Southern Comfort

BNV’s new restaurant gives soul food some northern exposure.


Long before he was named the chief culinary officer for Boston Nightlife Ventures, Bill Brodsky spent a few years cooking in Dallas and Charleston, learning the intricacies of barbecue and low country cuisine. Now he’s tapping that knowledge to develop the menu at Southern Kin, BNV’s latest restaurant, set to open in Assembly Row in late May.

“I never cooked soulful Southern food till I got to Charleston. And I learned more from the staff there during staff meals. A lot of our menu stuff is actually that soul food from the staff meals,” Brodsky says. “The menu really focuses on authentic soul food with a chef’s touch. It’s not foodie, but it’s just making sure the emphasis is on execution.”

Split into large and small plates, Southern Kin’s menu will touch on several kinds of Southern food. Gullah favorites include fried okra with a buttermilk dressing as well as shrimp and grits with andouille sausage, green peppers and tasso ham gravy. Barbecue lovers will find Kansas City-style pork ribs and redneck nachos with spiced pork rinds, white cheddar grits and Carolina-kissed pulled pork. A chicken bucket for sharing features a whole fried chicken with biscuits and four housemade sauces (honey-hot pepper, Alabama white, Carolina gold and Kansas City barbecue). While there’s an entire biscuit section on the lunch menu, dinner guests will only see the Hog ’n’ Hooch biscuit, which comes with cider-whiskey glazed pork belly, fried green tomato, pickled fresno chilies and chowchow relish. Dessert is all pies—also available to-go—in flavors such as pecan, peach crumble, buttermilk and Pappy’s mudpie.

Brodsky is especially excited about Southern Kin’s take on chicken and waffles, which puts fried chicken on a cheddar-chive buttermilk waffle with Fresno pepper-infused maple syrup and a side of the honey-hot pepper sauce. “Our version is pretty insane,” he says. “It’s not your mama’s chicken and waffles.”

As customers enter the space, they’ll see two high-top communal tables and the bar, which offers more than 100 American whiskeys, including a flight of house-infused whiskeys such as a tasso ham-infused bourbon. An open kitchen lines the adjacent dining area, and brick murals, reclaimed wood and polished cement floors add to the 110-seat interior’s casual vibe. Neon signs will soon light up the facade outside, where there will be patio seating for 60.

With a few new eateries planned for the coming year, BNV is a busy restaurant group, but Brodsky admits to feeling a special draw to Southern Kin. “There’s certainly a connection here for me. Spending so much time in the South and understanding what the culture is about helped me create the dishes that best represent Southern hospitality,” he says. “It’s definitely something that I hold close.”

Southern Kin 500 Assembly Row, Somerville (617-764-5966)

Southern Kin

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