Light Bistro chef and owner Matt Mathlage, along with business partner Eric Dietrich, will open a second restaurant in Hudson. Called Peachtree Southern Kitchen, the restaurant will take over the Old Whedon Grille (200 North Main St.) space that has been vacant since it closed last year. Ironically, Mathlage was that restaurant's chef de cuisine when it originally opened.
"I've always wanted to do a Southern restaurant," says Mathlage. "Like ever chef, I have 15,000 concepts I'd love to execute, but this is the one that's closest to my heart. It's what I grew up eating, and what I eat whenever I can."
The restaurant will be upscale but family friendly, says the chef, and will feature classic Southern dishes from the Low Country.
"The menu will run the gamut of what you think of when you think Southern food," he says. "There will be straightforward classics, but I'll also put my spin on things."
His "spin" on fried chicken involves a three-day process that includes brining and confiting the bird before breading and frying it in lard. Other menu items will include smoked prime rib, pulled pork, shrimp and grits, and a supporting cast of classic sides like Southern-style green beans, collard greens, and corn bread. Sweets fans will end their meals with pies, cobblers and tarts.
Of course, there will be plenty of bourbon, too.
A four-season expansion onto the patio space will double seating from 45 to 90, says Mathlage, adding that he intends to be open well before the end of the year.