The fried chicken dinner at Wilma Jean.

Chef/restaurateur Robert Newton, a Mountain Home native, gets high praise for his new Brooklyn restaurant in the latest New York magazine. Wilma Jean, named for Newton’s grandmother, surrenders to the rib-sticking, home cookin’-style Southern food Newton largely resisted in his beloved, but recently shuttered restaurant, Seersucker, where he aimed for more “refined” fare, New York mag reports. 

Now, like a parent who pacifies a belligerent toddler with a Pop-Tart, Newton is giving his public what it wants. … The super-casual spot, named for Newton’s grandmother and adorned with old-timey concert posters and a smattering of vintage family photos, specializes in fried chicken sold by the piece, by the dinner, on a bun, in a salad—even on a stick, the way they do at all the best gas stations down South. And with its craggy crust and high-decibel crunch, the bird’s as juicy and flavorful as any you’ll find in New York. 

Also on the menu: a good looking fried bologna sandwich and something called “tater tots deluxe,” which looks like chef-ed-up fair food — in a good way. More pics here.


Newton also owns the Vietnamese restaurant Nightingale 9 and the bakery and coffee shop Smith Canteen. He’s planning to open Yellow Magnolia Cafe in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in October.