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restaurantguide Savannah


Get Your Fill… Introducing Savannah Restaurant Guide Fall 2017!

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Order tal United S ginal Crab S riginal Crab ri O en n O e ti h e n T h T co m o e at o o Go fr y where in th provided st like we d With LoCo T e fixings and s, shipped an e the food ju th it rv l k al se k o d er o th an -c o ge k Whether t to coo me! in ready -t untry at ho Cra b Shack. . So, we’ve pu l O s you need to ck C na ce ha gi w u S ri O sa b L O d ra e C he an served at T of th The the spice afood entrees y our taste as it does at as we do here jo se y od s en tl go ou ac to ci as ex li ay ls de es d r st ea ta he em ur home. Contact us to any of the ot seafood so it to prepare th Country in yo or ok , ed co ow er ne t L tt l n’ e la il ca P w th u st er of yo pl me I ju ve the flavor in Cra b’s Sam for ever ything le have told we do! Achie or the Capta instructions as l, ep y oi tl B st "So many peop ylanigan ac ry -b ex nt e ep ou st aptain Jack F your hous C — at it’s a Low C " it o. G do o n T COuntr y here, you ca ne with LOw Amaze ever yo c a h s b a r c e w w • d, GA 7 n 5 8 a l 9 . s I 6 8 e e b y 912.7 Rd • T k c o m m a H 40 Estill




Sunday - Thursday 11 to 1 PM



Friday & Saturday 11 to 12 AM



Savannah Taphouse



restaurantguide Savannah

FALL 2017

CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM 1464 East Victory Drive Savannah, GA 31404 912-238-2040 GENERAL MANAGER Chris Griffin

By Lindy Moody


The Crab Shack By Jim Morekis


Chef Tyler Williams,

Husk Savannah | 11

CONTRIBUTORS Lindy Moody Maria Whiteway Asha Gilbert Jessica Lebos Jim Morekis ART DIRECTOR Brandon Blatcher

Dub's Pub By Asha Gilbert



Chef Mashama Bailey,

The Grey | 15

MOON RIVER By Lindy Moody



CONTACT Sales: 912-721-4378

Chef James Levens,

CAFÉ M By Jim Morekis


A Morris Multi Media Publication

The Diplomat Luncheonette | 23


ON THE COVER Savannah Taphouse Photo by Lindy Moody

Edgar’s Proof & Provision:


Chef Lauren Teague,

Atlantic | 25

By Maria Whiteway

Fork and Dagger


By Maria Whiteway 4



Chef Kyle Jacovino,

The 1540 Room @the Desoto | 26

The Deck is a casual beach bar serving made-from-scratch plates using fresh, flavorful ingredients. Perfect for diners of all ages and appetites. Located in the sand on Tybee beach. FREE PARKING.

404 B UTLER AVE. • T YBEE I S LA ND, GA • 9 12.786 .4745


Savannah Taphouse:

‘The magic


The amazing Sweet Tea Chicken always pleases.




Football season is among us, bringing

with it weekends of ball, buddies, and beer. In a town slathered with classic, Lowcountry (and mostly fried) seafood, Savannah Taphouse is a perfect stronghold for battling football fans. The brainchild of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger, and Charleston restaurateur Scott Kier, Taphouse goes far beyond your average TV-and-barstool watering hole by offering twenty-eight televisions, a gigantic beer selection, and award-winning grub. If sports bars aren’t normally your thing, don’t let that stop you. Taphouse “has something for everyone on both the food and beer side of things,” says owner Scott Kier. The first area of the menu where it becomes clear that Taphouse is driving on its competition is the drink selection. The Strawberry Mojito Lemonade is a crowd favorite and for good reason. This refreshing concoction is not too sweet, with the right hint of mint, and leaves your palate clean. The addition of strawberry rum makes the drink taste similar to a boozy Sweet Tart but with the mint acting as a neutralizer, the sugar doesn’t take over the drink. According to Assistant General Manager Keisha Branch, the “strawberry lemonade mojito is most popular with bachelorette parties and slow-rides.” If you are looking for something a bit more tangy, the Blood Orange Margarita is your #1 prospect. It lands on your tongue with a salty punch, then finishes with the sweet taste of fresh citrus thanks to the blood orange liquor. This entire article could be spent going over Savannah Taphouse’s vast selection specialty cocktails, forty draft beers, and one-hundred and twenty bottled options. And although a large selection of beer is important, picking the right meal to compliment that beer is just as important. If you come through the door with an empty belly, the Taphouse’s upscale bar food menu can surely accommodate the hungriest of fans. And yes, upscale and bar food can be in the same sentence. As the Director of Operations, Mike Horne, puts it, the aim of the menu “is to offer guest a quality meal from our Scratch Made Menu that’s superior to your typical bar food.”


Once you taste the Mac and Cheese eggrolls you will understand why they are one of Taphouse’s signature items. The dish is composed of three full egg rolls that are fried to a level of golden brown that is almost decorative without being the slightest bit greasy.

The uniquely delicious Mac and Cheese Eggrolls

The menu was not just thrown together overnight, “Scott [Kier] worked on the menu for years before going into the restaurant business and spent many hours trying dishes out with friends and family until it was perfect.” Taphouse’s menu features sixteen different appetizers, and you would be a fool not to try at least one. Once you taste the Mac and Cheese eggrolls you will understand why they are one of Taphouse’s signature items. The dish is composed of three full egg rolls that are fried to a level of golden brown that is almost decorative without being the slightest bit greasy. Inside you will find a rich gouda and sharp cheddar southern mac and cheese -the kind your mother makes in a casserole dish. Each bite includes a smoky surprise delivered by everyone’s favorite meat: bacon. But before you inhale all three rolls, first dunk them into the side of scratch made ranch dressing that is basically everything you love about a good ranch -- thick and luscious with the ideal nip of salt. Instead of going with a classic burger for your main course, although Taphouse has some damn fine burgers, I recommend going straight to the section of the menu titled Scratch-Made Entrees. I know what you’re thinking. How do you decide between so much chicken? Don’t. You can’t. This is one of those tests where there are no wrong answers. The Sweet Tea Chicken is one of the most unique dishes I have sampled in a very long time. With your order, you receive two hefty chicken breasts that have been deboned then deep fried to crispy perfection. The two golden brown mounds of heaven are then smothered in Taphouse’s very own sweet tea sauce, which according to Keisha Branch is a “secret recipe.” In many cases, covering fried chicken in a sauce counteracts the crunchy shell, creating a soggy mess. Here, the chef cooks the bird so well it holds up to a healthy

