendly, comfortable atmosphere. There is a cheerful bar-room with windows overlooking the West Broadway scene. The focal point of the dining room is a large cast iron map of the area from 1968, which pays homage to the history of the neighborhood. There is also a full wall chalk board that local artists are leaving their mark on with graffiti style words along with pigs, cows and chickens all with a little extra personality.
Keeping the meats smoking and the food sizzling is Executive Chef Omar Drammeh. He creates delectable appetizers like Grilled Chicken Wings covered in a delicious peach and apricot bbq sauce (or try it the traditional Buffalo style) Below.
Crusted Calamari tomato jalapeno relish and chipotle crema, which showcase his dual skills in Southern cuisine and international accents. Salmon Tacos with jalapeno remoulade, tomato salsa and pickled onions could be a star at any first rate Mexican restaurant and the Hushpuppies are worth a visit on their own.(The best we ever tasted). The terrific Bacon Pecan Brittle would make a fine dessert.
The Chicken Pot Pie (Above) with its juicy, tender chicken and crispy, flakey crust is sure to satisfy any comfort food fix (it’s made to order and takes a worthy 14 minutes,wait). Smoky Bacon, Wrapped Individual Meatloaf with molasses bbq sauce, imparts a haunting flavor that is simultaneously sweet and savory. The BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and the Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Bacon are two must haves, but almost everything on the menu at South Houston is a must have. For something unique, checkout The Hot Brown, inspired by Louisville’s fabled hotel, it combines turkey, prosciutto, fried egg and mornay sauce on an elegant brioche base.
Other signature dishes include the amazing Chicken With Waffles (Above) and the housemade Hotdog (beef or pork), pictured below. (The fried onion rings are amazing). There are some good entrees if you still have room. Try the Steak, Pork Chops or BBQ. Desserts are fun and what’s more fun than a South Houston Sundae with belgian waffle, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate, ice cream, banana, caramel and chocolate fudge toppings, whipped cream and, of course, a cherry.
While the cocktails are not to be missed, including stand outs like the Huckleberry Fizz (44 North Huckleberry infused vodka, blueberries, raspberries, lemon) and the Sarsaparilla Root Mojitio (Bacardi Limon, Lime, Mint, Maine Root Sarsaparilla Organic Soda), the beer program is sure to be a major neighborhood draw. South Houston features 8 weekly rotating taps, showcasing both local breweries and international finds. To kick things off, they filling the taps with Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA (Baltimore, MD), Nectar Ales Red Nectar (Paso Robles, CA), Gaffel Kolsch (Cologne, Germany), Delirium Tremens (Melle, Belgium), Kelso Pilsner (Brooklyn, NY), Ithica Apricot Wheat (Ithica, NY), Gogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar (Newport, Or), and Atwater Michigan Lager (Detroit, MI). And to make the beer lovers out there even more elated, South Houston offers growlers, filled to the brim, with these delectable brews to take home and enjoy.
The service staff, from General Manager Walter Roeder to waitpersons, bartenders and busboys are helpful and warm. South Houston is a restaurant for the 2010 expectations of low price points, delicious food and drinks and casual, comfortable atmosphere. It’s New York Downtown at its best. Don’t miss it!
Copyright 2010 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.
Sample MENU, Subject To Change
A native of South Africa, Omar Drammeh, Executive Chef at South Houston, knows the definition of fate and how it can directly shape your life. After spending his adolescence in Gambia, at age 19 Drammeh set his sights on Europe and stowed away on a ship destined for his next adventure. As luck would have it, the ship’s captain caught him and in return for his free trip he set Drammeh up in the kitchen to work off his debt. Turning lemons into lemonade, Drammeh actually fell in love with cooking and rather than getting off when the ship docked, he stayed on for three years working in the kitchen and eventually working his way up to chef.
He did eventually make it to Europe and spent some time working at a restaurant on Threadneedle Street in London, attending a cooking school in the South of France and working in a French bakery to learn the art of pastry. He then circled back home for a bit before moving permanently to the United States in 1993.
As his first stint in New York, Drammeh continued with his passion for pastry, working at Eli Zabar’s E.A.T. restaurant on Madison Avenue for 3 years. Drammeh’s resume continued to flourish after he was hired to work at the now closed Ferrier on the Upper East Side. After two years there he worked the grill and sauté station in one of, if not the, most respected kitchens in the city, Le Bernadin. There, Drammeh worked along side some of the most talented chefs, including Eric Ripert himself, and really honed his French cooking techniques.
Drammeh’s first Executive Chef role was at Chelsea Grill, where under his leadership the restaurant went from serving local bar food to a destination dining establishment and saw business increase by 40%. At Chelsea Grill Drammeh learned the business side of being a chef and found he not only enjoys cooking but also enjoys and excels at making a kitchen run efficiently and cost effectively. After four years Drammeh headed home to Africa to get married and then came back to New York where he found himself learning Southern cooking at Amy Ruth’s in Harlem.
Again, either a sign of fate or just pure luck, one afternoon Drammeh and his new bride were shopping for seafood on Canal Street when he figured it could not hurt to have some resumes in tow. He strolled past Lusso, an Italian restaurant that is now South Houston and dropped off a resume. Later that afternoon Drammeh came for an interview and the rest is history. He is now Executive Chef at the new South Houston and claims “anyone that likes food is a friend of mine.”