Savannah GA recs please!

(travelmad478) #1

I am the designated restaurant finder for my group of six friends headed to Savannah for a long weekend in March. One inspiration for this trip was an article I read in the NYT about The Grey, but now that I read reviews of it in various places, I’m not sure about booking there. In general my people need to have a fairly broad menu (i.e. not overly fishy, not overly meaty) and we are looking for cuisine local to the area. A mix of fine and less-fine dining is fine. As examples of what we like, we had a great time in Charleston this year eating at FIG and Hominy Grill. Several of my friends also raved about our brunch at Hall’s Chophouse–although it’s not 100% to my taste, that was a big winner with the group.

Thanks in advance!

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#2

When we visited Savannah we stopped in at the Masada Cafe at The United House of Prayer. It’s a little cafeteria beside the church and they serve great soul food. The people there are great. Probably my favourite meal of the trip. Not the best, but the most memorable.

Other notes:
The Olde Pink House - mediocre, dated food with a creepy vibe
Leopolds - worth a visit for some ice cream
Crystal Beer Parlour - Good honest pub food and beer
Anywhere within 200 yards of the riverfront - Tourist trap

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#3

I just had dinner at The Grey last month and tho’ the food was excellent, the service was horrid.
I would go since the food, décor are fantastic…make sure you get the guy server.
Menu was brief but varied with meat and fish…I had the local Char which was excellent.

Loved having drinks at the Andaz and at Tahnee’s.

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(travelmad478) #4

Thanks for the Masada rec–sounds very interesting! Re: The Grey service, that’s what many reviews were saying. Plus that it is expensive for what you get. I don’t mind expensive per se, but I do mind overpriced.

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#5

I have never been to Georgia, but I have an online food friend who lives in Georgia-this is what he has written about Savannah and the surrounding environs. Tending more towards Roadfood than fine food, but what the Hell…
http://marieletseat.com/category/georgia/savannah/

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#6

I felt the food wasn’t overpriced at The Grey and it was pretty stellar.
Hopefully, the owner, Johno, has addressed the service issues since I’m not the only one that finds it to be sorely lacking.

I hear Mrs. Wilkes is worth the wait but think its only open for lunch.
Take the free ferry over to the Westin Savannah and have drinks at the Midnight Sun Lounge…it was a great place and seemed like it was popular on the river.

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#7

It’s amazing to me how many great places there are in Charleston… and how few in Savannah. I would have killed to find a Hominy or Fig or Husk in SAV.

My best recommendation would be for Wiley’s Championship BBQ on the road to Tybee Island. Some of the best Q I’ve ever had.

Of the joints on the waterfront, I had some passably Nawlins type dishes at Huey’s, but certainly nothing remarkable.

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#8

+1 for Leopold’s and Crystal Beer Parlour.

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(travelmad478) #9

Trip report:

We ended up having dinners at A.Lure, The Grey, and the Olde Pink House, brunch at B. Matthews Eatery, and two lunches (!) at Kayak Cafe.

Kayak Cafe: we lucked into this place right after we arrived in Savannah, and enjoyed our lunch food so much that we went back again two days later. The setting, in front of a health club, is a bit odd, but the tacos and salads were delightfully fresh/healthy/tasty. We were happily surprised that there was a full bar, and even more happy to taste some of the cocktails, which were excellent and packed a real punch. On our second visit, our server was extremely good and even went so far as to offer proactively to run separate checks for all six of us, including splitting the cost of a shared appetizer six ways, etc. A great choice for lunch.

A.Lure: a shambolic start to our visit, as the hostess initially told us that she didn’t want to seat us when we arrived 10 minutes before our reservation, because she had just seated another party in our server’s section (??). She then told us to get a drink at the bar, which didn’t have enough seats for our group of seven. Six of us managed to get situated and order drinks, and then about three minutes later, the hostess came over and said we could sit down (all of five minutes had elapsed since she’d originally declined to seat us). Then the bartender insisted that we pay for all of the drinks at the bar instead of carrying the tab over to the table, which was ridiculous, but we all scrambled around and paid for our drinks before being seated. I spoke to the manager immediately about the nonsense, and rather than apologizing, she said the hostess had done the right thing and also contradicted her bartender by saying that of course we could have taken the bar tab to the table. Not a great initial impression.

After that I was on high alert, but thank goodness, our eventual server was very friendly and competent. The food was quite tasty, although for those who order the shrimp and grits, be aware that you will be served what is essentially a bowl of cheese sauce with some shrimp and a little bit of grits in it. The winning entree at the table seemed to be the “peas and carrots” dish, which was actually scallops. The biscuits in the bread basket were also very nice. Wine list is good. I would recommend this place for dinner, as the food was quite fine, but just watch out for the hostess.

B. Matthews: cheerfully accommodated a day-before change in our brunch reservation from a table of seven to a table of nine, and very cheerfully and competently served that big group once we arrived. The brunch dishes were reasonably interesting, although we were very disappointed that Georgia law would not allow us to have alcohol with our 11 AM meal! I had fried duck with waffles and was very happy with it–the portion was not overwhelming, the duck was well-cooked, and the honey dijon sauce was tasty and not cloyingly sweet. Our waitress was fantastic and everyone enjoyed their food. Overall a winner, not gourmet, but very well executed.

