Feeding off the success of Stella Blu and Gypsy Saloon, Marianne Gere and Kim Strengari’s latest concept celebrates the iconic recipes originating below the Mason-Dixon Line. Before opening Conshohocken’s Southern Cross Kitchen in late 2012, they softened the former 8 East’s downstairs dining room with pumpkin creams and moody blues, while adding distressed accents like antiqued window frames and lanterns.
The result is a whimsical, welcoming setting for SCK’s modernized comfort food. Classics include heaping portions of fried buttermilk chicken coated with a well-seasoned, flaky-crisp crust, and grits enriched with heaps of creamy goat cheese. Also designed to induce pre-nap euphoria: fork-tender short ribs with quadruple-cheese-and-macaroni, cornbread and collard greens. Dessert lovers can pay homage to the South’s beloved pecan via one tricked-out pie that will make a believer out of anyone (and Paula Deen jealous).
SCK’s sizable location features a chalkboard-lined bar area serving select craft beers and wines, plus themed cocktails, including house-brewed sweet tea spiked with bourbon. Upstairs, the 80-seat private-party space boasts brass chandeliers, vintage chests and chairs, and tables topped with kitschy trifle bowls.
8 E. 1st Ave., Conshohocken, (484) 344-5668, southerncrosskitchen.com.