An Exhilarating Dining Destination In The South: Savannah

An Exhilarating Dining Destination In The South: Savannah
Courtesy of Bar Julian

As its nickname suggests, Hostess City lives up to its name.

It looks like they'll be staying along the Savannah River for quite some time, as cargo ships the length of the Empire State Building slowly chug their way along the rooftop patio of Bar Julian.

Bar Julian is proving that cargo isn't the only thing calling on Savannah's shores these days; it's one of the hippest, if not most scenic places to serve Georgia juleps.

In the newly opened Thompson Savannah, Fleeting's is one of many restaurants bringing the new wave of Southern fine dining to the contemporary ground floor, 12 stories down.

It has been a decade since Southern food has undergone a renaissance, but what I think is happening now and something I've been advocating is the embrace of different cultures being infused into Southern cuisine,” said executive chef Rob Newton.

Newton, a native of Arkansas, uses seasonally sourced ingredients from Georgia’s waterways and early morning farmer’s market to create his crowd-pleasing biscuits with duck confit and shrimp congee with Carolina Gold red rice. He combines them with traditional Southern classics like biscuits with duck confit and salt and pepper shrimp congee with Carolina Gold red rice. He decided to add grits peppered with chestnuts and pickled habanadas only recently after some deliberation.

Courtesy of Common Thread

In this region, I feel very close to cooking. Although the seasons here are different than what I am used to, the seasonality and variances in seasonality is something you do not get anywhere else, which is why I find it exciting to create a menu like that in Fleeting, and to capture those micro-moments in the seasons.”

The vibe at Common Thread couldn't be more different from Fleeting, which is set in a former Victorian house. As ponzu gelée oysters, chicken shawarma, and wahoo ceviche are served, candlelit corners and deep cuts from A Tribe Called Quest serve as romantic backdrops.

The Lowcountry in general, and Savannah in particular, are experiencing a really exciting and fun time. The food in this part of the country is some of the best in the country right now, with great ingredients and incredible seafood, and I am confident that we are about to see something similar to what has been happening in Charleston.

When Carter first opened Farm in nearby Bluffton back in 2016, he found out it wasn't easy for a farm-to-table restaurant to gain traction in the region, as he worked as executive chef at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff, now Montage Palmetto Bluff, and the Ritz Carlton Naples.

Initially, the farm was challenging. There was nothing comparable in the area. Our Farm family is ride or die, but we stayed true to our mission and we built a family that is ride or die. It is less expensive for me to buy products made in other countries and shipped here.

Courtesy of The Grey

There has been a long time in the making of places like Fleeting and Common Ground. You can't discuss the food scene of Savannah without mentioning Mashama Bailey and Johno Morisano at the Grey, just like it seems you can't talk about popular Southern food cities without mentioning Charleston.

Located in a deserted 1938 Greyhound Bus Terminal, The Grey opened in 2014 to rave reviews. A cuisine rooted in Southern ingredients, but not shut off from the world that passed through this old coastal town, Bailey serves Port City Southern food. This model of Southern cooking embraces global influences, and has gained popularity here over the years. The foie and grits, smoky pig and mashed potatoes with beer yeast served by Bailey have kept diners coming back time and time again. Savannah's culinary scene has been established since The Grey arrived, along with Cotton & Rye, which opened shortly thereafter.

Its historic district is no longer the only place in the city with a vibrant scene. Starland Yards hosts an emerging artist and entrepreneur community, as well as rotating food trucks such as Pizzeria Vittoria, a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design.

Courtesy of Savannah Morning News

Located in Starland District, Andrew Brochu's Brochu's Family Tradition will serve five star food in an approachable setting in one of the most hotly anticipated restaurant openings later this year.

In order to create a one-Michelin-star meal that would blow your mind, I thought, do you need nice lighting and a beautiful design, or is there a space where you can still cook at the same level without so much overhead? My answer was always yes.

Alinea Group Chef Brochu, who had worked in Michelin-starred restaurants and ran the kitchen at Roister, was in the process of opening a similar concept restaurant in Chicago in 2018. Following the collapse of the project and the appearance of Covid-19, Brochu and Sophie took a step back to reconsider their options.

For the first time, we took a step back and said, "Let's wait and see what happens."

The stars aligned after Brochu and his wife found the right space for their reimagined high-end casual restaurant concept in Starland District, and that led them down to Savannah where they have family.

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