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Sisters of the New South

Sisters of the New South

After working in the yard all morning — a mixed bag of temperatures in the low 40s and enough action to break a sweat — I was hungry. I had scrimped on breakfast and was that steel–toed boots-and-tool belt kinda hungry. A real plate of chow was in order.

Fortunately, I’m right down the street from Sisters of the New South, a destination where I know the steam table is covered with all kinds of veggies and starches. Where every member of the barnyard is represented on the meats menu and where portions can never, ever be deemed “moderate.”

There was a short but efficient line already formed when I arrived. These were veteran Sister’s guests — they knew what they wanted, they knew how to order and they were hungry.

I was grateful to have arrived ahead of the obvious Yankee tourists who were struggling with the menu and even after watching the rest of us order, didn’t quite get the hang of meat and sides.

I was just breaking for cover out the front door when one asked, “What are collard greens?” That deserved an eye roll, but I suspect the gracious ladies behind Sister’s steam table patiently explained our uniquely Southern field green.
I got mine to go: Two tender slices of calves’ liver with sautÉed onions and pan gravy, mac and cheese, slow–cooked green beans and naturally sweet okra-and-tomato stew. I sped home with my foam clamshell for a rib–sticking midday meal.

But just because you’ve got a to–go order doesn’t mean you have to eat like a wolf. I replated mine on some cool pottery china from Alabama–based Earthborn Pottery and drank a soda from a glass instead of a can. C’mon, even a working man can be civilized.

The liver was tender and nicely flavored, not at all that bitter, liver–tinged experience that comes from poorly prepared liver. The mac and cheese was solid, not at all runny or overbaked.

Green beans were my concession to my wife’s query “Did you have something green?” and were nicely seasoned. The okra, set aside in its own bowl to retain the natural juices, was sweet and crunchy, with hints of tomato acid from bite to bite.

This is good Southern cooking. Refined form and daily preparation by a steady crew of cooks, and Sisters is one of a half dozen such joints that I frequent on a rotating basis. I’m sucker for the desserts, which I passed on this day, but the menu usually includes favorites like Red Velvet cake and peach cobbler.

Hungry? Tired? Let the Sisters cook for you.

2607 Skidaway Road, (912) 335–2761

Italian wines

Wine maker and vineyard owner Mauro Mauri of Borgo San Danielle will be special guest at a dinner hosted at Sage (43 Whitaker, 912/233-0002) on Feb. 2. The $75 per person inclusive price includes five courses and five wines. Reception begins at 7 p.m.; dinner at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required.

Can’t make the dinner? Mauri will be on hand for a tasting of his wines at Savannah Wine Cellar in 12 Oaks Shopping Center, also on Feb. 2, from 4–6 p.m. Fee is $10 per person.This is Mauri’s second trip to the U.S. and a rare opportunity to meet and greet the talented wine maker.