Clean Plate Club: South Bar

Blueberry Caipiroska and Calamari

Originally printed in Real Detroit Weekly on July 13, 2011

When you first get a menu at South, you’ll notice “42 degrees N 83 degrees W” in the right corner. This isn’t some mysterious code, rather it is the longitude and latitude of Detroit and although South isn’t south of Detroit, the name could be seen as a nod to the southwestern flavors prevalent throughout the menu.

From South’s information sheet, “The flavors of the menu work in harmony with the architecture. South American, American Southwest, and Mexican flavors are delicately infused into the casual fare menu, just as imagery from those same regions is infused into the modern forms of the interior design.” The walls are designed to look like gently rolling sand; bright blue pillars are reminiscent of the sea.

Nearly everything on the menu has a southwesten or tex-mex spin on it. From the habanero zip sauce served with the filet to the fried Kahlua ice cream, the flare of the southwest is strong in this menu.

It seems like I eat calamari at least once a week nowadays. Gone are the days of rubbery little circles and creepy tiny mini squid. All the rage are calamari strips cut from calamari steaks. At South, thick strips of calamari are dipped in buttermilk and corn meal, deep fried and served with red jalapeno, roasted garlic and chipotle aioli.

Rather than the usually one dimensional breading found on some calamari, South’s is tangy, crunchy and sweet. Together with the spicy jalapeno, the earthy, buttery garlic and creamy smoky aioli, this is definitely one of the more unique calamari dishes I’ve tasted.

Read the rest of the article here.

See the rest of photos on Flickr.

Jerk Chicken over Sweet Potato Plantain Mash






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