New South Kitchen & BarJessica | September 24, 2009
I spent last weekend in Charlotte and got to do some shopping, participated in a 5K heart walk, and visited New South Kitchen & Bar. I basically decided on this place based on some online buzz and a promising-looking menu, and I was expecting it to maybe be Charlotte’s version of JCT Kitchen. That it was not, but I wasn’t disappointed.
Mario ordered the Crispy Chicken Sandwich (honey mustard, grilled apples, cheddar cheese) and I had the Shrimp and Grits (housemade sausage, mushrooms, white cheddar grits).
Mario only enjoyed parts of his chicken sandwich. He said the bread was oddly buttered and toasted like a grilled cheese sandwich, and he wasn’t a fan of the grilled apple rings either (and he loves apples). I’ve seen apples paired with chicken before, usually along with chicken salad, but typically raw, not grilled. I think the grilling gave them an unpleasant texture when matched with the fried chicken.
My shrimp and grits were really good:
The dish was not my first choice, I wanted the fried oyster salad, but they were out of fried oysters (to be fair, we came in 30 min before closing). The additions of savory gravy and mushrooms elevated the shrimp and grits firmly out of the breakfast category. The housemade sausage was flavorful and abundant in the dish. My one complaint is that the shrimp weren’t very well seasoned, but their size and natural flavor along with the seasoning in the rest of the dish made up for it. I also would have been a little happier with creamier grits, but these were fantastic either way. It was a pretty small plate, but VERY satisfying and filling!
As far as New South Kitchen’s ambiance goes, it is located in a strip mall in South Charlotte. I felt they could have done more with the decor to make it feel not so strip mall-y. It was like they had thrown a bar and a few booths and tables into an old retail store (and maybe they did). There was live music on the evening we visited, a guitarist covering alternative rock songs, and he wasn’t bad, but waay too LOUD. We [barely] heard the couple seated behind us make the same observation.
I enjoyed my meal at New South Kitchen & Bar. If they turn down the music a bit, this could be a cozy, romantic spot with excellent “new South” cuisine.