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Ready to try one of the year’s best new restaurants? Tiffany Derry is hitting home runs at her new Roots Southern Table in Farmers Branch

When I visited Top Chef alum Tiffany Derry’s Roots Southern Table shortly after its debut last month in Farmers Branch, I didn’t expect to find one of the year’s best new restaurants. Her $10 bowl of gumbo? Way better than your great Aunt Jeanine’s. So are the quick-fried squash blossoms and snow-white brick of halibut, even though that’s an easy gimme since we both know your aunt doesn’t cook either of them.

Roots Southern Table is a southern charmer laced with Creole flair. It’s Derry’s sit-down riff on her Roots Chicken Shak, a walk-up kiosk at the Legacy Hall food hall in Plano. Southern Table ventures beyond Shak’s well-regarded fried chicken and duck fat fries (though both made the jump to Roots) to include plates of shrimp and grits, cornbread, spicy greens, crawfish ravioli, and black-eyed pea hummus with crispy pea fritters. “My grandmother was cooking field-to-table before it was a trend,” says Derry. “So this concept is something I’ve been cooking up for years.” The chef nods to her family’s Beaumont roots on the menu, too, offering a slow-simmered stew of chicken, sausage, Louisiana shrimp, blue crab and herbed rice called “My Mother’s Gumbo.” 13050 Bee St.,Farmers Branch, 214-346-4441,

A version of this story appears in the July issue of 360 West Magazine, where Hiller’s Dallas Dining column runs each month.

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