Named for the women’s clubs that hosted bake sales and threw fancy galas to raise money for Confederate warships, the restaurant moniker sounds cool but recalls a painful time in United States history. Owner Amal Flores decorated the former art gallery with rich walnut walls and marble table tops for his short-lived Flores restaurant that opened in June of 2013. When the new Southern food concept restaurant sprang to life in spring of 2014, Flores retained the name of the original restaurant and added the reference to Civil War history for a whimsical, although wordy name.
Plates are served family style and sharing is encouraged, although portion sizes vary between dishes. Favorites include the pan fried trout, a crisp-skinned, deboned and flaky whole fish served with corn and toasted hazelnuts. Rabbit is not universally eaten in the South, but Flores’ braised rabbit and house-made pappardelle converts non-game eaters to devotees. Diners new to Southern food should taste the early bird special of fried chicken, with tender meat and crisp peppery skin. The early bird meal price includes a craft beer.
When they have them, gingerbread donuts served with a vanilla-infused pear caramel sauce are fan favorites. The traditional sweet potato pie with marshmallow sauce is always a good bet to finish the meal. A wide variety of red and white wines and draught beers complement the food’s vibrant flavors.
The spacious restaurant is a great place for every party size. Guests may take a seat around a marble-topped communal donut-shaped table or bring a group to squeeze into spacious and comfy booths. More intimate seating is found on the pleasant outdoor patio which features a giant birdcage fire pit. The dog-friendly patio welcomes furry friends through their own doggy entrance and provides tethers at each table.
Southern food fans who find themselves on Sawtelle should head to Flores and the Ladies’ Gunboat Society, home of elegant dining and fine Southern food.