Cravings: 4 Must-Try Hushpuppies

Hushpuppies—deep-fried orbs of cornbread that are a staple in the South—are quickly becoming the bar snack chefs most love to play with.

By: Ann Limpert

The Cajun Experience

Creamy corn adds richness to the golf-ball-size starters at these zydeco-playing joints. 14 Loudoun St., SE, Leesburg, 703-777-6580; 1825 18th St., NW, 202-670-4416.

Food Wine & Co.

There's plenty of fried goodness on Michael Harr's menu, but the standout is a plate of buttermilk-enriched hushpuppies to be dunked in honey-dill butter. Harr tried to take them off the menu, but too many diners complained. 7272 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-652-8008.

Mintwood Place

Cedric Maupillier, who learned to fuse French and American sensibilities under Michel Richard at Citronelle and Central, pumps up his hushpuppies with a classic Gallic combination: escargots with plenty of garlic. 1813 Columbia Rd., NW; 202-234-6732.

Vidalia

The hidden gem at this upscale Southern dining room is its affordable, recently expanded bar menu, which offers terrific snacks such as these darkly fried drops of cornbread flecked with crawfish and served with smoked honey butter. 1990 M St., NW; 202-659-1990.

Photographs by Scott Suchman.

This article appears in the May 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.