Two-time James Beard Award winner Art Smith has completely reworked the menu at the rebranded Splitsville Southern + Social to incorporate his famous fried chicken, poutine, scratch-made cheddar biscuits, short rib sliders and signature flatbreads. A North Florida native, Smith is perhaps best known in Tampa Bay for opening the restaurant Homecomin’ at Disney Springs.
“As a chef, I am known for fried chicken and putting my Florida twist on classic Southern fare,” says Smith. “The menu at Splitsville will reflect the diverse bounty of the Sunshine State and pay homage to its farms and ranches.”
“The new look, new bar, and the new menu have an old Florida meetinghouse vibe,” adds Splitsville co-owner Guy Revelle. “We have worked with Chef Art Smith, a six generation Floridian, on other projects. When we decided to recreate our concept for a one-of-kind experience in downtown Tampa, Art was our immediate choice to add a slice of Southern hospitality to Splitsville.”
This is just the latest of many recent culinary additions to Sparkman Wharf, something Smith says attracted him to the project.
“The caliber of culinary talent assembled at Sparkman Wharf is truly exciting,” says Smith. “I have been following the careers of BT Nguyen of BT, Maryann Ferenc and Marty Blitz of Mise en Place, and Ferrell Alvarez and partner Ty Rodriguez of Rooster & the Till. I can’t wait to experience what they are bringing to Sparkman Wharf.”
Smith’s “Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family” won the James Beard Foundation Award for best cookbook in 2002, and the organization named him Humanitarian of the Year in 2007 for co-founding Common Threads, a non-profit organization teaching low-income children to cook wholesome and affordable meals. Smith also worked as Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef for 10 years and is known for his appearances on the “Today” show, “BBQ Pitmasters” and “Top Chef Masters.”
For more restaurant stories, don’t miss the Restaurant Issue of TAMPA Magazine, coming in mid-September!