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Screen Door Eclectifies Southern Comfort

Screen Door's chef David McMillan presents a new twists on Southern dishes, or Southern twists on old dishes, perhaps.
Screen Door's chef David McMillan presents a new twists on Southern dishes, or Southern twists on old dishes, perhaps.
Kristy Yang

Eclectic, per Merriam-Webster: Composed of elements drawn from various sources.

At a menu-revamp unveiling last night, that is the word Screen Door's chef David McMillan used to describe the direction in which he was taking the restaurant.

Steering an upscale Southern comfort menu into a globally influenced path may sound potentially catastrophic, but as creative as all the new dishes are, none seem contrived or unauthentic, a credit to McMillan's years studying and cooking around the globe.

The new dishes all have a rather cheeky quality to them. A cast-iron skillet spaetzel and rabbit dish is a fun twist on chicken and dumplings. Bison tartare with an uncooked quail egg is a lighter version of its cousin, steak and eggs. Sweetbreads on hominy flan is not only a nod to shrimp and grits, but it might also turn the most squeamish of eaters into fans of thymus gland. Fried in a combo of lard and duck fat, it's the sweetbreads for people who didn't think they would ever like sweetbreads.

The best surprise on the menu is an unassuming enough guise à la a hummus. Chef McMillan turns this overexposed dish into Southern fare by sneakily substituting boiled peanuts for the traditional garbanzo bean. The result is deceiving and easily mistakable for the original.

Screen Door is deliberate in endeavoring to diversify the menu, but they're doing it one playful dish at a time.

Follow City of Ate on Twitter: @cityofate.
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