drizzle of sauce, and remains perfectly crispy. The sweet tea sauce is reminiscent of a balsamic vinegar reduction, but with the southern twist of sweet tea. It has the mouthfeel of gravy, and a flavor you can’t quite pin down. It will keep you coming back for each bite. To finish the dish, the chef piles on a grownup-sized helping of hand-made mashed potatoes that are created with whole redskin potatoes, chunky from being handcrafted, and creamy from the addition of butter instead of cream. For your second choice in yard bird, in this saga of dueling chicken, I would recommend the Charleston Chicken. Unlike the Sweet Tea Chicken, the two giant chicken breasts are pan-fried giving the dish a lighter feel. Below the chicken you will again find a mound of homestyle mashed potatoes, and on top of the hen, a sprinkling of sweet prosciutto ham and rich local crab. The Charleston Chicken is finished with a nicely balanced salty and creamy chablis and herb sauce. The dish is appropriately named. The taste is upscale Southern without being pretentiously blue-blooded. The Charleston Chicken is surprisingly sweet but finishes with the ultimate bite of full-flavored lump low-country crab. A flawless version of a classic Charleston dish, and homage to the owners’ second restaurant, King Street Grille located in, you guessed it, Charleston, South Carolina. Scott Kier said it best, “The magic is in the menu,” and the large selection of brews and copious amounts of televisions only adds to the sports bar’s popularity. It is my hope that we see more from this dynamic football player and restaurateur duo, as if changing Taphouse’s menu at least twice a year is not enough to keep the pair busy. As for the future, Keir says “We are always looking due to the success of the Broughton Street location. We are aggressively looking.” CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM SAVANNAH RESTAURANT GUIDE | FALL 2017



The Crab Shack:

LoCo To Go goes global with the full experience STORY BY JIM MOREKIS


The Crab Shack has become one of

Attractive, branded packaging is part of the appeal of LoCo To Go from The Crab Shack. 8



Savannah’s premier dining experiences for the fresh seafood, the fun and casual atmosphere, and the romantic, evocative setting of Tybee Island itself. But now, folks all over the country can live the Crab Shack life through their ambitious new online shipping service: LoCo To Go, at “We are sending you the Crab Shack experience in a box,” says the Crab Shack’s Stephanie Hamilton. “You’re not just getting two pound of frozen snow crabs thrown in a box, like with other seafood shippers. All our orders come with detailed cooking instructions and all the sauces and spices you will need to use,” she says. “We include everything you need in one box to open it up and have the full Crab Shack experience, without any other trips to the market.” The idea came about when owner Jack Flanigan and staff were talking about how to make the signature food items of The Crab Shack more accessible to more people. The subject of boxed dinners came up, on a to-go basis. “We started talking in 2016 about making carryout meals available for locals, so people could have a big backyard Lowcountry Boil cookout. It


Their signature Lowcountry Boil is a specialty of the house.

started out as the idea of food ready to be cooked, for locals,” says Hamilton. “Then Jack said, ‘If we can do that, why can’t we just ship it too, to anyone who wants it, anywhere they are?” And so the idea of Crab Shack LoCo To Go was born. (Get it? Lowcountry to Go!) In late 2016, the operation was up and running and continues to expand. The key, Hamilton says, is it offers people the opportunity to relive their in-person experiences on Tybee at the Crab Shack. “Many of the people ordering are people who have been at the Crab Shack before and have very fond memories,” says Hamilton. “With LoCo To Go, they can relive that memory of going to Tybee and going to eat at the Crab Shack.” Hamilton says, “People will tell us, ‘We had such a great time with you guys, we just wanted to be able to experience it all over again.” But it’s not just for visitors who have returned home. Hamilton says a LoCo To Go order is an ideal gift idea for locals to buy for other locals, or for locals to send to friends and family all over the country. “It’s a great gift idea for birthdays and anniversaries,” she says. Choices include Seafood Samplers for up to 12 people, king crab meals for two, BBQ & Ribs, and of course, Lowcountry Boil. “All options provide our unique flavor,” says Hamilton. “People tell us, ‘I keep trying to make Lowcountry Boil at home but I can’t make it taste like the Crab Shack. Now they can!” All orders are shipped on dry ice, “still frozen so people can either cook it immediately, or put it in the freezer for a later date,” she says. The packaging and shipping has evolved, Hamilton says, “to better and more efficient ways to do everything. The shipping process has become more streamlined as the business has grown. We’ve learned a lot and doing really well with the system we have now.” In addition, the Crab Shack is now offering LoCo To Go customers the choice between receiving their orders from UPS or FedEx, in case they have a preference. “We wanted to make the Crab Shack more accessible,” says Hamilton. “We have gotten a very positive response so far. Our steady goal is to keep growing that, and keep getting the word out.” Get your LoCo To Go order at

Local Seafood Live Piano Dinner 5-9pm Nightly CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM SAVANNAH RESTAURANT GUIDE | FALL 2017



On the far end of River Street, Dub’s Pub is ready to get your day started right with

Dub's Pub:

