Variations on a Theme: Spring Chicken

After working under Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette for many years, chef Jason Cheek struck out on his own last month by opening this South End restaurant inspired by his North Carolina roots. You’ll find lots of smoked meats and traditional sides on the menu, but Cheek’s meticulously prepared fried chicken—brined in Lipton tea, pressure-cooked, and garnished with lemon and thyme—has instantly become his signature dish. “It’s something I have a pretty deep passion for,” he says.