Beautiful, Bodacious Biscuits

High end restaurant chefs are discovering what southerners have known for generations. Everything tastes better on a biscuit.

The list of upscale restaurants with interesting biscuit dishes on the menu has dramatically increased over the past few years, from baskets of plain biscuits with housemade butter, jams and creamy spreads to multi-tiered biscuit-based entrees.

Richard Blais, television cooking personality, and his biscuits go way back.

“Biscuits are among only a few dishes that have stayed on the menu at Juniper & Ivy for its five-year run and I don’t think we would be able to take them off the menu if we wanted to,” said Blais. “It’s very cake-y and sweetly sour from lots of buttermilk, and soft texturally from the shortening and Lily White biscuit flour we use.”

Blais’ biscuits mimic the classic southern preparation, that ever so slight crunch on the outside and pillow soft on the inside. He serves a number of fun biscuit offerings at different restaurants.

“The Juniper & Ivy biscuit has smoked butter and served under a cloche, while at Crack Shack, our chicken and egg casual restaurant we serve flaky biscuits with miso maple butter,” said Blais. “And at Yellow Belly in St. Louis, we serve a “Sea-biscuit” with uni butter.”

Sweet or savory, here are 16 OpenTable restaurants serving up a bevy of brilliant biscuits.

Kitchen Notes at the Omni Nashville Hotel – Nashville, TN

If ever there were to be a biscuit smack down, Kitchen Notes’ in Nashville would take top honors. Some guests stay at the Omni Nashville just for the biscuit bar. It’s an overflowing smorgasbord of biscuit joy with homemade hot biscuits, every kind of jam and butter diners can conceive and special dishes highlighting the flaky staple, like fried chicken and even s’mores biscuits. They feature special biscuits throughout the seasons and on holidays.
Make a reservation at Kitchen Notes.

Stella San Jac – Austin, TX

The #16 Biscuits from Stella San Jac in Austin are named for the number of attempts it took the original chef before he was satisfied with the recipe. As if biscuit experts didn’t have enough reason to flock to Stella San Jac, bacon fat spooned over the biscuits and sprig of rosemary on the baking tray provide a unique flavor combination. So desired are the #16 biscuits, Stella San Jac has unveiled its biscuits-to-go program.
Make a reservation at Stella San Jac.

Tupelo Honey – Denver, CO

Tupelo Honey helped put biscuits back on the map when they spearheaded the groundswell that became a southern food revival nationwide. The now famous cathead biscuits available at each of the locations got the moniker for the sheer size of them, big as a cat’s head. Served with housemade blueberry compote and whipped butter, guests could make a meal out of one, but most can’t stop there.
Make a reservation at Tupelo Honey.

Lightkeepers at The Ritz-Carlton Key – Biscayne, Miami

A cool name and that Lightkeepers is located within the Ritz-Carlton Miami is a big draw for diners, but those in the know make reservations so they can get a plate of Keeper’s wife’s biscuits. Prepared with Keez Beez honey glaze and bacon essence, they serve these biscuits with a side of warm butter in a hot skillet. The savory-sweet combination is a must with cocktails.
Make a reservation at Lightkeepers.

Spring House – Winston-Salem, NC

In true southern fashion, one is just fine but four is better at Spring House. The bread service includes housemade biscuits, white chocolate brioche, and herb and sea salt focaccia – but it’s the four spreads and biscuits together that make diners go berserk for these fluffy morsels. The kitchen prepares homemade biscuits continuously throughout dinner service to serve with whipped goat cheese with leeks and smoked almonds, house pimento cheese, sundried tomato tapenade and lastly, bacon jam.
Make a reservation at Spring House.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Las Vegas, NV

Make room for Mama’s biscuits when you visit YardBird because there are several to choose from on the menu. Diners can pick from smoked brisket biscuits with pickled onion and cucumber and house-made barbecue sauce; biscuit and country gravy with bacon, crispy chicken thigh, American cheese and sunny-side up farm egg; crispy chicken biscuits with pepper jelly or classic buttermilk with honey butter and housemade jam.
Make a reservation at Yardbird.

Willa Jean – New Orleans, LA

It’s not hard to find biscuits in NoLa, but Willa Jean is special. It’s home to biscuit impresario Kelly Fields, who creates biscuit masterpieces with an entire section of the menu devoted to biscuits. They include Louisiana crawfish Benedict biscuit, biscuit and sausage gravy, and biscuits with Tabasco honey and fried chicken.
Make a reservation at Willa Jean.

Photo credit: Randy Schmidt

5Church – Atlanta, GA

The only thing better than a perfectly plain biscuit, is a biscuit with a little kick. The fried chicken biscuit at Atlanta’s 5Church is prepared with jalapeno and cheddar cheese, and served with scrambled eggs, fried chicken breast and gravy with a side of home fries.
Make a reservation at 5Church.

Cibolo Moon in the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa – San Antonio, TX

Every mess hall wort its salt in Texas has a biscuit on its menu, including the finery of skillet-baked buttermilk biscuits at Cibolo Moon. Paired with housemade strawberry jalapeño jelly, Cibolo Moon delivers a courtesy biscuit basket to gleeful diners before each meal.
Make a reservation at Cibolo Moon.

Marsh House – Nashville, TN

Tennessee is to biscuits what maple syrup is to Vermont. Secret recipes abound in Nashville. And at the scorching hot gathering spot Marsh House in The Gulch area’s Thompson Hotel, daily biscuits arrive at table with whipped butter and jam prepared in tune with the season.
Make a reservation at Marsh House.

Photo credit: Andrea Behrends

Juniper & Ivy – San Diego, CA

Juniper & Ivy is the left coast’s biscuit answer to home cooking with an upscale twist. In this Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego, the culinary team prepares housemade buttermilk biscuits brushed with butter, topped with smoked sea salt and served with strawberry jam – all underneath a dramatic smoker dome.
Make a reservation at Juniper & Ivy.

Secreto Southern Kitchen – Brookhaven, GA

Spicy jalapeño jam makes the southern fried chicken and buttermilk biscuit stand at attention at Secreto. Garnished with smoked bacon jalapeño gravy, a dollop of strawberry jam cuts the heat just enough to make it impossible to resist a second helping.
Make a reservation at Secreto.

Soby’s New South Cuisine – Greenville, South Carolina

Much of the credit for Greenville’s surge in trendy eateries goes to places like Soby’s New South Cuisine. Warm baskets of these little biscuit goodies include cheddar and garlic – but they are not rolled and cut biscuits. Soby’s prepares what’s known as drop biscuits, mixed in a bowl and dropped on a tray which makes them extra light and fluffy.
Make a reservation at Soby’s New South Cuisine.

Photo credit: Shaun Garcia

Olamaie – Austin, TX

Only a precious few dialed in diners get to sample this Austin gem’s VIP biscuits. By request only, Olamaie guests indulge in airy biscuits served with housemade honey butter. If you miss out on your first visit, go back – or worst case scenario, Olamaie allows diners to go online and order up to four dozen biscuits in advance. Ask which spreads are available for takeout orders and during the holidays.
Make a reservation at Olamaie.

Photo credit: Kate LeSueur

Compere Lapin – New Orleans, LA

Smiles all around are the norm at Compere Lapin in NoLa when Nina Compton throws a few chives in her buttermilk biscuits. One is never enough, so expect a serving of both honey butter, and, bacon butter with each biscuit.
Make a reservation at Compere Lapin.

Photo credit: Star Chefs