2014 Best New Restaurants: #9 Cinco Y Diez
What To Order: Grilled Chesapeake Oysters with mezcal lime butter, and the Red Chile Pozole.
Southern food encapsulates so many variations—Appalachian, Gulf, Lowcountry, Cajun—and demonstrates the unique culture and character of the region. Influences from France to the Caribbean to western Africa have long informed how we eat. Today, it’s the ways of Vietnam and Latin America that are most shaping the modern South. At Cinco y Diez, chef/owner Hugh Acheson, an outspoken proponent of the all-inclusive table, highlights the vibrant traditions of the Latin community through a soft-focus Southern lens. And executive chef Whitney Otawka transforms the Southern pantry into a fiery amalgamation of cross-cultural flavors. The frothy horchata highlights heirloom rice from South Carolina’s Anson Mills. Oysters from the Chesapeake waters sizzle with a tangy mezcal lime butter. With the pozole, chunks of silken pork bathe in a smoky red chile broth with Anson Mills hominy, escarole, and fresh radish slices. This restaurant serves up a thoughtful—and delicious—reflection of the South today.
1653 South Lumpkin Street; cincoydiezathens.com