A step






their “Best Bloody Mary on River Street” and mouthwatering entrees that elevate this pub’s menu without hurting your pocket. Serving a mainly American menu, General Manager Jared Wilderman says “Everything being made in the house” is what separates them from the other pubs in town. He goes on to say that although their food isn’t overly fancy, Dub’s food kicks ass. After going down the historic stairs, when entering Dub’s, you’ll take note of the Bohemian feel, due to the bar previously being Cobblestone Conch House, a Caribbean restaurant. With the tiki bar still intact, the bamboo along the ceilings finished with the accents of dark hardwood combine to provide relaxing scenery to begin or end any day with. Overlooking the Savannah River, Dub’s offers 24 flat screens and three projectors, including one 12-foot projector that was used in the viewing of the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight last month. “After about 6:30 p.m. the night of the fight we had to stop selling online tickets and sold 70 more out the door, with a line out the door and down the street,” remarks Wilderman. Although Dub’s Pub opened as river streets only sports bar including pool tables, ping pong, and arcade-style Pacman, Wilderman wants everyone to know that is only touching the surface of what Dub’s offers. The upper level has a capacity of 115 people, and is also equipped with a full bar. With rustic windows overlooking the Savannah River, Wilderman says they are equipped to host any event you can think of from wedding rehearsals to dinner parties to brunches. Dub’s menu includes a chef’s special that usually changes from day to day ranging, from Italian to Asian entrees, depending on what’s in season and what’s fresh. With most all sauces made in house, be prepared for freshly roasted meats and fresh-cut pub chips and fries. In the kitchen, staff isn’t short of experience. Chef Julio Vientos has over 26 years of being a chef and has been with Live Oak restaurants for over two years. The General Manager has also been with the company for many years, taking over Dub’s Pub in October 2016. While sitting at the tiki bar, one may notice the two canisters full of vegetables nearby. At Dub’s their secret to their “Best Bloody Mary on River Street” is their vegetable-infused vodka. They also once offer jalapeno margaritas featuring jalapeno-infused tequila. With Dub’s Pub being a part of Live Oak Restaurants group, they offer a loyalty point system that can be used at any number of their other restaurants, including Tubby’s and Fiddlers. Every dollar spent counts as a point to be used towards a prize -- when enough have been accumulated you can get buy-one-get-one entrees and free appetizers. Dub’s has NFL Sunday ticket, Red Zone, and they show almost all NCAA college football games every Saturday. Come cheer on your favorite team while you sit back, relax, and let Dub’s do the work for you! Wilderman has more in store with adding more TVs in the upcoming few weeks so you can enjoy even more football all season long. Dub’s will be hosting the UFC 217 fight with George St. Pierre vs. Michael Bisping on Nov. 4. They’re also getting the kitchen ready to offer full service on both the upper level and the lower level. So, whether you’re looking for pick-me-up, or a nifty place to watch Sunday’s football game, Dub’s Pub has elevated pub fare and features drinks that never disappoint.




Everything Made From Scratch

Baking Daily

Taste the Difference 6 E State St • (912) 713-4977




He’s the celebrity chef no one has heard of around here—yet. Husk won’t be open

until December, but Chef Tyler Williams is already raring to plate. Tapped by Husk owner and superstar chef Sean Brock as Chef de Cuisine of the Savannah iteration of the iconic Southern brand, Chef Williams moved here months ago to marinate himself in the local flavors and stories. Before that, he cooked his way around the country, from Atlanta to Napa to Vegas, where he helped Chef Thomas Keller open the elegant French bistro Bouchon. Already well-known to Georgia foodies, Chef Williams comes to Savannah by way of Atlanta’s Tap Gastropub.

Fresh Food for Everyone. Plant Based, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Available!

How do you describe your food?

I’m student of culture, and for the last 13 years or so I’m really immersed myself in global influences, using Italian, French, Indian and Caribbean flavors. Place always plays a part in how I cook, and I’m looking forward to showcasing Savannah’s bounty. Whatever I’m presented with will be the inspiration.

What are you excited about cooking this fall?

Well, we open in December, but I think we’re still going to catch the tail end of the season, the kale and the radishes. And oysters! They don’t require much cooking, but I’m excited to eat some.

Where do you like to eat in Savannah?

I love the Grey; Mashama has been so generous with her time; the collaboration of the restaurant scene here is really refreshing. I’m also a huge fan of Back in the Day Bakery—the pies are amazing! — Profile by Jessica Leigh Lebos

1 E. Broughton St. 912.233.6044 5002 Paulsen St. 912.349.4371




Moon River:

Local brews, local flavors


The Salmon Oscar

Most tourists would not expect to find a Beer Garden when visiting a town like

Savannah, let alone one as authentic as any in Munich, Germany. A traditional biergarten is a place located outdoors that offers both local food and beer. I’m no Berliner, but I cannot think of anything more Savannah than sitting outside in the historic district, drinking ice cold cocktails to forget the heat, and eating fresh seafood. Keeping with this theme, Moon River Brewing Company found a way to say “Guten Tag!” and “Hey Y’all!” in the same breath from the comfort of their very own patio. In 2013, the owners of Moon River Brewery, Gene Beeco and John Pinkerton, expanded their already successful downtown eatery with the grand opening of the location’s Beer Garden. According to Beeco, the idea behind the Beer Garden is to get patrons to “come for the beer and stay for the food.” Like any good Southern home, the Garden features a huge porch where you and your friends can sit for hours enjoying a pitcher of sweet tea or, in this case, housemade brew. But this porch is a far cry from a single-tapped watering hole. At any given time, Moon River offers at least ten of their own house-made craft beers on tap. Their classic beers include the Swamp Fox IPA, Yoga Pants Pale Ale, Slow-vannah Indian Session Ale, and Captain’s Porter. When asked which beer is the most popular, Beeco responded “that’s easy...our Wild Wacky Wit and Swamp Fox have been best sellers for years.” The beer list does not end with the pub’s normal selection of brews. Moon River 12







What makes these fried green tomatoes any different than those offered in almost every restaurant in the South? Here is your answer: brought to your table is four golden brown, cornmeal-crusted, fried-firm and freshly-picked green tomatoes.

