Southern Swank Kitchen is a hip saloon and restaurant serving Southern fare with a modern twist.
The space brings Wynwood to Davie with wall art by Daniel Fila, better known as Krave, and a free photo booth in back with props. Louisiana, Texas and Florida are the main muses in a place that caters to students from nearby Nova Southeastern University as well as local families.
Owner Oscar Ferreira is Cuban-American and grew up in Miami before starting a tech company in San Francisco. After selling it, he came home and was an investor in Soi, a Chinese take-out in Overtown.
He compiled all the things he liked about his favorite restaurants and came up with Southern Swank’s urban cowboy concept. Chef Angel Vergera came with him from Soi.
The signature cocktail is “smoking swamp water,” made with blue Curaçao liqueur, vodka, blueberries, mint and OJ (the smoke is from dry ice). Or whet your whistle with a Dogfish Head IPA and dig into fried green tomatoes with Creole remoulade sauce.
Seared shrimp ride a bed of Anson Mills grits infused with smoked tomato and red pepper vinaigrette, garnished with spicy potato chips and nuggets of Tasso ham. Those same crispy pork bits top pasta shells baked with aged cheddar, pecorino and breadcrumbs.
Dry-rubbed, slow-smoked, St. Louis-style ribs are glazed in sticky apple-cinnamon barbecue sauce, good with buttermilk slaw or creamed kale. There also are pulled pork sliders with house pickles, chicken and waffles with marshmallow sage sauce and beer can chicken.
Finish with bread pudding in warm caramel with pecans and say, “Yee-ha!”
Linda Bladholm is a Miami-based food writer.