Ryan Trimm's Southward Fare & Libations Could Easily Become Your New Favorite Place

Cooper-Young Chefs Spins New Magic in East Memphis.

Southward Fare & Libations combines a rustic chic vibe with Chef Ryan Trimm's Southern fusion cooking.

Photos by Justin Fox Burks

Too often with new restaurants, service and food don't match up. Not so with Southward Fare & Libations, where over the course of my first perfectly-paced meal even bar manager Chris Ferri stops by to ask how I like my cocktails. A few minutes later he is back with a Midnight Kiss, an off-menu muddle of lime juice, sugar and vodka crowned by a cap of cabernet. When I sip on its diminutive straw, the wine infuses the cocktail with flavor and whimsy.

Open since early August, Chef Ryan Trimm’s third restaurant is off to an impressive start, combining Southern hospitality with iconic food from Dixie. Yes, there is cornbread in the basket, but it’s spiked with chopped bell peppers, and a chilled medley of oysters on a pretty fish-shaped plate comes with tomatillo cocktail sauce and cherry Pernod mignonette for dipping.

Entrees and desserts duplicate a similar spirit. Sirloin steak shares the spotlight with shrimp risotto, field peas, tomatoes and cucumber chimichurri sauce, and the low-brow banana split dresses urban chic in pecans, Luxardo cherries, strawberry champagne sorbet and two kinds of creamy gelato.

Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, Southward also offers different ways to sample its seasonal menu, which changes every two months. There’s a lively bar, an upstairs room for private parties, and a patio shared with its neighbors at the Regalia Center.

6150 Poplar, Suite 122, 901-761-4344, $$-$$$

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