The incredible signature fried green tomatoes.

offers a different seasonal beer quarter-annually. On September 1, the brewmasters released their Taterlicous Ale -- an extremely unique beer brewed with sweet potatoes in lieu of a usually overdone fall gourd. The pale ale is made with sweet potatoes from North Carolina that lend a pleasant yet understated flavor to the carbonated concoction, making it easy to enjoy more than one during any sitting. To finish the beer, roasted pumpkin seeds -- crushed and combined with pumpkin pie spice -- are added to the rim of the glass. The addition of spice to the outside of the glass is “so that the pumpkin pie spices are on the outside of the glass and not in the beer,” says Beeco. The robust and sweet flavor of the garnish lends just enough essence of home comfort without overpowering the forward flavor of the “taters.” Closer to Halloween, you can expect the release of Boo Hag, a black IPA with a strong hoppiness. And if after looking through their long list of hop and malt-made beverages, you can’t find a drink that suits your taste, opt for Moon River’s weekly cask. Once a week the brewpub takes a portion of one of their own brews and combines it with an uncommon flavor. Past beers have included chili, lemongrass, cucumber, and basil. The drinks will ensure you will stay long enough that you will want to fill your empty stomach with something more than beer. The fried green tomatoes are almost mandatory considering they are one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. What makes these fried green tomatoes any different than those offered in almost every restaurant in the South? Here is your answer: brought to your table is four golden brown, cornmeal-crusted, fried-firm and freshly-picked green tomatoes. 14



You will find the crust light but thick enough to cover the fruit, and on the side a heap of Lowcountry blue crab salad so creamy you will wonder how it holds together. The Small Plate is completed with a cusabi sauce, made of cucumber and wasabi, adding just enough heat to cut through the rich crab. The recommended beer pairing is a lighter beer such as the Yoga Pants. Once you have plowed through all four fried green tomatoes, you will be sold on seeing what else Moon River has to offer. The Salmon Oscar offers patrons a light yet flavorful option that is ideal when drinking full-flavored beer. It arrives at your table with a robust portion of wild North Atlantic salmon, the outside is seared to a golden brown making the fish firm yet juicy. On top of the fish, you will find a sizable crab cake made with local blue crab that has crunchy exterior but remains velvety inside. The crab cake is prepared simply, allowing the sweet delicate taste of our local waters to shine. The cusabi sauce is included in this masterpiece, adding just the right amount of spice. The recommended beer pairing for this full flavored dish is a beer, such as the Slowvanna or Session IPA, as the dish can stand up to a heartier brew. Each entree includes the choice of two sides. As a “tater” gal, I would without question recommend the Smoked Gouda Escalloped Potatoes. With this side, you are given enough gooey potatoes baked in cheese and cream to feed your entire table. If you come only for the beer, to sample the menu, or end up staying for both beverage and chow, Moon River will not disappoint. As for the future, Beeco says Moon River “will continue to change its menu a couple times of year...and doing new things in the brew house.”




From the moment Chef Mashama Bailey debuted her next-level comfort food at the

stunning former Greyhound station on MLK Blvd., the world’s palates have taken notice. Southern classics receive signature stamps from the locally-raised, New Yorktrained Bailey (she rose to sous chef under Prune’s Gabrielle Hamilton,) yielding an ever-changing menu that inspired one Zagat reviewers to call his meal “one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had.” Not only has she set the new standard for Savannah’s restaurant game, the narrative of the city is forever changed by the Grey’s transformation from a once-segregated space to a globally-heralded restaurant with an African American woman at the helm. While Chef Mashama now finds herself on invited to prestigious wine and food festivals around the country, she can often be glimpsed through the windows of the station’s former ticket counter, cooking behind the line.

How do you describe your food?

I call it Port City European, using those bold Southern flavors and super simple techniques. I’m not afraid of spice and heat, using curry, sage, turmeric and ginger to kick things up. But mostly I cook like an old Southern grandma, that’s my aspiration!

What are you excited about cooking this fall?

Oh my goodness, I can’t wait for sweet potatoes and cabbage again. I cook seasonally, and late summer can be painful around here because everything’s been eaten by bugs! Once it starts to cool off, the arugula, basil and radishes come back, and everything get bright and fresh again. When it’s so hot, all anyone wants to do is eat shrimp and drink beer.

Where do you like to eat in Savannah? PHOTO BY GEOFF L. JOHNSON

Chef Mashama Bailey, The


I don’t get a chance to eat out a lot, but I went to Wyld recently and it was so delicious. And the setting is just so beautiful! Tony [Seichrist] and Nick [McNabb] just treated me like a rock star, they’re so kind. — Profile by Jessica Leigh Lebos

Now Under New Ownership!

Come check out our new food & beverage menu which includes

Chicken Manchurian • Tandoori Chicken • Saag Paneer Chicken Kolapuri • Goat Chatpata • Lamb Saagwala Mixed Korma • Chef Special Biryani • Mango Kulfi

Voted Best Indian Restaurant Every Year Since 2008! 401 Mall Blvd. | 912.356.1020 |




Tequila’s Town:



Everyone loves affordable, straightforward Mexican food. A quick stop in pretty

much any Mexican joint gets a hungry family fed with some form of protein and a hearty heap of rice and beans. With over twenty different Mexican restaurants in Savannah alone, the cantina craze has given our fair city a much wider selection of establishments than any Savannahian needs. But when I think about going out to get some south-of-the-border chow, the decision on where to eat begs one question: Where can I get the best chips and salsa? After years of sitting at tables and waiting expectantly on the familiar (and free) appetizer, I have found the best: Tequila’s Town. In 2013, the restaurant opened the doors to it first location in the historic district of Savannah. Co-owner Melody Rodriguez de Ortiz lauds Tequila’s Town as “a fresh, modern concept built on traditional Mexican recipes,” and that attitude towards the food led to Tequila’s Town instantly becoming a popular destination for both the lunch and dinner crowd.  A short three years later, Tequila’s Town welcomed customers at a second location in the ever-growing Sandfly neighborhood. Tequila’s Town’s quick success is attributable to the entire menu being quality, modern Tex-Mex creations alongside exquisite classics like thick and airy chips that serve as the perfect vessel for a smooth, slightly sweet salsa that finishes with a nip of cilantro -- all of which are made fresh daily. After the initial feeding frenzy of chips has passed, a much more important 16



