The most common way to experience the Deep South is to find a street magician and hope he pulls a shiny Louisiana state quarter from your ear. Transport taste buds without the magic with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Southern-inspired fare and drinks at Eureka Restaurant and Lounge.
Eureka Restaurant and Lounge's chef Gaines Douglas Dobbins summons his culinary skills and Southern upbringing to create a menu of upscale comfort fare. To announce the meal's beginning, helpings of crispy fried chicken livers coated with horseradish cream ($8) dive straight down diners' throats. This primes palates for entrees, such as pot roast served in a natural jus with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and blue lake green beans ($17) or the smoked-chicken-and-creole-sausage gumbo ($16). Desserts come in several tongue-awakening varieties, such as warm bread pudding paired with bourbon and caramel sauce ($8) or a warm Guittard chocolate brownie with vanilla-bean ice cream spangled with candied walnuts and caramel sauce ($9).
Eureka’s genial staff welcomes guests to three separate dining-room areas and an elegant patio. With a wide selection of spirits, but a palpable absence of sweaty ghosts, the upstairs lounge makes a fitting venue for sipping cocktails and toasting special occasions.
Raised by a family of chefs in Belzoni—a town in the Mississippi Delta—chef Gaines Douglas Dobbins brings a distinctly authentic southern flair to crafting dishes at the Zagat-rated Eureka Restaurant. Inside his kitchen, Dobbins prepares each dish to order, putting modern twists on southern dishes such as pairing fried okra with yuzu aioli and smoking pork loin in-house to re-create home-cooked flavors that are as comforting as a grandma wearing a teddy-bear costume.
Customers dine in three different areas, clinking glasses of wine or custom cocktails. The romantic main dining room glows with flickering votive candles on each table. Upstairs, just beyond the cocktail lounge, the dining room features windows overlooking the bustle of the Castro district. The garden room, just off the outdoor patio, looks out on the trees, flowers, and gnomes who water them each day.