First Bite: Kevin Sbraga’s The Fat Ham

Last night we stopped by a little preview at The Fat Ham, Kevin Sbraga’s upcoming, casual, Southern-inspired spot in the former Tria Wine Room space at the Left Bank building. While the space itself still has a way to go before the projected November opening, the inspiration for the food is definitely there. Creamed corn with chive oil, grilled shrimp with pepper sauce, and the definite star: country ham fritters with buttermilk ranch dipping sauce. Imagine the delectable crunch of Noord’s bitterballen, but with a molten center of béchamel and cubed Virginia ham. Also: buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.

Rather than trying to avoid offering increasingly cliched upscale comfort food, Sbraga is embracing it. There will be fried chicken on this menu, to be sure, but there will also be dishes like boiled peanut hummus and plenty more inspired by the two week research trip that Sbraga and his team made to some of the greatest places for Southern eating. From Atlanta to Charleston and New Orleans to Nashville, they drove and ate and collected ideas, paying visits to lauded restaurants and homespun eateries alike.

If the suckling pig (with pickles, honey mustard and white bread) at last night’s event was any indication, Sbraga knows when something is worth going back for another taste.

Check out the proof: