If you haven’t been to SO Restaurant-Bar in a while, it’s time to make a special trip to Hillcrest. Spring marks Executive Chef Casey Copeland’s favorite season and he couldn’t be more excited. “I’m going to start getting a lot more in touch with my farmers, I use some right now, of course. I want to delve in even more, now that it’s springtime,” he says.
Get ready for a taste of everything from pork tenderloin to spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli. “I just stuck to my style on this,” he says. He worked extra hard to make sure he’s not representing one genre, although everything has a touch of Southern influence.
First up, try Copeland’s favorite dish – the Citrus Grilled Salmon. Grilled to perfection atop white beans and a smoky tomato broth, the dish is packed with flavor. Copeland says, “I started with the sauce first because I wanted a very strong base, I knew it was going to be my flavor component.” And since he smoked and roasted the tomatoes, you’re met with a bold flavor that mixes wonderfully with a perfectly charred, citrus-flavored salmon.
If you happened to be at SO’s New Year’s Eve celebration, you might have tried the Butter Sous Vide Lobster Tail. It’s back to stay, and you’re going to want to try some. Copeland says, “I tried to take simplistic approaches as much as I can, I don’t want to overwork a dish. There’s just so much that goes into it.” The dish comes with creamy risotto and grilled asparagus and speaks for itself as a savory treat.
You’ll also want to keep your eyes on the rotating Chef’s Special on the menu.
Copeland says, “A lot of places will run a high-end $50-60 special. I try not to do that. I try to give you something that would typically cost more money, but I do it at a lower price so you can venture out and try something new.”
Keep your eye on the kitchen. Copeland wants the culinary education he’s currently teaching to his young staff to stretch to the table where he can introduce patrons to new terminology and styles. He says, “I will start doing incorporating a little creativeness that people haven’t seen. I did bold flavors and was pretty simple at the beginning, because I just wanted to pack a bunch of flavor in. Now, I’m trying to use more terminology, different types of cooking techniques, ultimately to show people what we can produce.”