Photographs by Jeremy Kramer
Editorial Note: This restaurant is closed.
For her second restaurant, Margaret Ranalli traded rustic Italian for down-home American. Son of a Preacher Man, just around the corner from her other place, Enoteca Emilia, is Southern comfort gone funky, with one big dining room that is part mid-century Ho-Jo lobby, part Southern Baptist chapel.
Pew seating and hymn boards are juxtaposed with faux-bois paneling and retro lighting, allowing Chef Corey Pastor’s eclectic spins on Sunday supper standards to fit right in. The menu has a Low-Country lilt: Manhattans are made with Dolin Rouge vermouth, and mint juleps are topped with sweet tea.
Pimento cheese fritters, cornmeal-crusted and served with tangy green tomato jalapeño jam, pay homage to the classic Southern spread, and the house crab dip is accompanied by toast points. But if you order one thing, make it the “Sundays Best” fried chicken. Gerber Farm–raised legs, thighs, wings, and breasts are brined (boneless cuts are soaked in buttermilk) and dredged in seasoned flour for all the crunch with none of the grease.
Order the two or three-piece dinner, or the breast on a biscuit sandwich. Unfortunately, Pastor still has some kinks to work out: the chopped salad arrived undressed and flavorless grits ruined perfectly good Gulf shrimp. Mishaps aside, the meal ended on a sweet note with a slice of the sticky-sweet bourbon pecan pie. Son of a Preacher Man might not be an undisputed success, but the chicken dinner is a winner.
Son of a Preacher Man, 3009 O’Bryon St., O’Bryonville, (513) 813-3052, eatatpreacherman.com. Lunch Thurs–Sun, dinner seven days.