Savannah & Charleston Eats
2 days in each - here is the list so far. Tell me you favs and if any should not be on the list.
Wiley's Championship BBQ
Old Pink House (elegant)
local II Ten Food & Wine
Vic on the River
Pearl's Saltwater Grill
Back in the Day Sanwiches
Mrs Wilkes (cash only)
6 Pence Pub (lunch)
Express Cafe and Breakfast Club (bagels)
Blowin' Smoke BBQ
Caviar & Banans (Takeout)
Market Pav Hotel (Roof Deck)
Ruede Jean (French)
Charleston Crab House
Fulton Five (Italian)
Coast Bar & Grill
Hominy Grill (breakfast)
Venue Inn (rooftop bar)
Poogan's Porch (lunch)
Huck's Lowcountry Table
From your list, I'd avoid Charleston Crab House and Poogan's Porch - touristy and while the food isn't bad, there's much better fare to be had in Charleston.
The food at Fleet Landing is also mediocore, but the setting is great (casual) - one of the very few places in downtown Charleston where you can sit on the water to eat.
SNOB, FIG, Lana & Rue de Jean are my favorites from your list.
If you're interested in takeout, try Ted's Butcherblock on East Bay St. for amazing panini, wine & craft beer, cheeses, picnics to go and gourmet-to-go.
Just back from a long weekend in Charleston. Some thoughts:
SNOB: Arrived for a 1:15 lunch reservation and was told our table would be ready in 5 minutes. Forty-five minutes later table still not ready; we were offered, and took, a less desirable table next to the bar. Hostess asked if we wanted anything to drink while we waited. Friend asked for a glass of wine; hostess heard “water.” Oh well; at least she asked. Concerned we’d be too full for dinner, we ordered lightly. My crab salad was nothing special. Maybe we ordered poorly, but couldn’t figure out what the hype was about.
Fig: Excellent dinner; lovely service. I started with crab claws served with a lovely lemon and herb mayo and gorgeous asparagus. For a main I had veal sweatbreads with morels and turnips. Terrific. An ordered side dish of perfectly cooked fresh peas with nettle pesto farrotto was especially notable. Sommelier recommended an unusual wine that was just perfect for the dishes ordered. Very highly recommended.
Cru Café: Charming place for lunch. The fried green tomatoes were excellent as was a duck confit salad. My friend had the fried coconut oyster wrap with chipotle mayo and said it didn’t have much zing. I had the special pulled pork bbq sandwich and it was good, but not unusual.
Penninsula Grill: Had dinner by myself and am sometimes concerned that an older, single woman won’t get top-drawer service. Not here. They couldn’t have been more gracious and welcoming. Had the sweetbreads again, this time as an appetizer served on shiitake and butterbean ravioli. For a main, sautéed trout that came with spicy grits fries. Northerner here who doesn’t get the whole grits thing, but sure liked them this way. Get the coconut cake if you must, but the banana panna cotta covered with a slick of dark chocolate and served with a caramel sauce was every bit as good, if not better. Excellent dinner, charming room, outstanding service.
Magnolias: Had a late lunch/early dinner with pan-fried chicken livers as a starter and a second starter, the spicy shrimp and sausage with tasso gravy on grits, for a main. Don’t let them kid you about the small plates thing. The shrimp and grits was huge; absolutely terrific—and really spicy—but I just couldn’t finish it. People at the next table were raving about both the fried green tomatoes and the fried chicken. Wish I’d had a chance to go back and try even more of the menu.
Hominy Grill: Got there half an hour early for the 9:00 a.m. opening for Sunday brunch and were first in line. By the time the door opened, there were enough people in line to fill the place. Friend had shrimp and grits and she, with much more experience with grits than I, thought they were an especially good version. I had a sautéed softshelled crab special and paid a buck extra for a biscuit. Crab was good, but I’ve had as good elsewhere; biscuit was good, too, but I’ve made better. Maybe we didn’t make the best choices?
Trattoria Lucca: A fairly new place (somewhat out of the way at 41 Bogard St.) not on your list, came very highly recommended and it deserved to be. Note, though, that the menu lists pastas as “primi,” but they’re not half plates. If you order the excellent pastas, as we did, and a main (we had very well prepared, very fresh fish), you’ll be very full.
