Dining Brief: Estelle’s in the South End
It’s been a busy year for Brian Poe. Last June the Rattlesnake chef opened the Tip Tap Room, a Beacon Hill hangout specializing in craft brews and gourmet steak tips. Then in December he opened Estelle’s, a warm, inviting South End spot that pays homage to his Macon, Georgia, roots. Here, Poe and his executive chef, Eric Gburski (an East Coast Grill alum), have kept the focus on southern-style comfort food with a gourmet touch. Crisp hush puppies ($6) get a kick from sweet-and-spicy orange-chili honey. Braised pork shank ($20) is paired with a tasso-ham-and-lemon relish and mashed sweet potatoes. And the buttery bread in the Monte Cristo “po’ boy” ($12) comes loaded with smoked turkey, ham, Gruyère, and red-onion jam. Some classics, though, beg not to be messed with—specifically, Poe’s buttermilk fried chicken ($18), a crunchy-on-the-outside, moist-on-the-inside masterpiece served with a molten crock of bacon mac ’n’ cheese. If any dish were to ruin our early-spring diets, this would be it.
782 Tremont St., Boston, 857-250-2999, estellesboston.com.