Small Bite: Darryls Corner Bar and Kitchen
When Darryl Settles shuttered Bob’s Southern Bistro in 2007, we mourned the loss of its down-home comfort food, gospel brunch, and rare ability to draw crowds both black and white, town and gown. Two tonier restaurants, Circle and Stork Club, subsequently tried to bring a generic South End gloss to the spot, but the city shook them off.
Now Settles is back in his old space, this time with Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen. The room, with sleek banquettes and a glossy bar — remnants of the previous makeovers — looks more polished now. But Darryl’s plays to its history with jazz-themed art and live music throughout the week. The affordable menu — all entrées are under $24 — includes jambalaya (below) and fried catfish fingers alongside an obligatory sirloin and stuffed chicken. But thanks to consulting chef Tim Partridge, there are flourishes. Partridge has cooked at East Coast Grill and Atlantic Fish, and the seafood here shines, particularly the glorious shrimp étouffée and a corn and haddock chowder.
Darryl’s is a happy, welcoming place, but it would do well to organize the menu more tightly around the southern-fusion fare it does best. (Additions like barbecued ribs and collard greens are in the works.) As we enter a long winter, that kind of warmth is what the city will crave.
604 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-536-1100, darrylscornerbarboston.com.