I finally made it back to Peaches Hothouse after my First Look last month. Tammi and I met up there after work the other day and decided to see how the restaurant is coming along and finally find out what this Nashville-style fried chicken is all about.
The dining area is smaller and thus a bit more tight than Peaches or Smoke Joint. In my conversations with owner, Craig Samuels, that seems to be more of the point of Hothouse, a small southern bistro with a varying menu of interesting foods.
The space, a work in progress during the soft opening, seems to have gotten many of the finishing touches taken care of.
Sadly, one of the touches that hasn't been completed is the liquor license. Despite the tantalizing bar, the SLA still hasn't come through with the goods, so it's byob for the moment.
In our regular visits to Peaches, I've talked to Craig a lot about the business, the industry and the neighborhood. He's told me a bit about what's going on in the kitchen, it all sounds pretty interesting. They've got a smoker in there and are starting to work on their own sausages and doing prep for the other restaurants. I'm hoping to get a chance to go in and photograph them at some point.
In the meantime, he gave us a few samples of the menu while we waited for the chicken to come out. See the food after the jump.
We started with the rice bowl topped with crab meat, which may have been my favorite of these snacks. The rice was thick and wet, almost like a risotto, and the chunks of crab were generous.
The fried green tomatoes had a crisp cornmeal coating and was topped with a fantastically smoky bacon.
That same cornmeal coating wrapped cubes of what seemed to be polenta that came iwth the barbecue shrimp.
The snacks were all fun and welcome and might inspire future meals, but given all I'd heard about the chicken, that was the main event.
When it showed up, we were both immediately shocked at the size. They're monstrous. Even after the thick layer of pure crunch, these pieces were huge. Each order came with what seemed to be three gigantic chicken quarters hidden beneath layer upon layer of crackly breading.
Tammi had the mild version, while I braved the hotness that this hothouse was named for. Both had that magnificent crunch, but mine was seasoned with who knows how many spices and chilies. It left me sweating after just a couple bites.
I usually ignore cold sides like slaw or macaroni salad, but I absolutely that cool mayo-laden pasta on the side that soothed my aching tongue.
We were both happily stuffed well before we could tackle our servings of chicken, so we walked out with a full order between the two of us to take home and enjoy later.
Hothouse just started brunch service last weekend. With the weather warming up, I know we'll be spending more than a few Sunday mornings riding down to check it out.
Peaches Hothouse, 415 Tompkins Avenue, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 718.483.9111