Southern Cuisine Reinvented
Jul 06, 2017 11:22AM
● By Ashley Pape
When you think Southern food, classics such as crispy fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and buttermilk biscuits probably come to mind. Grayson Social, a farmhouse-chic eatery in down town Dallas, embodies everything you love about Southern cooking—and then takes it up a notch.
Executive Chef Rebecca Jolly describes Grayson Social as a place to find comfort and make memories. “It’s southern dining with a twist,” she says, “a social space for food, cocktails and friends.” In creating the unique menu, Chef Jolly draws her culinary inspiration from seeing guests enjoy their meals, taking photos of their plates and sometimes boldly asking for the recipe. “That is a gift in itself,” she adds.
You’ll definitely find biscuits on the menu, but Grayson Social’s version has earned the name Killer Biscuits for their heaping helping of butter and Texas boldness. Naturally, Killer Biscuits pair perfectly with the Country Fried Yard Bird, or try the Redfish with Saffron Jasmine Rice and Crawfish Étouffée. Duck Wings or Chicken-Fried Quail for starters? Yes, please!
While some menu staples such as the Frisée & Gold Beet Salad and Jumbo Shrimp & Grits grace both the lunch and dinner menus, for Grayson Social, seasonality is the buzzword. Fresh herbs and produce— even at the bar—find their way into nearly every dish. “Our summer menu features fresh seasonal ingredients,” says Chef Jolly, “along with our much anticipated Watermelon Mint Martini.”
Chef Jolly honed her cooking prowess at an early age, standing elbow to elbow with her grandmother. “It was like magic to watch her,” she recalls. Today, Jolly likes to return the tutelage, teaching new cooks to hone their skills as she works alongside them. But her greatest pleasure comes from making Grayson Social’s guests happy, along with developing new and interesting flavor combinations.
We’d like to think her grandmother would be proud of Chef Jolly’s pairings of tender Root Vegetable Succotash and earthy Huitlacoche Purée with the Mushroom Dusted Bay of Fundy Salmon and her inventive Sweet Corn Hummus. And who wouldn’t be delighted to try the White Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding with Ancho Chile Caramel and Lavender Ice Cream? We can’t think of a better way to end a meal ... until we spied the Nutella Mud Pie with Oreo Crust Cookies & Cream. Who says southern dining is for the faint of heart?
If you have more restraint than we do— or you are on a special diet—you’ll find a bevy of salads and lighter fare to tickle your taste buds in a more responsible fashion. But we don’t blame you for planning your trip to Grayson Social to fall on your cheat day. Especially when you make a return visit.
You’ll find the cozy, sundrenched dining experience at Grayson Social the perfect excuse to head to Dallas for a weekend brunch or a mid-week lunch date. Or come early for dinner any night of the week and sip a hand-crafted cocktail, such as a Lavender Julep or a Cucumber Gin Fizz, as the refreshing start to a night out. If you have friends in town who want to see Dallas touristy faves—such as The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza, Majestic Theatre, the Magnolia Building (with the famous flying red horse) or Renaissance Tower—Grayson Social, located in the newly renovated historic LTV Tower, is just blocks away.
Just be sure to call ahead for large groups and wear something loose-fitting. You’ll want to enjoy every last bite of your experience at this new Dallas hotspot.