Tableside With Margaret Ranalli

Enoteca Emilia opened in O’Bryonville in 2011 to much success. This past summer, owner Margaret Ranalli and Enoteca head chef Adam Cobb announced a second neighborhood venture: Son of a Preacher Man, where they’ll be trading Italian comfort for southern American staples.

How’d you come up with the name? Adam grew up traveling through the Carolinas with his dad, a Lutheran minister.

Tell us about the decor. I ordered vintage wallpaper for a retro feel. We also wanted to play with the preacher theme using a few respectful yet fun elements, such as a church pew.

What exactly does a preacher man eat? We’ve focused on a pared down menu, primarily fried chicken and homemade biscuits, peel and eat shrimp, grits, and stuffed pork chops—casual comfort food. It’s also good for carry out.

Why carry out? When I get off I always call my husband and ask, “What do you want me to pick up?” We planned for carry-out from the beginning. If the food doesn’t travel well, if it’s not packaged correctly, if the recipes aren’t formulated with that in mind, then it just doesn’t work.

What’s the best part of creating a new restaurant? I love creating a story. I start with the theme and then let my sense of hospitality drive the narrative. I can really play with it.

 Son of a Preacher Man, 3009 O’Bryon St., O’Bryonville, facebook.com/eatpreacherman

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