Best New Restaurants 2015: Georgia Reese’s
Tucked into a strip mall off of 86th Street and Michigan Road, Georgia Reese’s doesn’t pretend it’s pushing the envelope. Former Colts linebacker and owner Gary Brackett and chef Bridget Brown instead simply focus on what they know best: soul food that families can relish around the dinner table. The menu emphasizes traditional comfort fare with a playful Southern twang, like a shareable plate of rib tips basted in a tangy orange–Coca-Cola sauce. Sandwich options range from Cajun-style po’ boys to the Big 58 (a nod to Brackett’s jersey number), a beef patty with bacon, pimiento cheese, spicy mayo, lettuce, tomato, and an over-easy egg. Well-charred St. Louis–style ribs and a bone-in pork chop swiped with peach-barbecue glaze stand as safe bets, but don’t be afraid to try riskier dishes like an inventive take on pork and beans cooked with pig’s feet and pork belly. During Sunday brunch, gospel music hums in the background as dolled-up church ladies flock to the buffet for a slice of cream cheese–stuffed French toast and another piece of fried chicken. Brown serves up some of the best fried poultry in town: hulking, plump pieces under a light, peppery skin that lends just enough crunch. Bless her heart.
Concept: Southern swank
Seats: 175 inside
Owners: Gary Brackett and Jeff Smith
Chef: Bridget Brown
Pedigree: Brackett owns six Stacked Pickle sports bars. Smith is a former partner at Harry and Izzy’s. Brown is the former owner of New Orleans on the Avenue.
Try it if you like: Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles
Check It Out: 3454 W. 86th St., 876-3454, georgiareeses.com