Over a year ago, Damien Del Rio went on a road trip through the South with his business partners. They headed down to New Orleans from Brooklyn, and went through the low country of the Carolinas and Georgia, stopping in Alabama and Mississippi before they arrived in New Orleans five days later. During their journey they stopped at just about every kind of restaurant you can imagine — gas stations, diners, shacks, fine dining restaurants — and the idea for their new Williamsburg eatery Loosie’s Kitchen, which serves up “low country grub with a N’awlins drawl.”
The menu was drawn from the rich tapestry that makes up the South. “The menu and Loosie Rouge were born out of a love affair with the south and particularly New Orleans.” says Del Rio.”And culturally speaking there are strong parallels between New Orleans and New York. There is what we know as Creole, that blends French, African, Spanish, Native American, German, Italian, and Irish. Then the influences that came with the Chinese that were there in the nineteenth century to build the railroad, to Vietnamese that came over in the 70’s after the war. Our menu literally draws from all these influences. Take for instance our ribs and grits, it’s a Vietnamese-style braised ribs with cheesy grits that will blow your mind.
The restaurant, which is drenched with Modernist decor, offers everything from Oysters Bloomberg, a take on Oysters Rockefeller, a fried shrimp ‘po boy, pastrami carpaccio and blackened catfish. Del Rio encourages diners to try the fried chicken. “No matter how many times a week I eat at my restaurant, and how many new things I have to try because the kitchen is putting out some specials that may some day make it onto the menu, I order that fried chicken and cornbread every single time,” he says. “That and Loosie’s Slaw is the perfect combo.“
Once you’re done dining at Loosie’s just head next door to Loosie Rouge, the sister cocktail bar of Loosie’s Kitchen, that is brewing up one of the coolest scenes in Williamsburg. If you’re not going to be anywhere near Williamsburg soon, try their fried chicken at home:
Loosie‘s Kitchen Fried Chicken
Serves 10 people
5 pounds boneless chicken thighs, cut in half
3 cups buttermilk
2 Tbsp trappey’s hot sauce
1 tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 ½ Tbsp black pepper
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
⅛ tsp salt
Assemble marinade ingredients in a deep bowl and whisk. Add chicken thighs and marinate for 6 – 8 hours of overnight.
Remove from marinade and shake off any excess. place on paper towel lines baking sheets.
Beat eggs with some water in a large bowl. Mix flour and salt in another bowl.
Put chicken in egg mixture and then flour mixture and place gently into fryer. Do not overcrowd the fryer. Remove after 7 -8 minutes, depending on size of the thighs.
If using a cast iron pan, flip chicken after 4 minutes and cook for another 4 minutes.
Place on a rack to rest for 3 minutes.
Serve with hot sauce and biscuit.
For more information, visit loosieskitchen.com.
Photo Credit: Oleg March