Sarah Simmons at City Grit


Could there be a better discovery for a transplanted Southern girl than the City Grit Supper Club in New York City? I doubt it.

Chef Sarah Simmons is the mastermind behind this innovative mix between restaurant and private supper club. Her weekly dinners, held in a makeshift dining room in an old Manhattan school house, feature both established and emerging chefs who offer exciting variations on the Southern menu. I’ve had this downtown New York destination on my list for a long time and this week, a friend and I signed up for our first dinner — Butts, Legs,and Thighs.

The “butt” was roasted pork served up on butter lettuces leaves with sticky rice grits. It was layered with kimchi, fried oysters, ginger scallion sauce, spicy mayo, and dragon sauce. The “legs and thighs” were the classic Southern staple, fried chicken served steaming hot. Delish.

Sarah rounded her main courses out with sides of fried rice hoppin’ john and sautéed spinach with pickled raisins.

Throughout the evening, her Southern hospitality showed as she moved crossed the room, checking up on guests like the perfect host. I am charmed and can’t wait for the next City Grit offering…wanna join me? Learn more about Sarah and grab your tickets here.


Garden & Gun Dinner

Though a rare occurrence, I always get excited when my two worlds collide.  Those two worlds being the South, where I grew up, and the Northeast where I’ve lived the past five years. Typically these regions challenge the notion of “one nation…indivisible”, but when the influential last word on all things Southern and New York City come together, great things happen.

I found myself last night in a perfect cross section of these two worlds.  Bunny Williams hosted a Garden & Gun Club dinner in her shop, Treillage, on the Upper East side.

Not only were the hosts Southern, a lot of the guests were too.  For this transplanted Southerner, it was pure heaven.  Being in Bunny William’s chic but cozy world which I had so often admired was such a thrill. Mix that with the rustic, deep south décor and you get an appropriately elegant dinner setting. In keeping with her impeccable, perfectly appropriate style, dinner was a showcase of Lowcountry cuisine with shrimp and grits, short ribs and rum cake.

I was particularly lucky to have Rebecca Darwin, President of Garden & Gun magazine, as my table mate. What a lovely person who has a great story to share of how the magazine, a quickly growing Southern staple, came to be.  On my other side was Rebecca’s childhood friend, Liz O’Connor who shared an equally great story of how Rebecca came to be.  And to complete the night, a colorful toast was raised by my favorite person in the world and regular Garden & Gun contributor, Julia Reed.

Thanks Garden & Gun for inviting me to dinner and giving me a big “hug” from home.