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Revival: The tour

Chasing the "authenticity" of classic American food is a fool's errand, especially when it comes to home cooking. But whether you grew up on Southern home cooking like chef Thomas Boemer did or if this is your very first taste, know this: You can feel reasonably assured that the cooking at Revival is what Southern food is supposed to taste like. Southerners regularly tell Boemer and co-owner Nick Rancone that they feel like they've just walked through a portal in time and space. The proof is in the gloss of the bechamel on the mac and cheese, the flavor coaxed out of the collards even though they're vegetarian, the skillful crust on hefty hush puppies that crack to reveal pillowy steam and corn fluff. And of course, it's in the buttermilk-and-flour-battered, simple but ethereal chicken, which comes in four preparations — Southern fried, gluten free, Tennessee hot, and "Poultrygeist" with ghost chiles.