question arises: What should I get to drink? We both know that I do not mean tea or Coke -- I am talking frozen or on the rocks. Tequila’s Town is the only Mexican restaurant in Savannah that boasts 80 different brands of tequila including its own label, Tequila Blanco. Tequila Blanco is made from 100% premium agave and distilled in Jalisco, Mexico. This direct and crisp white tequila finishes smooth and tastes just as incredible served in a shot glass with lime and salt as it does accompanying a house-made margarita. If margaritas are your thing, but you like them with a little pop, consider one of Tequila’s Town’s tropical tequila touches such as its blackberry margarita. The sharp bite of blackberry puree immediately hits your tongue upon the first sip before warming your buds with the familiar tinge of tequila. If you are feeling a bit adventurous try the Paloma, a favorite of Mexico. This delicacy stars hand squeezed lime juice and tangy grapefruit soda. The Paloma is reminiscent of a traditional margarita that has a lighter feel thanks to the bubbly grapefruit soda. For your next order, you should consider one of the most popular items on the menu: table-side guacamole. On a rustic wooden cart filled with a plethora of goodies including red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime, tomato, salt, and pepper, the waiter prepares it to your choosing. Each order uses at least two perfectly ripe avocados that are cut and smashed in front of you to ensure the freshest possible dip. According to Melody Rodriguez de


Table-side Guac is a house specialty.

Ortiz, both restaurants “use over 1,200 avocados in a given week” and should be considered “Savannah’s Table-Side Guacamole House.” Deciding on an entree may prove trickier than you think because the menu, the brainchild of Chefs Maurico Pliego and Sergio Ortiz, features a diverse offering of traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. A perfect dish for the indecisive, the Street Style Tacos afford you the option to mix and match between ten different tacos. The Carnitas Taco features pork that is marinated for twenty-four hours before six hours of braising, finished with a quick fry, and served with sweet yellow onions, peppery radishes, and fragrant cilantro. The traditional method applied to the pork creates something so succulent and tender, it can stand on its own. Much like the pork in the Carnitas taco, the Taco Al Pastor stars pork marinated in mild guajillo pepper, served with onions, and a sweet addition of pineapple. Little chunks of pineapple instantly hit your palate as you bite into the perfect balance of heat and sweet. The Fish Taco offers a lighter option but does not skimp on flavor. Each taco comes with filet of Cherna, a mild, meaty fish that stands up to its topping of creamy but crisp cabbage slaw and tangy pickled onions. A second seafood option is the Taco de Camaron, or to put it more Savannah -- a shrimp taco. The shrimp are perfectly seared, firm but juicy, acting harmoniously with their creamy and zesty toppings. If the tacos fail to light up your Scoville sensor, each table has its very own bottle of Tequila’s Hot Habenero sauce to kick up the heat. Each bottle is made with mango to tame the habanero and marry the sauce with any dish. Finishing your meal with a piping hot round of Churros and Abuelita hot chocolate for dipping should be mandatory. Abuelita chocolate is used specifically for Mexican-style hot chocolate because it makes the concoction more frothy and creamy. As the waiter approaches, the scent of cinnamon invades your nose. The Chef takes the time to arrange the churros perfectly on the dish, tempting you to devour the Churros as quickly as possible. After you take a cinnamon sugar-encrusted Churro, dip it into the velvety chocolate, and crunch through the perfectly crisp cinnamon sugar coating, you find the best kept secret in the history of secrets: caramel. As if these Churros could not get any more perfect, they went and filled them with smooth melty caramel. My only critique for the dish is how it made me look as I slurped the remaining hot chocolate out of the bowl as to not leave a single drop. Tequila’s Town offers “the best and most popular dishes in traditional Mexican eateries, street food joints, and cantinas…and good tequila,” says Rodriguez de Ortiz. But unlike its contemporaries, Tequila’s Town is outgrowing the days of numbered combo dining and evolving into food as authentic anything you could get from a food cart in Jalisco.


Serving Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Signature Cocktails Daily. Enjoy Outdoor Patio Seating overlooking the Savannah River and River Street 2 W. BAY ST. SAVANNAH, GA | 912.238.1234 | SAVANNAH.REGENCY.HYATT.COM

2605 Skidaway Road, Savannah, GA





Café M:

The of two worlds STORY BY JIM MOREKIS


A sampling of the succulent offerings at Cafe M. With French wine of course!

Though it’s a French café run by a couple from Paris, Café M co-owner Arthur Montplaisir says he and his wife Amanda are “liv-

ing the American Dream.” “We feel like Savannah offers the best of both worlds,” Arthur says. “Here you have the freedom of being an American, along with the freedom to walk around everywhere you want to go, like in Europe.” Savannah has responded similarly, with a steady crowd of visitors and locals alike flocking to cozy Café M to enjoy their menu of French-inspired pastries and sweets, along with delicious coffees and teas. Of course, this French café offers champagne and wine as well, to go along with your delightful croissants, fresh baguettes, and traditional French quiches in the classic style. The story of Café M is in many ways the ultimate Savannah success story. “We literally fell in love with Savannah,” says Arthur in explaining how he and his wife ended up here. “We moved from Paris four years ago, and got married on the beach in Florida.” “For our honeymoon, we were driving up to Chicago. We decided to take a detour and see Savannah,” says Arthur. “We immediately felt at home. It was striking, to leave Florida and its beaches and its sun, and then find a place like Savannah which is so incredibly European.” In his words, soon Arthur and Amanda were able to “take the best of both cultures, put them together, and you have Café M!” Arthur says while people come for the tasty treats and relaxing atmosphere, it’s the customers themselves that form a lot of the draw. “It’s not only tourists -- there are many locals who come here regularly as well.” Their social media following has been a large part of Café M’s success, with many rave reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. For Arthur, a lot of the pleasure in running the café is meeting lots of different people, whether it’s visitors to Savannah, or people who, like Arthur and Amanda, came to Savannah from other parts of the world. He says it’s not uncommon for visitors to come eat at Café M every day of their stay in Savannah, because they enjoy it so much. After an upcoming trip to France, Arthur and Amanda promise an even better experience at Café M, as they will offer more and different menu items and a new offering of French wines. Café M is easy to find. They sit between the River Street Inn and Ye Ole Tobacco Shop. If you are walking up from River Street, find the Mad Hatter shop and use the River Street access ramp with stairs leading you up to Bay Street. Then you go over one of the two crossover bridges.




