Luella’s Gospel Bird
Just when you think there’s nothing left to do to fried chicken, Darnell Reed comes along and beckons us down a saucy new path. The restaurant’s eponymous dish earns its praise thanks to a postfryer coating of Creole seasonings, melted butter, and Crystal hot sauce, its garlicky heat gaining a foothold in every crag of the chicken’s crust. Much like at his first restaurant, Luella’s Southern Kitchen, Reed finds resonance in his grandmother’s classic cooking: an ambrosia salad flecked with goat cheese crumbles and kale, say, or yams practically caramelized in maple syrup. It’s a completely modern nostalgia trip.