If you’re jonesing for some down-home cooking — think biscuits, chicken ‘n’ waffles, and shrimp ‘n’ grits with cheesy white cheddar and jalapeño — you’re going to find your happy place at the newest restaurant to hit Clematis Street.
Meet Batch New Southern Kitchen & Tap, a surprisingly harmonious marriage of traditional Southern cooking and new-style twists. Think modern creative cuisine meets Prohibition-era South and you’ll have an idea of the kinds of dishes and drinks you’ll find at Batch. But no matter how well you understand the farm-to-table concept of the cuisine, it’s no match for experiencing the restaurant with all five of your senses — especially taste. The homey soul food at Batch arrives to your table like a warm hug, and there’s nothing else like it in West Palm Beach.
Every element of the cocktail program at this restaurant (the second Batch concept in Palm Beach County), has been painstakingly considered and thoughtfully brought to fruition. In fact, there’s a designated Batcher whose sole responsibility is to overlook the cocktail creation process and batch the drinks on a careful timeline of infusing, aging, steeping, mixing, and marrying. The pecan whisky ages for weeks before being poured; a hint of wintergreen extract finishes off the house made root beer, cleaning up what’s often a sugary, heavy flavor weighing down the fizzy soda. Many cocktails are served on tap.
Even the tonic that goes into the best-selling House-Made Gin & Tonic is slowly crafted from 16 different spices, fruits, and herbs before ever making it to your iced-down glass. There’s juniper berries, coriander, and an aromatic medley of magical ingredients that results in perhaps the best gin and tonic I’ve ever had the pleasure of sipping.
Most of the elements of the cocktails are made in-house, as well as the root beer and ginger beer. What isn’t handmade by Batch New Southern Kitchen & Tap for both cocktails and food is sourced from local makers, including Prescribed (a local gin company), Pumphouse Coffee Roasters, Swank Farms, BeeMade Honey, and more. Batch is so dedicated to the importance of sourcing local that every Tuesday, staff are invited and encouraged to attend “continued education” field trips to the local establishments, from breweries to bee farms, that Batch partners with.
Lucky for its patrons, Batch’s house-made approach extends to the food, too. The chef at Batch couldn’t find an ice cream that met his standards, so he decided to make his own. (The same thing happened with cheese.) What this produces is flavor-rich, smile-inducing dishes that are (almost) as good as what Mama used to make.
Sophi Garfinkle, Food and Beverage Manager, says that every dish has proven to be equally popular with the West Palm Beach crowd, but she has a soft spot for the Southern Snapper, which is served atop a crispy grit cake with a spoonful of maque choux to top it all off. My husband couldn’t resist the Mac Attack, a gourmet macaroni-and-cheese dish served in a cast-iron baking dish: it comes with smoked cheddar, gouda, and Frito dust, but from there you can customize it with add-ins like fried chicken, whisky-caramelized onions, pecanwood-smoked bacon, and even jackfruit, if you dare.
Looking for the traditional favorites? Try the Low Country Boil or the Chicken Pot Pie. And don’t forget an order of the Cathead Biscuits to whet your appetite; they’re served in a small cast-iron skillet and joined by condiments like chili-thyme honey, seasonal local jam, and bourbon-maple butter. The deviled eggs are another great choice for pre-gaming your main course: they’re made with crème fraîche, chives, candied bacon, and whole grain mustard.
If you’re a vegetarian, you can still come to Batch New Southern Kitchen & Tap to indulge; there’s an entire “Grass Fed” section for vegetarians and vegans to enjoy, with items like a BBQ jackfruit “pulled pork” sandwich, a plant-based burger, and a vegetable pot pie.
Between the warm Southern hospitality and the creative soul food made to order, it’s safe to say I might just become a regular.
Batch New Southern Kitchen & Tap is located at 223 Clematis Street. Call (561) 708-0000 to make a reservation or check batchsouthernkitchen.com for their latest offers and deals. Monday through Friday, the restaurant opens at 4PM and weekends at 10am.
Batch New Southern Kitchen & Tap on Clematis Street