Southern inspired, Fresh seafood. House made Frozen Drinks, cocktails and 20 taps. happy hour: monday-Friday 4-6. $1 Oysters. $3 Georgia beer. 116 W Congress St, Savannah, GA 31401 912.234.5397


Edgar’s Proof & Provision:


Savannah is a city full of landmarks. One of those icons is The DeSoto, treasured for

Managing Director Jeff Kmiec.

Executive Chef Dusty Grove.

The Prohibition Ceviche, served in a short glass tumbler. 20



its reputation as being the Dowager Empress of the South. In both architectural incarnations—the first was demolished in the 1960s—the DeSoto was not only the center of Savannah’s Historic District, but also the center of our city’s social scene. In an effort to get back to its roots, as of August 1, this hotel no longer bears the Hilton brand name, but identifies as an independent luxury boutique called The DeSoto by Sotherly. With multi-million dollar renovations and upgrades, The DeSoto’s ambition is to provide true Southern hospitability with modernized sophistication. To address this quality of service, Edgar’s Proof & Provision moved in on the main floor of The DeSoto with its own entrance on East Liberty Street. Opened since June 2017, Edgar’s Proof & Provision has been evolving under the direction of Executive Chef Dusty Grove. “As a Savannah native, I’m happy to be a part of this change. We want the Desoto to be a stomping ground for locals again.” Managing Director Jeff Kmiec elaborates, “Our goal is to be the local’s favorite. If we are the local’s favorite, then everything else falls into place.” As a chef-driven restaurant that is independent of The DeSoto, Chef Grove identifies Proof & Provision as a modern gastro pub that concentrates on southern influences. In addition to serving daily “provisions” for breakfast, lunch and dinner, libations on the “proof” side include over 120 whiskeys and local brews made into handcrafted cocktails. This restaurant is the sibling eatery and drinkery of two other Sotherly Hotels. The first is Edgar’s Proof & Provision in the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. The second is Edgar’s Hermano in the Whitehall Hotel in Houston. Both restaurants identify as local bars, serving a limited snack offering rather than a full menu.

Lowcountry Wild Georgia Shrimp.


When entering Edgar’s P & P from the sidewalks of East Liberty Street, patrons will sashay through the outside porch that was once an unbecoming smoking deck. Now, the front porch has simple patio tables and chairs, intimately lit by strung Edison bulbs. Soon, retractable screens and air conditioning will make this space more approachable in summertime heat. Inside, the completely remodeled space boasts modern influences with a swanky vibe. The three-tiered space offers variability when dining and drinking. The top floor room is reminiscent of the previous library, but now serves as a man cave with upscale furniture, a big screen television and shuffleboard table. The middle floor is where patrons can belly up to the original Lion’s Den bar that maintains its horseshoe-esque design. The bottom floor has a wall of copper hued whiskey bottles that cast a golden glow across the dimly lit restaurant. A communal table with stools, as well as a handful of small tables resides, in this area for in-door dining. Just outside of Edgar’s P & P, SCAD artwork is presented on many feature walls of The DeSoto lobby. Edgar’s P & P is the perfect place for an after work sip or weekend rendezvous, especially for those that want a small-batch brew or luscious cocktail. Edgar’s P & P serves an assortment of local craft beers including Service (Savannah), Southbound (Savannah), Wild Heaven (Decatur), Sweetwater (Atlanta), and Treehorn Cider (Marietta). There are a variety of mules and cocktails that grace the menu for the traditionalists and adventurous alike. If craft cocktails are what you are after, try the Smokin’ Gunz, which incorporates Edgar’s Truth Bourbon, the Sotherly company’s own batch named after the owner’s father. If bourbon isn’t to your taste, you might want to ask for the staff created Savannah Specter, which features Savannah’s own Ghost Coast orange vodka. While guzzling your libations, turn your attention to the full dinner menu that ranges from tapas and sandwiches to salads and desserts. As the former Executive Chef of Pacci Italian Kitchen, Chef Grove specialized in Italian cuisine. However,

Rated in USA TODAY by celebrity chef DUFF GOLDMAN


OPEN 12 - 6 PM TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY 912.999.7078 • SAVANNAHSQUAREPOPS.COM 347 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Savannah, GA

Private Dining Available accommodates up to

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| French cuisine with a modern twist |

Happy Hour

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CAJUN COOKIN’ FRESH SEAFOOD LOCAL SHRIMP CRAWFISH BOIL Live Blues & Classic Rock EVERY NIGHT 9 PM Pool, Darts, TV’s on 2nd Floor Corner of Abercorn Ramp & River Street HAPPY HOUR Mon – Fri 11am to 7pm

The front porch is a perfect space to eat outside in downtown Savannah.

Savannah River Views. Lunch & Dinner. Open Late.



