The Southern Wins Best New Restaurant Nod From Esquire; Kendall Morales Named 'Hostess of the Year"



The Southern Steak and Oyster, restaurateur Tom Morales' bold new showplace in the Pinnacle tower, has been named one of the Best New Restaurants of 2012 by Esquire magazine. And even more impressive, Morales' daughter Kendall, 22, is tapped "Hostess of the Year."

writer John Mariani praises The Southern for busting traditional steakhouses' "straitjacket menus" and fusty macho ambience.

"The Southern Steak & Oyster ... puts forth a wide-open bonhomie that's as appealing to women as it is to men. (There was even a softball game on the bar TV one night.)"

Mariani recommends the "crispy fried chicken or a mess of fish and sweet-potato grits with hot tasso-ham vinaigrette" but adds that you don't want to miss The Nudie Suit, where the diner picks out their own slab of well-marbled beef to be cooked to order.

He concludes:

"The Southern Steak & Oyster has figured out how to do what many less creative venues couldn't: make an old, well-proven concept even better and a lot more fun."

Even better is the spotlight on Kendall Morales, who says she's gotten to meet a lot of cool people at The Southern and encountered a least one odd request: "Two weeks ago, these people asked if they could get their wine in to-go cups. But they weren't even leaving. They just wanted to drink it from a to-go coffee cup. Right at the table."

Check out her interview here. (You may have to navigate through some ads to get to the slide.)

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