London via Brandon
Expats living in London with a craving for a good helping of Southern grits, fried chicken, cornbread, and even American football are only a tube ride away from satisfaction. Located just north of Marble Arch in Marylebone, Mississippian (Yazoo City to be exact) Brad McDonald is introducing Brits to a delicious helping of Deep South fare.
McDonald got his start under Oxford's John Currence before heading to New York and then on to London, where he landed at The Lockhart, named after a small Texas town famous for barbecue. "We came to London after losing our restaurant in Brooklyn to Hurricane Sandy," says McDonald of his and his wife Molly's journey across the pond. "An opportunity presented itself, and we decided that it sounded like fun. It was, so we stayed." While in New York, McDonald served time in the kitchens of Ducasse, Noma, and Per Se before opening his own restaurant, Governor, in Brooklyn.
The decor of The Lockhart is unassuming, with exposed brick walls, handmade farm tables, simple fixtures, and an open kitchen. All very Southern, yet at the same time it's unexplainably chic. While the locals clamber for his amazing fried chicken, this menu offers so much more. "The menu is comprised of refined versions of classic Southern dishes," says McDonald. During lunch, try everything from shrimp and grits to a muffuletta or smoked pork belly with buttermilk-braised cabbage and a barbecue reduction. As night falls, additional items such as seared venison loin with pumpkin puree and red-eye gravy, a 60-day-aged ribeye steak and coleslaw with a barbecue reduction (big enough to serve two), and pan-seared filet of cod with potato salad and tartar sauce appear in its offerings. And, of course, you can order sides of collard greens, cheddar grits, coleslaw, and cornbread that is baked to order and arrives in a cast-iron skillet, anytime.
Any true Southern boy can't have a restaurant without having a brunch menu. The brunch menu isn't large, but it's full of everything a Southerner would hope to find. Buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy, fried chicken and waffles, and house-cured and candied pork jowl bacon with scrambled eggs are just some of the amazing menu items that can be enjoyed on Sundays.
As the only American-owned and-operated restaurant in London, it's no surprise that during football season NFL fans can root for their favorite teams, with a special menu to boot. Every Sunday it's "Game Time," and NFL games are broadcast in the bar. Those ready to enjoy the games can order everything from buttered popcorn and salt and vinegar crisp to catfish goujons along with bigger selections of a smoked turkey sandwich (a blend of fruitwood-smoked turkey drumstick, picked and dressed with yellow mustard barbecue and spicy coleslaw) or barbecue short ribs (Jacob's ladder short rib, cured in the house barbecue sauce and coffee rub then smoked and dressed with a barbecue glaze reduction). "In a city with a lot of American restaurants, we are the only ones offering a true authentic American experience," states McDonald. "I hope our guests feel a true sense of Southern hospitality in the heart of London."
CRAWFISH DIP WITH CREAM CHEESE 1/2 cup butter 1 cup scallions, thinly sliced 1 yellow pepper, diced 1 red pepper, diced 1 green pepper, diced 1 stalk green celery, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup prepared crawfish tails 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning 1 (8-ounce) package Philadelphia cream cheese 2 dashes jalapeno Tabasco sauce Salt and black pepper to taste 1 large French loaf, sliced and toasted In a pan over medium heat, melt butter and sweat scallions, peppers, celery, and garlic until just translucent. Add crawfish and Creole seasoning. Melt in cream cheese and Tabasco, simmering for 2 to 3 minutes to allow flavors to come together. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve warm or cold with sliced French bread. Yield: 4 to 6 servings
22-24 Seymour Pl., London, England lockhartlondon.com
Open 12 to 2 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday for lunch; 6 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday for dinner; and 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday for brunch