Charlotte Magazine – March 2008

Photo by Charlotte Magazine

New South, formerly Dakotas, is a recently retooled restaurant in the Arboretum shopping center. Owners Chris and Sue Edwards decided to scotch the Dakotas concept because they “were tired of being a special occasion restaurant.” So they brightened up the place with a vibrant color palette, added a bunch of menu items, booked some bands, and opened last summer as New South Kitchen and Bar. Along with the bright yellows, oranges, and blues, they have also turned up the lights—now you’re able to see in from the outside. The result is a more welcoming façade, complete with café tables out front. Their goal is to provide progressive Southern cooking in a more casual and upbeat establishment that diners will frequent more often. If the packed dining room on several visits is any indication, it appears that they have succeeded.  Read more >>

Charlotte Weekly – 2007 Top 10

Big, bold flavors on the menu at New South Kitchen mark the contemporary Southern style of chef-owner Chris Edwards. The concept is a blend of old and new, of contemporary style and classic Southern ingredients. Formerly Dakota’s, the restaurant recently underwent décor and menu changes. Casual dining, a late-night menu, entertainment and weekly wine tastings team to make this place something special.  Read more >>

Creative Loafing – Review Feb 2008

Photo by the Charlotte Observer

Back down South
The Edwards come home to Southern roots
by Tricia Childress

…what is New South? Old South cuisine was hard enough to define with non-Southern food writers lumping Cajun, Low Country, and Floribbean into the same pot. Is New South just cooking healthier? Collards without the fatback? Or is a new spin on regional comfort foods?

The Edwards reinvention takes the idea of the Old South meat and three (a protein and three sides) and spins it into a New South of small plates. Sue Edwards says that while her husband has always “been doing Southern food” they wanted to offer a bigger menu with the popular smaller-plate option.

Charlotte Observer – Review Jan 2008

Photo by the Charlotte Observer

January 25, 2008 – The Charlotte Observer – Helen Schwab
You could think chef-owner Chris Edwards is prescient, the way he’s timed the revision of his menu to this week’s global stock market tremors.
But then you’d look again and note that foie gras is still there. And that among the entrees — now accompanied by three sides, rather than costing extra — there are both classic comforts like meatloaf and contemporary creations like tilapia with lump crab.

Edwards’ place at the Arboretum, New South, is a reconception of Dakotas, the heartland-food place he and Sue, his wife, opened in ’98. A physical renovation cracked it open into a more airy, light and colorful space, with digitized and colorized old family photos and framed cooking implements and a central bar displaying bottles cleverly. The first menu redesign split offerings into somewhat-Seuss-sounding plates (small plates, cheese plates, side plates, green plates). This week’s menu shift modifies the “big plates,” which had been a la carte, to include choice of three sides: a New South meat-and-three, if you will. Read more >>