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McEwen's on Monroe Restaurant Review: Though Southern cuisine is often synonymous with barbecue joints and dives, the menu at McEwen’s adds a gourmet spin to classic country cooking. But the casual atmosphere, where patrons often dine in jeans and sneakers, means there’s none of that stuffy vibe that can sometimes accompany upscale meals. Signature dishes include the pan-seared sea scallops with stone-ground cheddar grits, so popular patrons sometimes order a half portion as an appetizer, and sweet potato-crusted catfish. Vegetarians get the special treatment as the chef whips up surprise meat-free meals for those who order the “Trust Me Vegetarian Plate.” Appetizers, such as the Southern-style spring rolls with chow-chow and spicy cabbage or the Tennessee purple-hull pea hummus, are particularly inspired. And the small plates menu with tuna and beef tartare or saffron lobster risotto is appropriate for light dining over after-work drinks. For dessert, enjoy a slice of the signature banana cream pie. The wine list is extensive, and the staff well versed in its delights.