The Grey: I was a bit worried about the service here after reading several negative reviews, but in the event, we were completely happy with that aspect of our meal. We were even happier with the food, which was really superb, and quite creative. The “yard bird” (roasted chicken) was a particular standout, and I loved my veal sweetbreads and my Carolina rice with squash and sunchokes, but really everything was pretty amazing. We liked the fact that we could order smaller dishes, which then allowed us room for dessert. The lucky two of us who ordered the sweet potato pie were absolutely blown away by it–light as a feather, and just stunning. This meal was by far the highlight of the trip, so much so that we went back for another piece of pie after dinner elsewhere the next day!

Olde Pink House: fulfilled every bit of my low expectations. We arrived about ten minutes early for our 6:30 PM reservation and were asked to wait to be seated (is this a Savannah thing??), but at least this time we could wait outside on comfortable benches. Once seated, at a round table that was too big and discouraged conversation, the chaotic service began. Our waitress didn’t want to take our food order along with our drinks order, although we were ready to give her both, which was odd. No bread showed up on our table, although other diners were given some, so we asked for it and then had to re-ask for it after ten minutes went by with no delivery. (Asking for a refill of the bread basket later in the meal also ended up with first zero, then two baskets from two different servers a while later). Although there are seemingly dozens of servers running around the place, our water glasses went unfilled for long stretches, and empty dishes were not removed from the table promptly. Most aggravatingly, plates of food brought into the dining room by black-clad (and uniformly black) runners sat on trays next to the table for many minutes before white-clad (and uniformly white) servers showed up to set them in front of diners. The inefficiency and the jarring racism of this ridiculous service protocol were very striking.

Food-wise, my impression upon looking at the menu online was that the food would be pretty dull and unimaginative, which it was. I did think from reading online reviews that it would at least be well-executed, which it wasn’t always. I sent back my side of collards, as they were inedibly salty, and asked for roasted asparagus instead–and then was rewarded with a dish containing exactly three spears of asparagus. (Seriously, guys?) My companions were generally satisfied with their proteins, although almost all of the accompanying sides (boring mashed potatoes, overcooked vegetables) were left on their plates.

The Olde Pink House was a quite disappointing experience–I’d thought it might be closer to our meal at Hall’s in Charleston last year, but although that place was also a tourist-filled place with a fairly pedestrian menu, at least the food at Hall’s was very well made and the service was top-notch. In Savannah, not so much. To be avoided.

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(ChristinaM) #10

Anyone been to Savannah recently? Heading there June 4-6 and would greatly appreciate updated recs.

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(ChristinaM) #11

Anyone got recent recs?

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#12

Will be heading to Charleston and Savannah the week with friends. What did you like?

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(ChristinaM) #13

In general a lot of the food was mediocre and overpriced for what it was.

What we liked well enough:

The Paris Market & Brocante:
https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-paris-market-and-brocante-savannah?uid=2XDTpvVKW2aJwlyyNWwGsg&utm_source=ashare&ref=yelp-android

The egg croissant sandwich is very good - they do those slow-cooked scrambled eggs. Jambon on baguette is tasty too (consider asking them to hold back on/omit the dried herb sprinkle). Good coffee.

Bull Street Taco
Lunch/dinner. Def try the margaritas. Mexican street style tacos - chorizo, cauliflower, and fish were good. House-fried chips.

The Grove

Good food, cheap happy hour with good selection, and a nice rooftop. All the good things. Wings and guac were both excellent. Food specials.

The Collins Quarter
Fanc(ish) bruch or dinner. I think brunch is supposed to be their strong suit, but we went for dinner. It was good but not mind-blowing for the prices.

Sandfly BBQ At the Streamliner
This looked really good/fun, but we never made it there.

We had bad experiences/food at Little Duck Diner and B. Matthews - recommend you steer clear.

For desserts:

Byrd’s Famous Cookies - City Market
If you don’t mind the sugar rush, you’ll enjoy sampling all the tiny, crunchy little cookies here.

Leopold’s Ice Cream

Savannah’s famous ice cream shop. my husband and mother-in-law liked it well enough but prefer our more intensely-flavored local in Asheville.

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(DeMarko) #14

I would AVOID The Pink House as well as a crab place a few miles out of town. Can’t remember the name right now. We never really found any great food there, sounds like Christina did much better.

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(Steve R.) #15

When we were in Savannah several years ago, we actually liked the Pink House. Nothing great, but a bit better than some of the newer, more touted places that had been recommended.

We were in Charleston for several nights on our way home to NYC from Florida in late March and loved Fig. We were also pleasantly surprised at Purlieu & would definitely go back. A nice Southern influenced French meal was had at 39 Rue de Jean and I believe they have a Savannah location as well. Chez Nous was very good but its a very limited menu of 2 choices, changing daily, so I’m not sure if its always as it was when we dined there. All but 39 Rue de Jean took reservations thru Resy. Have fun.

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(DeMarko) #16

I’m glad you liked your meal at the Pink House; I know it’s often recommended to visitors.

It was very busy, so we didn’t even put our name on the wait list. We did go to the bar however and shared appetizers and enjoyed a couple drinks. The apps were just ok, making us feel like we made the right decision by not having dinner. Who knows, maybe the kitchen was having a bad night.

Also, we had just been in Charleston and were maybe a little spoiled. Agree with you about FIG! We actually had a lot of good food during our stay. The very best was SNOB (slightly north of broad) I am anxious to go back.

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#17

Staying at the the Perry Lane Hotel. Had an excellent meal at the adjacent restaurant, the Emporium kitchen and Wine Bar. All 3 couples were pleased with our entries and side dishes ordered. Drinks were good too. Hope we find something as good tomorrow

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#18

Excellent meals at Cotton and Rye in Savanah

Everything done well. Service spot on

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(ChristinaM) #19

Is that in Charleston?

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#20

No Savannah

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