The Southern Steak and Oyster, Nashville’s newest restaurant from well-respected restaurateur and TomKats Catering owner Tom Morales, has been selected for inclusion in Esquire magazine’s 2012 Best Restaurants in America listing. Now in its 28th year, this annual editorial feature led by world-renown food and travel correspondent John Mariani celebrates a short list of 20 restaurants across the country that offer the very best in cuisine and geography. Esquire’s elite list also honors Morales’ daughter and The Southern’s lead hostess and manager, Kendall Morales, as “Hostess of the Year” for her outstanding hospitality. The November issue hits newsstands October 16 and can be read online.
“Esquire’s recognition of The Southern in this way is an affirmation of a long-held commitment to fantastic food served with Southern hospitality,” said Morales. “In the 25 years my team and I have catered film sets across the country, we’ve had the opportunity to experience and enjoy all kinds of magnificent cuisine and culinary influences that we’ve brought to The Southern.” Morales continued “It’s been a group labor of love — my two daughters, Kendall and Lauren, have helped in the development and execution of the restaurant, bringing youthful energy and spirit, and our chefs Matt Farley and Tyler Stewart have shaped a stand-out menu.”
Mariani based his final selection for this year’s list on the criteria that the food was “distinctive” and that it was a “place you’ll want to tell your friends about, take your loved ones to, use the expense account on.” Noting that Esquire rarely singles out steakhouse restaurants, as they keep to a “straightjacket menu,” Mariani writes that The Southern Steak and Oyster has “figured out how to do what many less creative venues couldn’t: make an old, well-proven concept even better and a lot more fun.” The magazine also praises the South as “having a moment, praise Jesus” spotlighting the region’s “serious cooking and timeless hospitality.”
Esquire applauded The Southern’s standout hospitality designating Kendall Morales, the restaurant’s lead hostess and manager, as Hostess of the Year. Of the honor, Kendall Morales said, “This is really exciting time for The Southern. We work hard to provide the very best in customer service and delicious food, all wrapped up in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. I’m so proud and happy to be a part of it, and I’m thrilled Esquire has honored us in this way.”
Located on the ground floor of the Pinnacle building in the burgeoning SoBro district of downtown Nashville, The Southern Steak & Oyster opened in April 2012. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as weekend brunch, the restaurant transports patrons “South of Somewhere” featuring time-honored dishes from all over the world with a Southern sensibility.