flavorful coastal Italian cuisine for aperitivo, dinner & weekend brunch

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as a Savannah native, his heart was always in southern cookery; it’s in his blood. While the menu of Edgar’s P & P changes seasonally, Chef Grove develops dishes that have deep, smoky, briny and caramelized notes, pairing them with the flavors found in Edgar’s P & P cocktails. Furthermore, Chef Grove integrates Spanish influences into his southern fare as a nod to Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer who led the first European expedition into the North-American interior, including Georgia. The Prohibition Ceviche, served in a short glass tumbler, was reminiscent of an old fashioned cocktail. Fresh local fish with finely diced pepper were delicately tossed in a spritz of citrus, soy sauce, cherry bitters and Edgar’s Truth bourbon. The mixture was served with bourbon soaked cherries and buttered toast crisps to make for a light-refreshing snack. A notable tapas with Spanish flair was the Tybee Rings, which are lightly sautéed squid with reserved lemon, roasted garlic, white wine stock, capers, olives, and tomatoes. The tender squid paired effortlessly with the briny olives and capers as well as the acidic tomatoes. All the flavors melded into a rich sauce that was easily scooped up by buttery toast crisps. A large plate that remains unforgettable is The Belly Rub. A rosemary, citrus and honey braised Savannah River Farms pork belly is served on a bed of herbed goat’s mac ‘n cheese and garnished with candied fennel. The tangy local goat’s cheese béchamel sauce was so decadently creamy, complimenting the rich and fatty melt-in-your-mouth meat. But the pièce de résistance was the sugary and mildly licorice tasting candied fennel that tied the whole dish together. This was our favorite Chef Dusty accompaniment from Pacci and we are elated that he brought it to Edgar’s P & P. For something even sweeter, try the Mint Julep Crème Brûlée that is infused with bourbon and boasts notes of velvety spearmint. Also, do not miss out on Edgar’s P & P signature Leopold’s ice cream flavor called Edgar’s Truffle Truth. This, of course, is made with Edgar’s Truth bourbon, chocolate truffle, pecans and salted caramel swirl with a butter pecan base. Edgar’s Proof & Provision has proven to be an up-and-coming local hotspot. Its posh lounge-like atmosphere has a mellow vibe that allures all types of people from sophisticated diners and casual drinkers to young families and mature socialites. This will certainly aid in bolstering The DeSoto’s ambition to be the center of Savannah’s social life.






the Diplomat Luncheonette I

Casual Riverfront Dining 1 Lincoln St., Savannah, GA | 912.651.9660 BOARSHEADGRILLANDTAVERN.COM

s celebrity chefdom transmissible? Chef Levens also trained under well-known New York chefs to emerge as one of our city’s most creative culinary voices. The Savannah native became steeped in the concept of seasonal cooking while putting in hours on the line at Gramercy Tavern with Chef Michael Anthony, and credits The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield (of Mind of a Chef fame) with teaching him about the prodigious use of acidity and herbs. Since returning home in 2014, Chef Levens sought out local farmers and developed a series of pop-up dinners that had gastronomes clamoring for more. He brought his bread baking skills to the lunch counter at Smith Brothers Butcher Shop, his pickled Beet Bahn Mi sandwiches and artisanal salads proving so popular that he set out on his own venture. The Diplomat Luncheonette opened last month to a steady demand for its signature sammie (French dip and cheddar on Dutch crunch) and burnt broccoli salad, and after taking a break from the lunch rush, the chef opens again until 2am to catch the late night crowd from the Original Pinkie Masters next door.

How do you describe your food?

Hmm, that’s hard. I’m definitely all about Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, which you can definitely taste in our salads and vegetable sides. But I’ll also put together tahini and soy, which are from two completely different cuisines. I don’t call it fusion or anything like that; I just like combining ideas that taste really good.

What are you excited about cooking this fall?

All of those Southern vegetables and pasture-raised meats from local farms. I don’t necessarily cook traditional Southern food, but there is nothing like the topnotch, organic produce, pork and chicken being produced here.

Where do you like to eat in Savannah?

I definitely like to get a slice at Vinnie’s; [owner] Paul Miller is awesome and always been a big supporter of mine. And I’m a big fan of La Canasta—both #1 on Montgomery Cross Road and #2 on Skidaway—those tacos and tostadas are the best. — Profile by Jessica Leigh Lebos

Casual Fine Dining in City Market • 315 W. St. Julian Street 912.233.2626 • CONNECTSAVANNAH.COM SAVANNAH RESTAURANT GUIDE | FALL 2017



Fork & Dagger:

New York meets Puerto Rico in the deep South Downtown eatery welcomes back FORM cheesecakes and offers family recipes for breakfast and lunch crowds BY MARIA WHITEWAY

A taste of Puerto Rico with Nana’s Arroz con Pollo (chicken with rice), made with sazon roasted chicken thighs.

Lox and bagels from New York City, chicken and rice from Puerto Rico and cheesy

grits from the south all have one thing in common: Fork & Dagger Eatery. Fork & Dagger is at 609 ½ Abercorn St. on the ground floor of the Chatham Apartments and across the street from Cuoco Pazzo. Brian Torres and Sky Hoyt co-own this family business together. Both Torres and Hoyt have been in Savannah for well over a decade, offering strong influences on the foodie community over the years. While they are successful business partners, they also have a personal background with one another. After growing up in north Florida, Hoyt received a political science degree from Armstrong and then moved to Charleston. Torres, on the other hand, lived in New York City for some time and decided to escape the winters by moving south to Charleston. After meeting in this city, the two instantly connected and decided to move to Spain for three years. While there, they bore their daughter and partnered in a handful of restaurants. They ultimately chose to move back to their adopted home of Savannah, building their life and business in our city. Torres later married his wife and remained best friends with Hoyt. “We are family.” Given that Torres is a 100 percent Puerto Rican from New York City and Hoyt specializes in Spanish cuisine, patrons can expect these flavors integrated into Fork & Dagger fare. “We put touches of family recipes into everything we do,” Torres explains. Hoyt has been in Savannah for about 20 years and among other things, was former chef at Foxy Loxy. Since then, she has focused her time and energy on catering. For five years, Torres was the wine director at Sapphire Grill and then became a partner for the restaurant EOS, housed in the same space as Cotton and Rye. Torres later established the business FORM, showcasing his famous cheesecakes as well as specialty wines and cheeses, in this exact same location. In those days, FORM cheesecakes could be found in 25 different locations, including Whole Foods. Torres decided that it was time to “get the accounts back” and he needed a home for the FORM cheesecakes. Thus, Torres and Hoyt joined together and formed (no pun intended) Fork & Dagger, as a way to support both their catering ventures and cheesecake business. “This was meant to be catering space,” Hoyt admits. But with their extensive expertise and experiences in the restaurant industry, the two best friends decided to feature their specialties to the breakfast and lunch crowds of the Victorian District. While the former FORM cheesecakes will now be labeled “Fork & Dagger” 24



