Louis Osteen, the recently hired executive chef for the company, is a James Beard award-winning chef known for his mastery of Lowcountry cuisine. The restaurant is "a continuation of HDG’s focus on regional and seasonal cuisine" and will offer "coastal flavors and fresh seafood dishes, while also incorporating Osteen’s quintessential Lowcountry favorites," the company said in a release today.
"Osteen has crafted a menu capturing the diversity and growth of the South, modern, yet reminiscent of approachable home-cooking and including the flavors of Charleston, Florida and New Orleans cuisine," the release added.
The restaurant space is a high-profile spot in the base of the Adelicia condo tower near 20th Avenue and Division. Miro District was the first tenant in the space, which has multiple dining areas and a bar. Originally branded as rustic Italian, it has tackled French bistro and upscale Southern food in its two years. It definitely had some sublime moments, despite a changing chef roster and menu. I reviewed it very favorably in The Tennessean/All The Rage when it first opened in 2008. The Scene's Carrington Fox raved about its French bistro incarnation in 2009.
Under the new concept, the main dining room will offer a dinner menu that includes Mrs. Ralph Izzard’s Brown Oyster Stew (with benne seeds), Late Summer Tomato Pie (with field greens and basil aioli), Grilled Scallops (with shrimp hash, crispy okra and ravigote sauce), Jumbo Lump Crab and Lobster Cakes (with grained mustard crème) and Blue Ridge Rainbow Trout Stuffed with Crabmeat, Scallions and Benton’s Bacon (served with pan-fried potatoes).
A more casual menu in the bar will feature shareable plates and bites, including the Buttermilk Biscuit with Benton’s Country Prosciutto, Chili Crusted Calamari (with pickled ramp mayo) and the Gulfshore Crispy Seafood Platter (with bell pepper slaw and homemade tartar sauce).
Miro District's executive chef Joe Shaw (who also launched the company's flagship fine-dining spot Watermark before briefly leaving the company) will stay on in "an integral role with HDG, taking on the position of general manager at Blind Pig No. 55," the company said. "His sensibility for hospitality and 25 years of experience in the restaurant industry will enhance the newly opened restaurant’s operations and service."
The new restaurant, which doesn't appear to have a name yet, is scheduled to open the first week in September.