Can fried chicken and biscuits be healthy? Well, maybe not, but Chef Sam Talbot is making a valiant attempt at making them a bit less junky. At his restaurant, Pretty Southern, he serves up Southern staples like Fried Chicken and Pimento Cheese sandwiches with sides that are often gluten- and/or dairy-free. Talbot’s Fried Chicken (also available gluten-free) can be ordered by the piece, Rotisserie style, or as multi-piece dinner. Standout sides include Mac & Cheese, Collard greens, and a Black-Eyed Peas and Butterbean side cooked with ham-hock. The space is small and a bit cramped but delivery and take-out are available.
..the bird itself is expertly cooked, nice and gamey, and even the large breast was juicy all the way to the bone. On the other hand, the crackling skin had a bitterness to it that I associate with a tea-brine, and do not personally care for. … The sides I tried were all terrific, led by a creamy, sticky Mac n’ Cheese, served in a skillet and a model of textural balance and robust flavors… And whatever you order, also order a side of chewy, crispy biscuits, which are presented almost like slices of sheet cake and come with a trio of dipping sauces, including an amazing Coconut Cinnamon Honey.
The chef Sam Talbot, most recently based in Maine, grew up near Charleston, S.C., so he’s particular about his fried chicken. He has also been a private chef for professional basketball players and racecar drivers, and said that many of them wanted tempting food like fried chicken and biscuits to be gluten-free. That’s what has inspired his new casual venture into Southern fare. “It can be healthy,” he said. The fried chicken and biscuits are available with or without gluten, as are the mac and cheese, potpies, several sandwiches and some of the desserts. He makes his own gluten-free flour, and cooks his grits in coconut milk, to accommodate dairy-free diets.
Chef Sam Talbot (Montauk’s Surf Lodge) puts a modern spin on Southern fare at this Greenpoint spot focusing on fried chicken dinners with healthful sides, gluten-free options, sandwiches, biscuits and housemade desserts. The exposed-brick digs have a counter facing the open kitchen, plus an enclosed garden, and the kitchen maintains green practices like composting and using eco-friendly takeout containers.