Good Southern cooking can transport you to a country kitchen—biscuits in the oven, chicken frying in the skillet, and a bare-chested Ted Turner in the doorway with an armload of firewood. Experience true grits with this Groupon.
$20 for $40 Worth of Upscale Southern Food for Dinner
The ever-changing dinner menu features reinvented Southern classics, such as duck pot pie with a sweet-potato crust ($21) and fettuccine topped with a veal, pork, and bison bolognese, root vegetables, and a fried egg ($23).
Alexis Jones, the chef and owner of Natchez Restaurant, is doing more than adding contemporary French- and Mediterranean-inspired twists to Southern classics—she's making grown men just about cry. Of her fried-egg-topped gnocchi, food blogger Daniel Walker of the Arkansas Times says, " When I cut into the egg, and the bright golden yolk cascades down the layers of meat, vegetables, and ricotta, I was so happy I nearly welled up with tears … One of the best dishes I’ve eaten in Little Rock." SyncWeekly.com's Spencer Watson had a similarly visceral reaction to Jones's surprising cuisine: of the "light, airy" veggie risotto, he exclaimed, "I want to lie down in this risotto and make risotto angels in it."
The fact that Jones's food is eliciting euphoric reactions should come as no surprise. The young chef has racked up fine-dining experience at some impressive Southern restaurants, including Ashley's at the Capital Hotel and Snackbar, the Oxford eatery of James Beard Award winner John Currence. Jones designs her ever-changing lunch and dinner menus with local, seasonal ingredients, creating unexpected combinations such as veal osso buco with cheese grits and quail served with a cornmeal waffle and pepper-apple compote.
The restaurant's interior is as simple and elegant as Jones's dishes: white walls and floors accentuate jet-black tables and a row of colorful prints. A black-and-white checkered countertop and electric-blue awning overhead give the kitchen and bar area a bistro-meets-diner vibe, like a jukebox that only plays "La Vie En Rose."