Finally, if you’re going to be in town on a Saturday morning, the farmers market at Marion Square is definitely worth a visit. Lots of free samples of cheeses, pickles, jams, freshly-fried mini-doughnuts plus omelets and crepes to order and tables for sitting and enjoying. Gorgeous fresh produce, crafts, snack foods—lots of stuff I would have been happy to bring home if I were going to be lugging jars on the plane.
Just back tonight from 2 days in Savannah/2 in Charleston. I'd highly recommend EOS in Savannah. Small plates. Casual atmosphere. Nice wine options. Also enjoyed Firefly Cafe for lunch. In Charleston, lunch at SNOB was excellent; a drink at the rooftop bar at Market Pavillion Hotel was fun and had an excellent, excellent dinner at Cru Cafe.
My wife and I just spent 4 days in Savannah. The quality of food there was excellent. I would recommend the restaurants where we ate dinner in this order: Bistro Savannah,
Garibaldi's, Old Pink House, and Vic's On the River. All four had good food, ambience, and service. The Old Pink House and Vic's were a little more expensive and we thought they tried to rush us a little at the Old Pink House (we dine early due to my wife's reflux problem). However, I would recommend all four of them.
We were in Savannah two years ago and had a wonderful meal at a place called Jazz'ed - it's a tapas place and had the best martini marniated beef tips - that is one meal that still haunts me (another thread) I have been trying to make them, but just can't get the formula right.
Certainly do Fig if you are able. They have Charleston's latest James Beard Award winning chef.
Slightly North of Broad used to be on my list, but was treated like I wasn't important the last time I was there (they were busy and I probably WASN'T important). We were crammed in a corner by the end of the bar and amidst the standing crowd of waiting patrons (people's asses literally in my face). Why they would sit any customer at that table I'm not sure. They were actually using it as a waitstaff catch-all table (it took a while to get the staff's personal items taken away), but I guess they felt we were deserving of such fine seating and placed us there. SNoB used to be one of our favorite spots. We didn't eat that night and we haven't been back since (more than a year...and we're Charleston residents).
Did a visit to these two cities not long ago, and felt the two "musts" were Mrs. Wilkes in Savannah and SNOB in Charleston. For Mrs. Wilkes, they're only open M-F for lunch from 11 AM to 2 PM, and a line often begins early -- I was told to get there about 10:30 AM, and that was good advice, as the line started forming in earnest right after that (and they don't take reservations).
Wiley's Championship BBQ - never heard of it
Forsytha Mansion - you may be speaking of the Mansion on Forsyth and its restaurant, 700 Drayton - very good - the bar is a must for a couple
Old Pink House (elegant) - old school and good: upstairs is elegant and downstairs is more casual
Bistro Savannah - good, but Garibaldi's is next door and may be a cut above
local II Ten Food & Wine - very good
Vic's on the River - very good
Pearl's Saltwater Grill - beautiful scenery out on the back marshes of the Herb River - perfectly mediocre food
Alligator Soul - very good
Walls BBQ - eh.... It's great attraction is it's a little hut down an alley - there is nothing special about the food, IMO
Zunzi (Takeout) - South African chow - good
Noble Fare - excellent - it and Elizabeth on 37th are the places you'd take your wealthy uncle from NYC or Paris
Back in the Day Sanwiches - the curried chicken sammich is excellent
Tubbys (lunch) - I've heard they're good
Belfords (breakfast) - never done it
1790 Inn - I don't know anyone who's ever been - could be good - who knows?
Mrs Wilkes (cash only) - de rigueur
Spankys (lunch) - LOL!
6 Pence Pub (lunch) - never ate there - a decent place to grab a cold one (or three) walking up Bull Street
Express Cafe and Breakfast Club (bagels) - yep, Express is good for breakfast or for lunch. Breakfast Club is out at Tybee Island and they close at 1:00PM. Gret breakfasts and their lunch specials are awesome.
Blowin' Smoke BBQ - great 'que
In Charleston, I can vouch for SNOB and Fig - I really dig both, but I'm sure a Charlestonian can steer you right. For my money, I always stay at the Vendue Inn. It's in an old downtown motel but it's got a really wonderful courtyard and the whole setup has a neat French Quarter feel to it. The staff and the hospitality are the best.
Enjoy your stays in beautiful historic Savannah and her lovely sister city.