Of all the restaurants in Greenville, SC, few capture the heart and spirit of this city as well as Soby’s New South Cuisine. Soby’s takes the traditional tastes and flavors that are so essential to southern culture and infuses them with a modern sensibility combined of international influences and the fresh, forward-thinking perspective that is unique to the Upstate.
The backdrop at Soby’s features plenty of open space with high ceilings and central piping that is effortlessly urban, not viciously urbane. The revealed architecture of rich wood and exposed brick nods to an industrial past inseparable from neither the building nor modern Greenville. In previous incarnations, the premises had served as a cotton exchange during the peak of the textile industry, then as the storefront for a handful of retail and grocery shops, each of which fit its place for its time. I point this out because the restaurant’s atmosphere encapsulates so well what is best about our region as we emerge from a long, complicated past into a new and very different present.
The menu magnifies this motif even further, reading like the gastronomic version of some 21st century Southern Gothic novel. The names and descriptions of a couple dinner entrees speak for themselves:
Soby’s Meatloaf with Maple Creole Mustard Glaze – freshly ground beef, exotic mushrooms, mashed potatoes, butternut squash succotash, veal jus
Blackened Tofu – tempura vegetables, Anson Mills farro, blood orange vinaigrette
The dessert menu is even more coquettishly upsetting, and the wine list at Soby’s New South Cuisine features a selection from a 5000+ bottle cellar that has earned them annual Award for Excellence from Wine Spectator for over a decade.
Dinner entrees hover in the mid $20s, and it’s easier to imagine earlier generations of Greenvillians pulling up a chair at Duke Sandwich Company than waxing moonstruck over Soby’s particluarly nuanced interpretation of fried green tomatoes. Still, this is a Greenville restaurant to the core, and it is staffed by a team is just as friendly and approachable as its menu. If you have questions about a selection, ask.
For vegans, vegetarians and others with dietary restrictions who have concerns with the menu, Soby’s boasts on their website that they are happy to provide such guests with the same quality dishes that meet an individual’s needs with a little advance notice.