Modern Southern Cuisine
The Intersection of Traditional and Contemporary Cuisine
Being in North Carolina for the majority of my life, I’ve learned that three things are sacred in the South: college football, good manners, and suppertime. While I’m not a huge football fan, etiquette and eating well were important components of my upbringing. Several of my happiest memories from my childhood involved food: baking biscuits with my grandmother, going back for seconds at church luncheons, and trips to Dairy Queen after a day at the beach. This Thanksgiving week, I want to highlight three Triad restaurants that beautifully weave tradition and innovation together: Lucky 32, Mozelle’s, and Southern Roots.
Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen— Greensboro, NC
Lucky 32 is the kind of restaurant where you take your parents when they visit. With selections such as shrimp bisque, jambalaya, and a New York strip steak, it’s hard to not want to order one of everything. I recently dined at Lucky 32 for my birthday, and it did not disappoint. The fried chicken was everything you could want: crispy, flavorful skin and juicy, tender meat. The cornbread is an absolute treat: it’s fluffy (almost cake-like) and just a touch sweet. The dining room is modern and upscale. There are several small booths available, as well as tables to accommodate larger parties. Dividers are set up between tables as part of the restaurant’s efforts to increase health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro — Winston-Salem, NC
If you’re looking for a place to eat after spending time in downtown Winston-Salem, head over to Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro. Located on the corner of West 4th Street and Brookstown Avenue, this restaurant is a local gem. All staff members with whom we interacted were very friendly and hospitable, and our server gave us helpful advice when ordering. There’s a focus on keeping it local at Mozelle’s, as the restaurant sources several of their ingredients from nearby farms and food vendors. The menu features items such as fried pickles, tomato bisque, meatloaf, and mushroom pasta. Check out their desserts, too: bourbon pecan bread pudding, caramel peach shortcake, and coconut pie are just a handful of the sweet temptations. Personally, almost all of my experiences with flatbread have been disappointing — however, the fall flatbread at Mozelle’s changed the way I think about flatbread. The bread itself was similar in texture to a thin crust pizza and topped with roasted pork shoulder, brie fondue, butternut squash, and green onions. I snuck a couple of forkfuls of the succotash from my friend’s plate (before she took a bite, of course), and let me tell you: it was delicious!
Southern Roots Restaurant — Jamestown, NC
Southern Roots honors its name by supporting local farmers and sustainable agriculture. The restaurant’s menu is steeped in attention to detail and love. Appetizers include favorites such as buttermilk fried oysters, cornbread with local honey butter, and warm gouda pimento cheese. The restaurant takes seafood very seriously, as reflected in many of its entrees: seafood gumbo, pan-seared scallops, shrimp and grits, and seafood risotto. I had the lobster ravioli, and it was one of the most delightful things I’ve eaten in a long time. Everything from the savory filling to the rich tomato sauce was a delight! I love the atmosphere of Southern Roots — it has a restful seaside theme (without being overly nautical). The restaurant takes reservations for lunch, but not dinner.
At this time, all three restaurants offer dine-in and pick-up options. Each restaurant has outdoor seating, as well.
Life is tastier in the South, and these restaurants are proof.