This casual new hotspot trending at The RIM offers Insta-worthy Southern comfort food, batch cocktails, & local brews—all with a Southerleigh exposure.
Southerleigh Haute South may be the newest member in a fast-growing family of restaurants, but make no mistake: this bright new hub at The RIM is not Southerleigh’s identical twin.
Like two handsome brothers with almost zero in common, both restaurants get their good looks/great taste from their parents, Southerleigh Hospitality Group partners Alison and Jeff Balfour, Philippe Placé, Laurent Rea, JC Rodriguez, and Jerome Serot. Still, each has its distinct style.
Haute South is casual. Unpretentious. A laid-back social chicken-cocktails-oystersand- beer scene with fresh catch Gulf seafood and chill cocktails.
If Southerleigh gave San Antonio fried snapper throats (who knew we’d all wake up one day craving that?) Haute South brings to the table phenomenal fried chicken.
#clink Nothin’ says the South like a Mint Julep or a New Orleans Hurricane, and their take on these old standards doesn’t disappoint. A nod to a classic Old Fashioned, sip the smooth Rooster & Biscuit 14.
Both places offer superior seafood and Southerleigh’s local brews, but Haute South also has a full bar with premium spirits, and a menu serving up a Galveston Bay shrimp boil, rotisserie chicken po-boys, and a mean mac-and-cheese. The secret ingredient? Executive chef, Monica De La O., a San Antonio native, cooking for the past 18+ years beside Jeff Balfour and other celebrated chefs.
#yum Piled high, the hot chicken sandwich, with coleslaw and pickles, is secretly Chef Balfour’s favorite.
Linking low-country coastal fare and an approachable atmosphere to Southerleigh’s signature high standards, it’s the juxtaposition of highs and lows that sings for Haute South’s supper. Think quick counter-service and a modest Southern menu set against the gleam of crystal glasses, embossed ice cubes, and upmarket whiskeys. Pricy Veuve Clicquot champagne bottles stand behind chicken-wire pie safes. Such simultaneously chic yet down-home details are the “tells” of good taste.
#delish I’m so into the soft-shell blue crab. It’s light. It’s buttery. It’s the bomb. Balfour hails from Galveston, and Chef De La O has cooked with him for 15 years, so the two really know Gulf seafood.
Still, shorts and baseball caps define the dress code, so lunch always feels a little like happy hour.
Even the restaurant’s name is playful. If “Haute,” (French for “high, lofty,”) sounds pretentious, at least it leans against the more laid-back “South,” where we’re all “ya’ll” and “yes, ma’am,” and sends a flirty wink back at its French owners.
“Texans tend to pronounce haute as ‘hot,’” says general manager Andy Bridges, “and that’s fine by us.” ‘Hot’ adds a dash of cayenne to their concept.
#gogreen This may be the most accurately named salad ever: the “Whole Salad Bar.” You’re gonna wanna share.
Sports bar? Bistro? Both? The place shucks easy labels but slides down smoothly into a classic oyster bar aesthetic. With televisions above the bar, a white-washed brick wall with a giant red rooster, Montauk-blue banquettes with cowboyleather upholstery, and old-school octagon tile floors by the counter, I think I’m going to like it here.
#nomnomnom Here, “fried” is your friend. It took the chefs months to perfect their lemon-juice-laced, specially brined, savoryseasoned, pressure-fried, delicately dredged Southern fried chicken.
The eats? Think Southern fried chicken, soft-shell blue crab, giant gulf shrimp, ice-cold oysters, chilled crab claws, gluten-free chicken sandwiches, simple collard greens, and hub-cap-sized salads. But don’t go looking for grandma’s cream gravy; Chef De La O elevates old favorites. And just as at Southerleigh, seafood steals the show.
With curbside and carry-out, outdoor tables and a lawn where kids can cartwheel, don’t come expecting something fancy or hipster: Just come hungry, and expect good eats.
#ifyouknowyouknow Sure to put you in a #Foodcoma, this is the new now spot. It’s southern-fried social and big on good #eeeeeats.
BY JANIS TURK
Janis Turk is an award-winning travel and food writer whose food photography appears in the James Beard-nominated cookbook “Come in: We’re Closed,” and “Queens: A Culinary Passport.” Turk also has appeared as a travel host on the CNN Airport Network.
Southerleigh Haute South
5822 Worth Parkway Suite 112
San Antonio, TX
Monday – Thursday: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 9:00pm
This article was originally published in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of San Antonio Woman Magazine and SanAntonioWoman.com