Try This: 4 New Southern Twists on Seafood Favorites

Our owner has a thing for the South, and it shows in not only our Southern hospitality, but also many of our dishes, right down to Ann Kolenick’s bourbon pecan pie. 

Ann collaborates with our chef to take the Southern influence to the next level. Sure, our shrimp and grits dish is a perennial favorite (with its own new take — think local mushrooms!), yet we pride ourselves on the unexpected. Check out these four dishes that put the twist in tasty. Remember, our menus change seasonally, but you’ll always find mouthwatering options to enjoy. It’s our promise!

Painstakingly selected and expertly seared ahi is plated with heirloom tomatoes, avocado and spring mix on a cilantro lime vinaigrette. Tomatoes became somewhat synonymous to the South thanks to the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, and although ours are not fried on this dish, they are heirloom. Heirlooms are special because they’re non-hybrid, and are usually passed down for generations so they produce similar tomatoes each year. Although the exact age varies, heirloom seeds should be at least 25 years old. We love to cultivate them in our rooftop garden when the weather is willing.

The scallop is our favorite seafood, and often shows up on our specials. This twist includes gently seared diver scallops, sundried tomato risotto, sautéed spinach, roasted pepper coulis and crispy spinach. The flavor combination of the sun-dried tomatoes and roasted pepper is reminiscent of Southern summer nights when gardens are overflowing. Why use diver scallops, you ask? They’re the real deal, hand-harvested from the ocean floor by professional fishermen who also are licensed scuba divers. 

Truth be told, crab and shrimp are our next favorite seafood choices! They remind us of pulling crab pots from the oceans and bays, and shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico. This version pairs lump crab and shrimp baked in puff pastry atop garlic mornay sauce with roasted fingerling potatoes and vegetable du jour sides. Despite the rich ingredients, it’s still an amazingly light dish that will leave you room for dessert.

Our lunch menu boasts some Southern spirit, too, especially this Creole-inspired entree. We sauté mussels, clams, crawfish and andouille sausage in a light garlic marinara and add garlic crostini. Creole flavors are unmistakably Southern, as they’ve been handed down by Louisiana families to reflect tastes that are French, Spanish, West African, Amerindian, Haitian, German, British, Vietnamese, and even Italian. While the stars of our show are the mussels and clams, the crawfish and andouille sausage are the “secret sauce” that brings the Creole.

Looking for approachable Southern-inspired cuisine? We hope to see you at The Gables at Chadds Ford for happy hour, brunch, at the bar (which also means chilling by the fire pits in warm weather), the patio (full menu available!) or at any of our cozy tables.

The Gables at Chadds Ford is nestled in the heart of the historic Brandywine Valley. Our combination of fresh seasonal cuisine, rustic yet elegant charm and enchanting outdoor dining (in season) will keep you coming back, time and time again. The Gables is also the perfect venue to host your next special event, whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, baby shower or corporate event.

Nina Malone

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