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Southbound makes Bon Appetit magazine’s ‘Best New Restaurant’ list

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-04 18:19:33-04

CHESTERFIELD, Va. — This week’s national accolades for Richmond’s dining scene come from Bon Appetit. If you are a big fan of dining news, you may know that every year Bon Appetit selects 50 nominees for “Best New Restaurant.”

From there the top ten winners are chosen.

This year Southbound, located at 3036 Stony Point Drive in the Stony Point Shopping Center, placed on the list. The venture is owned by Joe Sparatta, of Heritage restaurant fame, Lee Gregory of Church Hill’s The Roosevelt and Matthew Gottwald of Beechwood Farms, a livestock farm Goochland.

“We are extremely excited and honored to be nominated and to be in such great company but, we are most excited about Richmond getting more national recognition,” said co-owner Sparatta.

The trio has a 10-year lease on the 3,600-square-foot space that’s neighbor to a Martin’s and a Gelati Celesti. Southbound’s menu includes house-made pasta, pork, fish, chicken and sandwiches.

This year’s restaurants were picked by Andrew Knowlton and Julia Kramer. They suggest ordering the chicken wings smoked “buffalo style,” crispy fried catfish with grits, and squid ink bucatini. They loved that the kids’ menu, “is as thoughtful and tempting as the grown-ups’.”

Don’t let the shopping center location fool you; this isn’t a take-out joint. Southbound strikes the right note between ambitious farm-to-table restaurant and neighborhood gem. No surprise, given that chefs Lee Gregory and Joe Sparatta—the forces behind some of the most popular restaurants in Richmond—are running the show. Here they’ve partnered with farmer Matt Gottwald to help them fulfill their sophisticated Southern menu, where every ingredient has a regional twang: The salt served with the bread basket is bourbon-smoked; the nachos come with green-tomato salsa and queso. It might be hard to focus on the fish and pasta when there’s a double cheeseburger with bacon-tomato jam on the menu, but be bold: The more ambitious the dish, the more the chefs’ technique shines through.

The final top 10 will be announced on Aug. 18.

Below is the list of the top 50:
Aatxe: San Francisco, CA
Al’s Place: San Francisco, CA
Alimento: Los Angeles, CA
Arcade Bakery: New York, NY
Artisan Meat Share: Charleston, SC
Biscuit Love: Nashville, TN
Cosme: New York, NY
Dai Due: Austin, TX
Damn the Weather: Seattle, WA
The Dining Room at the White Hart Inn: Salisbury, CT
Dizengoff: Philadelphia, PA
Dove’s Lucheonette: Chicago, IL
East Ender: Portland, ME
Gardner: Austin, TX
Gjusta: Los Angeles, CA
The Grey: Savannah, GA
Heyday: Minneapolis, MN
Hola Arepa: Minneapolis, MN
Jon & Vinny’s: Los Angeles, CA
Kachka: Portland, OR
Kindred: Davidson, NC
Krog Street Market: Atlanta, GA
Lazy Bear: San Francisco, CA
Leon’s Oyster Shop: Charleston, SC
Liholiho Yacht Club: San Francisco, CA
Loyal Nine: Cambridge, MA
Luscher’s Red Hots: Dallas, TX
Manolin: Seattle, WA
Milk Glass Mrkt: Portland, OR
Milktooth: Indianapolis, IN
Mission Chinese Food: New York, NY
Momofuku Ko: New York, NY
Parachute: Chicago, IL
Petit Trois: Los Angeles, CA
Porcellino’s: Memphis, TN
The Progress: San Francisco, CA
Rintaro: San Francisco, CA
Rose’s Fine Food: Detroit, MI
Saltine: Jackson, MS
Santina: New York, NY
Semilla: Brooklyn, NY
Shaya: New Orleans, LA
Small Brewpub: Dallas, TX
Southbound: Richmond, VA
Spoon and Stable: Minneapolis, MN
Tandem Coffee + Bakery: Portland, ME
Thip Khao: Washington, DC
Townsend: Philadelphia, PA
Trentina: Cleveland, OH
Trove: Seattle, WA