The first time I heard of Anson Mills was at Green Zebra with my friend Kelly. We had ordered an entrée and it came with Anson Mills Grits. Now, having lived in the Florida which is considered the “south” for most my life, grits was a pretty common thing. Although, I had tried them on several occasions, unless they were doused in butter, I didn’t get it. That was until Anson Mills. So what makes them different? First and foremost, quality. Anson Mills grits are grown from organic heirloom grains. This is small yield corn of the very best. I took the following quote from their website.
“A handful of ingredient-conscious chefs across the country–Thomas Keller in California, Charlie Trotter in Chicago, Tom Colicchio in Manhattan, Ann Cashon in Washington DC, and Jodi Adams in Boston–began to use Anson Mills products and promote them vigorously to their colleagues. The circle widened.”
And now for the second time in Chicago I have seen Anson Mills Grits on a menu. This weekend brought me to Kith and Kin. A restaurant that has only been opened for two months but generating a lot of noise in the foodie world. I don’t think I read one bad review about this place. The chef used to work at The French Laundry and took the name Kith and Kin from a line in Christmas Vacation from Clark Griswold. Between the wonderful food reviews, his culinary background and the correlation to one of my favorite movies, Kith and Kin…how could I not go??
You walk in, the place is really cozy. Fireplace going, clean, waiters on their A-game. Have you ever walked into a place and the energy just fells good? Well this was tonight. And staring at me on the menu was Shrimp and Grits..Anson Mills style. I was so torn between that and the wild mushroom ragout with hand cut pappardelle. But alas, I let the wine decide. On the menu was Walter Hansel Sauvignon Blanc from the Russian River Valley in California.
Side bar note…I had an OCD thing going awhile back and went to Russian River Valley for 5 years in a row on my spring back and drank wine for the whole week I was off. Who the hell was Walter Hansel? Well, obviously I had missed one. This guy’s wine rocks! Decision made- shrimp/grits with Walter.
The grits were sitting in a smoked shrimp broth, topped with perfectly seared shrimp, and collard greens cooked to perfection. The menu starts off with crocks, such as eggplant, spinach, and pate’. Then a few salads, sandwiches, pasta, seafood and meats are on the menu for entrees. And some of their sides are Anson Mills grits (if you don’t get the entrée), Anson Mills risotto, onion rings, and poutine with cheese curds.
The prices are really reasonable and plan on coming back to sample some other things on their menu. p.s. Dad they have a beer battered grouper check sandwich.
Anson Mills has a recipe for Shrimp & Grits here. And Laura if you are out there reading, please oh please give up the recipe for your shrimp and grits! I was lucky enough to have shrimp and grits TWICE as Chez Laura’s home!