By Mark Maynard-Parisi
Before launching Danny Meyer's new west Chelsea bar Porchlight, managing partner Mark Maynard-Parisi was responsible for the restaurant Blue Smoke. In his role had there, he had the side benefit of being able to travel extensively through the south. He passes along some of his favorite Southern eating and drinking spots.
Oxford, MS | Lamar Lounge
"It is really good quality food and really fun. It’s a real place that’s run by people who don’t take themselves too seriously. Excellent cocktails too."
1309 N Lamar Boulevard, Oxford, MS 38655
T: 662.513.6197 | citygroceryonline.com/restaurant.php?lamarlounge
Memphis, TN | Hog & Hominy
"This is one of my favorite restaurants in the south. It is owned by a couple of Italian American guys who grew up in the south and they have a fantastic food program and great cocktails. Some of our bar bites at Porchlight are inspired by them, like our frog’s legs. They didn’t want to do chicken tenders or wings, so they do great sweetbread dumplings. They are deep fried and are amazing. You can tell they are geeking out on the ingredients, but they don’t shove it down your throat."
707 W Brookhaven Circle, Memphis, TN 38117
T: 901.207.7396 | www.hogandhominy.com
Atlanta, GA | Octopus Bar
"One of my favorite places to drink in the south with great food too. It feels like a neighborhood spot, but you know people are coming here as a destination. They do Asian fried food, noodle bowls, beer in a can, and really great cocktails. At 11pm at night, it is full of restaurant and bar people."
560 Gresham Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
T: 404.627.9911 | octopusbaratl.com
Ayden, NC | The Skylight Inn
"It is definitely one of my favorites. They only serve chopped pork. It is the simplicity and authenticity that makes it so great. This is what they do."
4618 S Lee Street, Ayden, NC 28513
T: 252.746.4113 | www.skylightinnbbq.com
Nashville, TN | Oak Bar at Hermitage Hotel
"It’s downstairs in the basement of a hotel with lots of dark wood and a very country clubby feel. Great appetizer plate here."
231 6th Avenue N, Nashville, TN 37219
T: 615.244.3121 | www.thehermitagehotel.com
Bonus Round | Not In The South
Murphysboro, IL | 17th Street Barbecue
"It is fantastic BBQ. Pitmaster Mike Mills consulted for Blue Smoke and we liked him so much we made him a partner."
32 N 17th Street, Murphysboro, IL 62966
T: 618.684.3722 | www.17thstreetbarbecue.com
Mark is a partner in Porchlight Bar in Chelsea. He has been part of the Union Square Hospitality Group for over 22 years, since he joined Union Square Cafe after college. From there, he went on to launch and run Blue Smoke.
271 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10001
T: 212.981.6188 | porchlightbar.com