by Julie Besonen, 07/18/2012
Fried catfish. Photo: Alex Lopez
329 Smith St., 718-422-0444, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Seersucker, open since 2010, has settled into a groove that's as comfy as your favorite pair of pants. The modern, cleanly designed space is separated from the kitchen by shelves of pickled items, but there's little else to reveal its Southern moorings. Chef/co-owner Robert Newton is from Arkansas yet firmly rooted in Brooklyn; his menu is peppered with ingredients foraged from the Carroll Gardens and Grand Army Plaza Greenmarkets. At dinner, look for refined cornmeal-crusted oysters, grilled trout and fried chicken. The brunch-time baked pimento cheese grits with poached egg and bacon is dandy alongside a jolting Bloody Mary made with corn whiskey. Last year, Newton and his partner Kerry Diamond opened Smith Canteen, a casual café and takeout spot serving North Carolina's Counter Culture Coffee, ravishing baked goods and sandwiches. The venue is just a few doors down (343 Smith St.) from Seersucker.