Local Love Affair: Jen Cohen’s Crush on Southern Cross Kitchen

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re asking food-loving locals to reveal their restaurant crush. What local culinary hot spot do they go crazy over? Find out below!

Local in Question: Jen Cohen of Lafayette Hill

Reveal your Local Restaurant Crush: Southern Cross Kitchen

Pinpoint the exact moment that you fell in love: “When you see the Southern Cross for the first time, you understand why you came this way”… 

Honestly, they had me from the get go. Naming a new restaurant after a popular, relaxing yet moving song was, well, basically genius.

Was it love over first bite or sip? Let me preface that when we first walked in, the owner Kim Strengari proudly gave us (and all diners) an immediate tour of the brand new locale. Two floors, two beautiful wooden bars, décor in warm tones and hints of southern accents abound. I was already relaxed when we settled in at the bar on the second floor to have a drink while we waited for our friends to arrive. The wine list was extensive and I selected an oaky full bodied chardonnay to kick off my night here. Our friends arrived and we were seated in a table on the second floor. Both levels offer a slightly different atmosphere. The southern charm and quaintness of the second floor was perfect for a night with friends.

If I could share this obsession with any local, and were to suggest a menu, it would shape up to look something like this: Fried pickles with green goddess dressing, calamari with special dipping sauces, salad, fried chicken, a fish special of some kind such as salmon, sides of mac and cheese and Brussels sprouts with pancetta. For dessert, it would have to end with the chocolate chip cookie pie and also the decadent peanut butter pie. Oh and I almost forgot about the warm rolls directly out of the oven. OH MY.

What has me under their spell? I truly believe that Southern Cross is a different and unique concept, totally new to all of us around here. It has a very special feel. I can’t think of any other place that offers this kind of dining experience. Live music adds to the appeal as well. An acoustic guitar player is there a few nights a week to accompany your meal as an added bonus. I considered walking home after all of this food but my husband wouldn’t allow it. I was full, happy and had just spent a night at my new favorite restaurant. I knew I would be going back, soon. And we did, on New Year’s Eve, and I brought 12 friends! And just like the song… ”it’s a big as the promise, the promise of the comin’ day.”

To jump-start your own love affair, find Southern Cross Kitchen at 8 E. 1st Ave. in Conshohocken, or online at southerncrosskitchen.com.

Photographs credited to Dallyn Pavey.