5 Things You Need To Know In The South Right Now

February 10, 2014 | By | Comments (13)
Avenue of Oaks Diptych, Dixie Plantation

Avenue of Oaks Diptych, Dixie Plantation. Photo by Julia Cart

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. New Asheville watering hole. At her restaurant Cúrate, James Beard Foundation Award semi-finalist chef Katie Button serves up Spanish small plates. Now she’s concentrating on speakeasy sippers with her second venture, Nightbell. Inspired by the secret bars from the Prohibition era, Nightbell will have snacks like a truffle grilled cheese and hush puppies. Her husband Felix stocked the bar with plenty of beer, wine, and top-shelf spirits for the clever cocktails like “Your Word Against Mine” with pineapple-infused plymouth, amontillado sherry, and rosemary. And keeping it in the family, the nightclub’s decor from a blue banquette to turquoise chandeliers was designed by Katie’s mom, Liz, while Felix’s brother will deejay.

2. The Monuments Men. You probably know that the George Clooney-directed movie has an all-star cast featuring Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Murray, but did you know that a Southerner played a big role in the story that inspired it? The film’s about a team of men and women charged with recovering works of art from the Nazis, and one real-life participant was Richard Foster Howard, the director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts before World War II. After serving in the war, he was named deputy chief of monuments, fine arts, and archives. Later he was director at the Birmingham Museum of Art where today the museum has one rescued painting, Entrée d’un Gave, in their permanent collection.

3. Chocolate pop-up shop in Dallas. After sharpening her sweet tooth as executive pastry chef at Nobu and executive chocolatier at Chocolate Secrets, Kate Weiser will soon open her own shop in the hot spot development of Trinity Groves. Meanwhile, she’ll host a pop-up shop at eatZi’s Market & Bakery on Thursday and Friday. Make your own box of chocolates from her handpainted selection like Fresh Mint, Red Wine & Berries, and Hazelnut Latte. (Tell our valentine that we’re wishing for a “Warm and Fuzzy Heart,” a peanut butter ganache and strawberry pâte de fruit concoction!)

4. Southern photo exhibit in Charleston. Explore photos from the past at the Rebekah Jacob Gallery in Charleston now through the end of the month. The show Masters in the South: Black & White Documentary Photography from 1930-Present features timeless shots from Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Julia Cart, and others covering photography of the Depression-era rural South, MLK’s last speech and more from the Civil Rights movement, and Lowcountry marshes and beaches.

5. Mardi Gras festivities begin. Sure, Fat Tuesday isn’t until March 4, but the first parade rolls through the Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter in New Orleans on Saturday. Look for actor Hugh Laurie to reign as King of Bacchus in the Krewe of Bacchus Mardi Gras Parade on March 2. But Mardi Gras isn’t only a Crescent City tradition–the parades also begin on Friday in Mobile, Alabama.

5 1/2. Cooking classes in Nashville. Music City’s got a celebrated food scene and new classes offered by coworking space and community hub, The Skillery, let you get in on the action. As a part of their “Food Lover’s Month”, The Skillery is hosting a slew of useful food-themed classes continuing with a pie-making course tonight and homemade mozzarella class on Tuesday. Other offerings this month include a comprehensive bourbon course, how to start canning, and knife skills.


  1. Adrin White

    Gulf Sores,Alabama

    February 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm
  2. Aimee B

    New Orleans of course! I just love all that goes on in and around the French Quarter. There are so many five star restaurants to have the most romantic dining experience coupled with the beautiful architectural sights.

    February 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm
  3. Janis Niesse

    I would select Savannah as the most romantic city in the South. The many squares in the historic section of town are shadowed in old, large, green, over-hanging trees and the lush green grass in the area is perfect for picnicking and sun-bathing, or a slow stroll with that special someone. Some of the squares have beautiful fountains and benches to sit and converse. Or how about a romantic carriage ride through the Historic District? Wonderful!

    February 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm
  4. Vickie Burton Landa

    My Southern Romantic favorite is Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. Visiting there with your beau is one of the most romantic experiences you will ever have. It’s like steping back in time with all of the southern sights, sounds and smells on a beautiful warm Summer’s Day. Strolling in the gardens and drinking a Mint Julep is something
    I want to do today and and will think about tomorrow. After all, Tomorrow IS another day!.

    February 13, 2014 at 11:53 am
  5. Nancy Winget

    The most romantic city in the South for me is Columbus, GA. It is where I met my husband 29 years ago as he was attending Officer Advanced Course on Fort Benning. We were married in the little Infantry Center chapel on 2-16-85. After many deployments with the Army and two war-time duties, we will celebrate our 29th anniversary on 2-16-14. When I think of romance I think of where we met and were married and where our life together began.

    February 13, 2014 at 9:48 am
  6. Terri byrd

    Actually anywhere out of the state of Kentucky.

    February 13, 2014 at 9:33 am
  7. Gayle Johnson

    I believe that Savannah, GA is the most romantic city in the South. I just love the boardwalk on the river.

    February 13, 2014 at 8:25 am
  8. Gayle Jackson

    Destin,Fl. Our favorite place to go to relax and spend time together!!!

    February 13, 2014 at 8:23 am
  9. Deborah Marshall

    Fort Lauderdale, Florida is where I met My sweetheart.

    February 13, 2014 at 8:11 am
  10. jane m Foster

    New Orleans..is where I would love to spend sometime!!!

    February 13, 2014 at 7:12 am
  11. leighton holmes

    Julia Cart’s photos are a must-see! Timeless and hauntingly beautiful images!
    She is quite a talented artist!

    February 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm
  12. Patti Lawler McDavid

    I”ll put my vote in for New Orleans Louisiana…nothing more romantic to me than a spectacular meal followed by a carriage ride around the French Quarter! Cocktails anyone?

    February 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm
  13. Kim LeBaron

    Savannah-it is where I left my heart♥️

    February 10, 2014 at 10:52 am

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