Paul Fehribach has always pushed the envelope when it comes to introducing interesting coastal Southern dishes to Chicago, and now the Big Jones chef/owner has taken things to the next level with the launch of a new format menu. Fehribach recently unearthed some historic recipes from his vintage cookbooks for the new menu and really goes deep into dishes popular in the South going back even to the 1700s.
Some of the items, like the red beans and rice circa 1885 that features pickled pork shank, smoked jowl, voodoo greens and Arkansas aromatic rice, actually have the date stamped on the menu. Other historic dishes include Ponchatrain lump crab cakes with Louis dressing and butter lettuce culled from a Creole recipe around 1885; chicken and dumplings with celery root and heirloom baby carrots from 1880; and the Reezy-Peezy, an "old-time Gullah dish" with wood-grilled veggies, heirloom Sea Island red pea gravy and laurel-aged Charleston Gold rice cake that comes from a recipe circa 1730.
Fehribach also has the Boarding House lunch, a family-style meal from around 1933. At $16 a person (or $1 per year for kids under 12), it's quite a feast: biscuits and cornbread, fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gumbo gravy, voodoo greens, Sea Island red beans & rice and heirloom apple pie and ice cream for dessert.
Think it sounds good? Wait till you see the rest of the menu...