Cotton Southern Bistro

Cotton Southern Bistro in Virginia Beach

Anne Leonard

Fried green ‘maters and broccoli hollandaise are just a couple snippets from the kitchen of Cotton Southern Bistro. No longer confined to Chesapeake, the locally loved Southern fare is now up for grabs at Cotton’s second location, which opened in June in Virginia Beach's Hilltop. Their offerings boast being made from scratch with locally grown ingredients. Just imagine comfort food with fresh flare, and you're right at home in Cotton’s kitchen. 

Cotton Southern Bistro

Coffees ordered, the husband and I were ready to peruse the breakfast menu. Sunday's special was a beer battered fish fry and fries for $10.99, but after much thoughtful drooling, I went for my favorite breakfast item, the Eggs Benedict. I was giddy to read up on their varied takes on this breakfast classic with additions like lump crab or fried chicken. The Cotton and a side of grits were calling my name.

Eggs Benedict

My Benedict was elevated with red pepper coulis, a dense, red sauce turning the dish up a notch. A Southern favorite, the fried green tomato was an unexpectedly nice touch. A slab of salty, thick, though tender perfection, the country ham was in its most prime form. The hollandaise offered a particular richness with a hint of lemon. Then of course, the mixture of the poached eggs and the hollandaise is what keeps me chasing after this classic breakfast dish. As if that wasn’t enough to fill me up, the hefty side of grits came with a spoon, armed to be eaten. It was flooded with melted butter, but I barely had the room to stomach its butter-oozing goodness after the monstrosity of my Benedict.

Homemade Food

The husband went for another spruced up version of a Benedict, The Red Rooster, and a side of home fries. At first, it looked like a highfalutin version of biscuits and gravy. Well, throw all of your preconceived notions aside on what you thought you knew, and embrace Cotton’s elevated manifesto. Poached eggs lay atop butter-crazed biscuits, a sage-fried chicken breast and sausage gravy, and underneath it all a pool of more gravy waited to be soaked up for this meal's finale. The spicy home fries helped to clear his plate of the gravy.

Biscuits and Gravy

I’m not ashamed to say I may opt out of an entree for my next visit. From applesauce, lima beans and fried okra to baked mac and cheese and, of course, collards, the bistro’s chalkboards of sides are the definition of Southern comfort. Cotton's home cooked food gives homage to the treasures of Southern hospitality where “Please” and “Thank You” are the norm, the sweetest tea is always brewing and a stash of Moon Pies is just a reach away. 

Visit Cotton Southern Bistro’s Facebook page for their hours, specials and menu.

For more Southern fare, read about the monthly brunch by Sweetwater Cuisine.

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