Empire State South
Hugh Acheson and his kitchen staff constantly tinker with their expansive vision of Southern food, which adds a rich and progressive perspective to our dining landscape. Sometimes they evoke a moment or mood in a dish: A soft-poached egg surrounded by crisped rice, sweetly spiced sausage, and fresh corn nibs suggests a Lowcountry breakfast on a slow summer morning. And they were the first locally to invigorate grits or beans with kimchi.
Beyond serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch, the restaurant offers a Southern variation on the tiffin—the tiered Indian lunch pail—that customers can call and order daily by 10:30 a.m. to pick up by noon. (Check the website for the weekly changing menu.) The coffee counter pulls some of the most balanced espresso shots in town. Enjoy your java alongside the city’s finest biscuit sandwich, layered with boneless fried chicken, scrambled eggs, pimento cheese, and bacon.
Photograph by Alex Martinez