Chef Mashama Bailey made her name putting both a personal and a global spin on traditional Southern dishes at the much-lauded Grey, in Savannah, Georgia. Now the James Beard Award winner has done the same at its sister restaurant in Austin, where local chef Kristine Kittrell leads the kitchen when Bailey isn’t visiting. Some variations are subtle—a crisply turned-out chicken-fried quail in lieu of a regular hen. Some are multicultural—a plate of excellent grits with a lobe of perfectly seared duck foie gras and an ebony-hued demiglace. Others are wildly eclectic—beautifully fried rectangles of ugali (an African maize-flour custard) paired with Mexico’s lush salsa macha (rich with sesame seeds, nuts, and chiles). Lively and noisy, the restaurant in the stylish new Thompson hotel replicates the art deco style of the Greyhound bus station that gave the original restaurant its name.
James Beard winner Mashama Bailey puts both a personal and a global spin on traditional Southern dishes in the Thompson hotel.
The white tablecloth may be all washed up, but the dining is as fine as ever.
And the two-time James Beard Award winner has brought the same dynamic Southern fare that made the Grey, in Savannah, a destination restaurant.
Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano, who opened two restaurants in Austin this year, defy industry norms with their dynamic friendship.