Close your eyes – imagine yourself sitting in a square. You hear the sound of a horse-drawn carriage “clip-clopping” down cobblestone roads. You see moss whimsically dangling from century-old trees and perfectly manicured squares outlined by bustling shops and restaurants. You hear the laughter of a couple sipping wine outside of a café and children frantically running their tiny fingers through fountains. The wind carries its own perfume; a combination of the salty sea, gardenias, and someone cooking something absolutely rich and delectable at a nearby restaurant. This romantic scenery can only be painted by the hostess city herself, Savannah. Romance is abundant in our historic, little city and we are in no shortage of great date-night spots.
Garibaldi’s – Tucked away on the edge of City Market, Garibaldi hosts some of the best food in the 912. For being a coastal city, you may be surprised to find that Savannah does
not have an abundance of seafood restaurants. Make Garibaldi’s your downtown go-to for raw oysters, shrimp, crab cakes and lobster in a sophisticated setting. Beyond their succulent seafood, Garibaldi’s offers two separate, incredibly romantic atmospheres. The first floor resembles your classic, dimly-lit Italian joint. Dark leather booths line dark walls illuminated by tea candles – a little Godfather, but not. Walk upstairs and you are greeted by floor to ceiling windows and mirrors, white table cloths and airy chivari seating. There is no doubt why this space often plays host to wedding rehearsals and receptions.
The Olde Pink House – Get in your car and follow Abercorn Street all the way to Reynolds Square. See the big pink building in the left corner? Don’t walk, RUN to it. The Olde Pink Pouse is very similar to its older, grumpier counterpart Elizabeth’s on 37th; an 18th century mansion turned restaurant minus the pretentious following plus a better atmosphere minus the rumored ghosts equals the best bite in Savannah. Welcome to my favorite restaurant in the good ol’ S-A-V.
Upon arriving, you’re greeted with the sweetest southern charm and offered seating on the main floor, upstairs, basement, or outdoor seating. You can even take a tour before choosing where to sit! I definitely recommend outdoor seating for lunch and the basement for a romantic dinner. You can find young people enjoying happy hour cocktails on the patio and a bustling crowd dancing to a live pianist in the basement.
The menu boasts a wide variety of the best southern cuisine in Savannah; bourbon molasses grilled pork tenderloin, creamy grits, collards, and sweet potatoes with pecan vanilla butter are only a few of the mouth-watering items you will find on their menu. It’s too difficult to pick my favorite thing on the menu, so you’ll just have to try it for yourself! Be sure to make reservations – there’s a reason this place always has a line out of the door; the service, food and atmosphere are unparalleled by any restaurant in Savannah.
Alligator Soul – Savannah’s hidden gem, nestled below ground on Barnard Street, adjacent to gorgeous Telfair Square. Alligator Soul is a bit difficult to find, but even harder to
forget. Steal away with your sweetie to the exposed brick back room and try their seasonal carving board with house-made meats and local farm-to-table Georgia cheeses. Pair the board with the best dirty martini in Savannah; they stuff olives with bleu cheese in front of you and praise be to the Heavens, you have never tasted something so good in your life. Go classic with their dreamy shrimp and grits or the signature “Little Hilbo;” Hilbo-spiced and grilled all-natural grass fed beef ribeye, duck fat pommes frites, sautéed organic asparagus, veal demi-glace, and bourbon peppercorn cream. My mouth is watering with every keystroke.
Feeling a little more adventurous? Get there early and try the exotic specialty. They serve limited quantities of local and international game including kangaroo, ostrich, red deer, and rattlesnake. Once it’s gone, you’ll have to wait until the next night to see what they’ll be serving.
Honorable mentions: Cha Bella, Pacci, Circa 1875, Cotton & Rye