Every Monday we bring you the SL Hot List, a round up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. Newly opened AF+B in Ft. Worth. There is no guessing in what you’re getting at the highly anticipated AF+B restaurant if you know what the name means. Standing for “American food and beverage,” this wood-wrapped neighborhood tavern is a beautiful display of why it’s good to live in the USA. Chef Jeff Harris’ menu features hearty fare that he sources from regional farmers and ranchers like the chili-rubbed pork chop with pumpkin seed salsa verde, served with baked beans. Small plate offerings include grass-fed beef chili, crispy quail, and potato and parsnip soup. The beer menu is an impressive list of Texas’ great craft beer brewers. Try the Southern Star’s Blonde from Conroe, Texas or the Real Ale’s Devil’s Backbone from Blanco, Texas.
2. The Art of Fashion: Anthony Ryan exhibit. Baton Rouge-native, LSU graduate, and Project Runway All Stars winner, Anthony Ryan Auld is a beloved Southern boy with a keen eye for style. The Louisiana Art & Science Museum is currently hosting an exhibit (January 18- March 30) that showcases Anthony’s spring and fall 2014 collections, perfect timing to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his win on the hit show. With more than 30 garment pieces on display, expect a variety of concepts. Anthony’s spring showing is formed on the idea of “Native Reawakening”—think tribal without fringe or feathers. And his fall collection is entitled “Life in Darkness” with a primarily black and white palette.
3. Sips & Suppers to fight homelessness. What started in 2009 as a way to raise awareness of homelessness in our nation’s capital is now a full-blown culinary extravaganza with some true industry greats. The weekend kicks off with the Sips portion of the event, January 25, at the Newseum where notable D.C. drink makers, like Dan Searing of Room 11, will be dishing out cocktails and area wine makers, like Virginia’s Early Mountain Vineyard, host wine tastings. Saturday, January 26, is the Suppers event. In homes throughout DC, guests will dine on meals prepared by some of the South’s elite, like chef Paul Qui from Austin and Erik Bruner-Yang of D.C.’s Toki Underground. All proceeds of both events go to the D.C. Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table, organizations that are dedicated to giving clean clothes and good meals to the city’s underprivileged.
4. Izakaya-style drinking/dining in Nashville. Chef Jess Benefield premieres her izakaya-style restaurant this week, January 24. In Japan, an izakaya is a low-key bar where friends go to unwind after a long day while noshing on comfort foods and beverages perfect for taking the edge off. Two Ten Jack in Nashville is no exception. For the grand opening weekend, guest chef Shigetoshi Nakamura (of Sun Noodle Ramen Lab) will feature a five-course ramen dinner with drink pairings ($65). Once the tape has been cut, expect Japanese cuisine with a Southern twist with dishes like shishito peppers with honey soy and sticky almonds.
5. Brunch and beer at City Tap House. D.C.’s City Tap House is pairing up with Athens, Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Company for an exclusive brunch and brewskie event. On Monday, January 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. join chef Scott Swiderski as he debuts his new brunch menu with down-home favorites like Biscuits & Gravy, Chicken & Waffles, and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes. Guests will have the chance to taste 10-12 beers from Terrapin, as well as sip their latest addition, the Mosaic IPA made with jalapeno chilies and orange peel.
5.5 Benjy Davis releases first solo album. For 10 years, the Bayou State band The Benjy Davis Project released four studio albums, toured the country with acts like Sister Hazel and Robert Randolph, and swooned countless starry-eyed fans. After the folk rock group disbanded, the Louisiana native and Nashville dwelling singer/songwriter is releasing his first solo album on Tuesday, January 21 on iTunes. From ruminating to romantic, this acoustically-driven record will describe your life experiences better than you could. Our top track? Here I Go Again.