“We don’t claim to be super authentic,” says executive chef Konkoski. “We just wanted to do our own version of dishes with a great flavor base.”
Inside this rural-chic, 65-seat restaurant that’s as cozy as a family gathering, we don’t care who did it first when Soho does it best. Launching an all-encompassing Dixieland menu in 2011, a 2016 rebrand shrunk the menu to focus on crispy fried chicken and cocktails made from coveted bourbon and Tennessee whiskey brands such as Pappy Van Winkle and Michter’s.
The Mornin’ ($14 breast or thigh, $17 both) chicken and waffle is tweaked with a rosemary-infused waffle and Ohio maple syrup. The seemingly obvious Late Night ($14 breast or thigh, $17 both) — mac ’n’ cheese, collard greens, fried chicken — gets the Soho treatment with creamy smoked gouda in the mac and sweet, bacon-filled collards that cut the traditional bitterness. Even the chicken’s 24-hour brine is odd, gaining a sweet back note from rosemary garlic, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar.
“Last year was our busiest year we’ve had to date,” says Konkoski. “Now, you walk by and you know who we are and what we do well.”
Looking for a taste of the original menu? Opt for the deviled eggs ($6) — one of the menu’s more familiar approaches — until you get them “fancy” ($8) with caviar, smoked trout and dill. 1889 W. 25th St., Cleveland, 216-298-9090, sohocleveland.com