Southern cooking is more complicated than simply embedding a compass into a pan of cornbread and walking into the dining room backward. Point yourself out of the kitchen with today's Groupon for Southern fusion fare at The Pecan Restaurant in College Park. Choose between the following options:
- For $30, you get $60 worth of dinner
- For $10, you get $20 worth of brunch or lunch
Owner, executive chef, and bon vivant Tony Morrow blends international influences with traditional Southern cooking to create an eclectic, daring spread. Finish your customary pre-dinner spelling bee over an appetizer such as a succulent tybee island crabcake—sautéed and served with spicy creole aioli ($15)—before moving onto rich soups and salads or sophisticated main courses. Sate a hankering for homestyle heartiness with an entree of oven-roasted buttermilk pecan chicken, served with a sweet-potato puree, and sautéed haricot verts and pesto sauce ($23), or accommodate a table of cowboys and rebellious steers with the restaurant's rib eye steak ($38). The Pecan quiets belly rumbles throughout the day, serving sandwiches at lunch ($13+), omelettes at brunch ($12), and ham-pies at dessertfast. Signature drinks provide libational accoutrements within the elegant dining room that is full of blond woods, soft lighting, and a rustic painted advertisement on one exposed-brick wall.
The Pecan Restaurant
The Pecan Restaurant's head chef Tony Morrow collects ingredients from the recipes of his favorite chefs, finding ways to work each of them into his own cuisine. The first flavor he fell in love with was pecans, a staple of his mother's cooking. Later in life, he encountered the rich spices of Cajun and Indian cooking, the perfectly prepared meats in French recipes, and the delicate pastas of the best Italian kitchens. He took these culinary experiences and, inspired, created his own masterpieces with each one, blending and changing each until he created a type of southern cooking all his own.
He serves his fusion food in a classic southern-style dining room full of light woods and white tablecloths complemented by the deep red curtains that hang around the space. During the eatery’s remodeling, a giant Coca-Cola advertisement—first painted in 1917—was discovered beneath the room’s drywall. Now re-exposed and retouched, it emblazons an exposed brick wall and adds last-century charm to the dining room, reminding its guests of a time when life was simpler and cola poured from the drinking fountains.