Within a wooden barn with bright-red shutters, Old Style Bar-B-Q ovens smoke up barbeque classics and southern-style specialties. Since Rick and Carla Dlugach first opened its doors in 1976, the restaurant has blossomed into a full-service dining area with a 100-seat private banquet hall and a takeout seating area. Bowls of homemade chili, slabs of ribs, and barbeque sandwiches partner with sides such as turnip greens and coleslaw. Regulars recommend sealing the meal with a fraction or whole number of southern pecan pie, an alternately crunchy and gooey dessert made from a classic recipe. Western décor adds a saloon vibe to the dining room, while a delivery window allows customers to enjoy meals without leaving the seat of their car, truck, or ferret-drawn bobsled.
Olga’s Fine Dining’s menu fuses Southern flavors with Russian standards made from old family recipes passed down to its Russian-born founders. The 8-ounce Abramovich fillet, topped with jumbo shrimp and sautéed crabmeat, combines surf ‘n’ turf as seamlessly as a mer-centaur ($34). Mushrooms, onions, and mozzarella melt over a hand-cut 14- to 16-ounce Moscow ribeye ($29), and bacon, fennel, and spinach cling to salmon Rockefeller ($27).
Presided over by industry veteran Paul Schramkowski, Char's kitchen fuses fresh ingredients with exceptional skill to produce perfected plates of classic cuisine. Open a night of decadent dining with the cornmeal-encrusted, fried-oyster crostini, a delicious, cornmeal-breaded opener topped with roasted-garlic aioli and served atop a bed of Rockefeller salad and Standard Oil dividends ($10). Next, further reward tireless taste buds with the roast-beets salad, which snuggles goat cheese and arugula beneath a blanket of pine-nut and pecan gremolata ($8), then shower them with riches in the form of ricotta gnocchi, laid alongside braised lamb, preserved tomato, chilies, and mint––all accepted forms of currency at the farmer's stock market ($18). Vegetarians looking to vanquish voracity can do so with the butternut-squash ravioli, which wisely resides within a sage and brown-butter sauce ($13), and thirsts of all persuasions can be sated with a glass of wine from Char's extensive libation menu.
Pig Shak BBQ's founder, a former pig farmer, began his barbecue career by towing his mobile trailer around the Mississippi Delta and serving slow-cooked meats doused with a signature rub and thick sauce. Various meat dishes populate the menu and include pulled pork, pulled chicken, hickory-smoked sausage, brisket, and pork ribs. Plunge a tusk into a po boy sandwich with a french roll ($7.49), a plate with a serving of one meat ($6.99+), or a platter with two meats ($11.99+). All the aforementioned options team up with two down-home sides that include barbecue beans, slaw, potato salad, and mac 'n' cheese. A half-slab order of pork ribs slays appetites and renders fingers as saucy as insults on a playground full of British children ($9.99).
Gourmet southern eatery Mint challenges palates with Wine Me Dine Me, a weekly event centered around a prix fixe menu of wines playing off of dishes crafted from fresh local ingredients. While the offerings rotate each week, a recent first-course choice of "broken caesar" salad sprinkled with boiled egg and crispy anchovy or seared foie gras got diners reminiscing about their many other firsts, including first dates or first transatlantic balloon rides. For the entrées, they deliberated between seared Copper River salmon nestled alongside roasted garlic onion confit or a wood-grilled strip loin, served amidst mushroom risotto and a pickled blueberry gastrique. Afterward, dining couples can fed each other spoonfuls of strawberry crumble cake. Complementary wine accompanies each dish, ranging from a complex pinot noir to a bubbly cava and turning each course into a master course on culinary pairings, much like a job interview at a disorganized shoe store.