cheesecakes, the recipe remains the same. “Brian has been making this recipe since he was a child,” Hoyt explains. They will be offering 50 different flavors, including the ever so popular New York Style as well as white chocolate hazelnut, maple bacon and so much more. “The cheesecake is a song in itself.” The rich and creamy texture of this handmade dessert surpasses expectations, making it some of the best cheesecake in town. Keep an eye out for Fork & Dagger Cheesecake at local stores and restaurants because it’s making a comeback! Upon entry of this quaint eatery, patrons will find a walk up counter, with a glass case full of cheesecake slices, and an open concept kitchen directly behind it. The floor to ceiling windows are halfway frosted, allowing diffused natural light to seep into the space, while offering privacy at the ground level. The space is calming, with baby blue walls and light wood tables and floors. Hoyt handcrafted and designed everything in the space, including the tables and counters. “She is good with power tools,” Torres brags about his partner. Local art is hung on the wall and florescent lights are covered with fabric. With a menu that harmonizes both Puerto Rican and Southern cuisine, Torres and Hoyt take a lot of pride in the dishes they serve. While everything is made fresh, I would add that the secret ingredient is love. Take Nana’s Arroz con Pollo (chicken with rice), made with sazon roasted chicken thighs. Hoyt explains that this was the first thing that Torres’ grandmother ever fed her. It made such an impact, she insisted that they put it on the Fork & Dagger menu. This Puerto Rican Spanish rice is served with pulled braised chicken thighs, topped with crispy chicken skin and garnished with chimichurri. The rice is infused with sazon, a spice mixture that is a staple in Spanish American homes. Homemade sofrito and saffron are incorporated into the tender and creamy white rice, giving it a red hue. This dish was truly invigorating. It was bright and vibrant, while lending a comforting appeal. The chimichurri offered a slight tang and the briny olives, in the sofrito, added pops of flavor. The star of the dish was the juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken thighs that made me want to hunker down and stay a while. Another dish that was truly memorable was the Pig and Grits. This breakfast of champions is made with a family recipe of slow roasted pork shoulder and flairs of Spanish spices. Hoyt first featured this decadent meat at Foxy Loxy and “people went nuts over it.” Torres recognizes that “tourists are great, but locals are very important. This is a true family business and locals have supported us so much over the years.”



Just a few months after Atlantic opened its glass doors at the at the corner of Victory


and Drayton, Connect Savannah readers voted it the Best New Restaurant of 2017, also awarding the top prize to its chef. Chef Lauren (as she prefers to be called)previously served as the food and beverage director at the Andaz Hotel, bringing along the whole hog butchery and farmer relationships that earned her a cult foodie following while at 22 Square. At Atlantic, her hyperlocal sensibilities and no-waste philosophy keep portions generous and price points down, mixing up $10-$20 plates like cashew cheese flatbread, mushroom Bolognese and an always-perfectly prepared catch of the day. The revolving menus are an omnivore’s delight, offering vegetarian, meaty and gluten-free options. A former ballerina, the CIA-trained chef now oversees the plating of her creative dishes with a steely grace.

How do you describe your food?

Flavorful, approachable, affordable, memorable. It’s all fresh, but I don’t like the term “farm-to-table.” I mean, most food comes from a farm, and most people eat it at a table. What’s more important is do you know your farmer? Do you know the people cooking your food and serving you?

What are you excited about cooking this fall?

When it gets colder, I want bolder flavors—roasts, stews, cassoulets—saucy things that take a long time to cook. I can’t wait to sit outside near the fire pit in the chilly air, eating something hot.


Chef Lauren Teague, Atlantic

I actually live in Hardeeville, South Carolina, where the only restaurants are a Subway, a Dairy Queen and the China Buffet. If I’ve got a night off, I’m usually on the couch with my husband with a Blizzard and a take-out container of stir-fry, chilling out at home! — Profile by Jessica Leigh Lebos

Paris in Savannah - Oh la la ! French Delights with Southern Hospitality

Photography by Christina Karcher

128 East Bay Street - Factors Walk - Historic Savannah

(912) 712.3342







His fame may have once been boosted by his mentor, restauranteur and celebrity

chef Hugh Acheson, but Chef Jacovino has earned his place in Savannah’s food pantheon all on his own. At The Florence, he parlayed his Italian roots (he spent a year cooking from Naples to Venice) and commitment to local ingredients into modern, flavorful dishes the city had never tasted before: The squid ink bucatini and the beet scarpinocc remain legendary even after The Florence closed earlier this year. Foodie fans rejoiced when it was announced that he would head up the kitchen at the 1540 Room inside the sumptuously revamped DeSoto. The dining room is now open, its classic lines and elegant chandeliers the perfect setting for Chef Jacovino’s delicious presentations of chorizo-and-escabeche flavored octopus served in a cast iron pan and the family-style paella packed with fresh-caught seafood.

How do you describe your food?

Well, we’re doing new things here, but it’s always going to be some version of technically-driven, locally-sourced Italian. I also throw in a little Latin flavor as well—I use the salsa rojos and salsa verdes of Central America on the whole roasted fish, and the sweetness of South America in the empanadas.

What are you excited about cooking this fall?

I love gearing up for fall because it means I can get more aggressively Italian. Rafe Rivers of Canewater Farms will have those great peppers and vegetables, and there will be more grains available to make our polenta and pastas. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DESOTO BY SOTHEBY

Chef Kyle Jacovino, The

Room @the Desoto


Where do you like to eat in Savannah?

I’m a real hole-in-the-wall guy; I really like Amigo’s on Abercorn, their tortas are legit! I also live near the Vault, and I love walking down and getting sushi. And Coach’s Corner—I’m a Giants fan, and that place is the best for sitting down with a cold beer, a plate of wings and watching some football.

Olympia Cafe has been a local favorite for over 25 years. Serving fresh local seafood, homemade Greek specialties, and a range of gluten-free and vegetarian items, we pride ourselves on personal service in a family atmosphere. With a full bar and a large variety of Greek wine, Olympia is the perfect spot for a celebration or a casual lunch. We also have an ice cream shop with 31 flavors! With something for everyone, Olympia will have you saying OPA!






Mexican Eatery Taqueria Tequila Bar Downtown // Sandfly // //  

Profile for Connect Savannah

Savannah Restaurant Guide, Fall 2917  

Savannah Restaurant Guide, Fall 2917