Picture
Jazz’d Tapas Bar is a really great swanky place located near the heart of City Market. It is fantastic for date nights, girls’ nights, and celebrations. At night there is often live jazz music and the atmosphere feels like nothing else in Savannah.

The menu is definitely eclectic with over 35 different tapas available. These slightly oversized-versions of appetizers are perfect for mixing, matching, and (most importantly) sharing! I am a huge fan of this trend, and if you haven’t experienced it yet, what are you waiting for?

The Tapas for Two is a really great place to start for newbies. Each person in the pair gets to choose a salad or soup, four Tapas, and two desserts. Since the menu has so many great offerings, you may find yourself adding another tapas to your table, though you’ll be full enough that you will not need it.

I highly recommend the Black Bean Soup and the Pesto Chopped Salad for a starter-style choice. Both are a little different but a fun way to start the meal!

I’m always a fan of Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and this dish has jalapenos, roasted red peppers, peanuts and topped with a red curry peanut sauce. Spicy, peanut-y, and tasty! The Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms are also a great choice. I love the goat cheese and smoky chorizo combination! But perhaps I just love chorizo, because the Chorizo Empanadas are a favorite for sure.

There are lots of seafood (for those Pescatarians) and Vegetarian options, too. The Sesame Tuna is a favorite of mine --- hands down! A must order for Ahi lovers.

Overall, it really is a great place for special occasions, happy hours ($4 Tapas Tinis!), and for starting a night out. Plan to visit soon! And order a few fun cocktails --- like the Plumsake Tini and Watermelon Tini!




Top Shelf: Cuban Rubbed Beef Satays

These beef skewers are basted with a sweet jalapeno glaze that is really like no other. They’re also served alongside salted dried plantain strips – so good!

 

location. 52 Barnard Street, Downtown near City Market

connect. Jazz’d

SavannahMenu.com VIP restaurant. Yes! $10 off Tapas for Two


 
Picture
Located in the heart of downtown Savannah, this dual level restaurant has a lot of character and history. My first experience with this space was during a ghost tour. Since then, it has played monthly host to gatherings up on the rooftop. The bar is over 300 years old and imported from England, by way of Central Station in New York City. It should absolutely be included on your next trip downtown for the atmosphere alone.

They have a high quality selection of beers and a variety of wines, as well as a simple but tasty menu. While I usually go for the atmosphere up on the rooftop level, I almost always grab a bite to eat as well. Popular choices for the group include the Plantation Crab Cakes and their Crab Nachos.

Their sandwiches are also tasty, I prefer The “Drayton Street” Chicken Sandwich with grilled chicken. They also offer several salads and tons of other dishes that will accompany your delectable drinks.

Make sure to check out their happy hour. They do have a few specials that they run between 4 – 7pm during the week.

From time to time the service can be slow, especially if a big tour group just arrived, but it’s a great stop for any bar crawl to just enjoy a drink, admire the atmosphere and carry on a conversation. The only other downer is that there seems to be a different bartender every time we go so it has been hard to build a repoire with anyone that works there.

Top Shelf: Moroccan Chicken

This spiced-up chicken plate is something a little different than I normally find on the menus in Savannah. I love the sauce paired with this tasty protein.






location: 9 Drayton Street, Downtown Savannah

connect: Isaac’s

Savannah Menu VIP member: yes, free appetizer or dessert when you purchase two entrees


 
Picture
Let me start off by saying that this is my favorite BBQ restaurant. Not just in Savannah, but anywhere. And with good reason; it wins championships, people! Of course, championships are not the only things this little restaurant wins. They've been named the “Best of the Best in Barbecue Restaurants”, “Best Savannah BBQ”, “Best BBQ”, “Best Savannah BBQ Ribs”…… you get the picture.

We've pretty much tried the entire menu and have enjoyed everything we've tasted. We bring every visitor of ours to Wiley’s and usually start off with the Fried Pickles or the Fried Okra --- most of our northern visitors have never eaten a fried pickle, and lots have never even seen okra in person, making either a fun choice.

But southern starters are not why we talk up the place whenever we can, it is the barbecue! They have this amazing Better Than Sex BBQ Sauce (in Original and in Extra Tingly), and when you dip, pour, dunk, smother any food item in it, it instantly becomes 100 times better. You can even buy the sauce separately, at the restaurant or at local Savannah shops. And when you pair it with the juicy, tender meats on the menu it is nothing short of divine. Choose from Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Ribs, and more. I highly recommend the Sampler Plate so you and a friend can try a little bit of everything.

The sides are all really great, too. The ones we return to, time and time again? Mac & Cheese, Potato Salad, Red Beans and Rice, and Green Beans. They have really great desserts as well, but don’t plan on having room to eat them. Just take one to go.  They also offer daily specials. Try them. They are always great!

There are very few downers to this restaurant. They do have some odd hours, so make sure to check that they are going to be open before you head over. Also, you’ll find some of the side dishes are made with sort of a lot of oil or butter. The sides are very reasonably sized though, so I just leave the last bite or two at the bottom of each cup. 

Top Shelf: Side of Dutch Crust Sweet Potato Casserole

No joke, this is one of my all time favorite treats. I order it every time as one of my sides. I always save it for last to enjoy as a sort of dessert. It’s amazing and exactly what this dish is supposed to be.

location: 4700 highway 80 (Whitemarsh Island) Savannah, GA 31410

connect: Wiley's Championship BBQ

SavannahMenu.com VIP restaurant: yes, buy two entrees and two beverages and receive a free appetizer or dessert up to $5


Photo Credit: John Carrington/Savannah Morning News

 
Picture

This year marked the 10th Annual Savannah International Food & Wine Festival at the St. Paul's Hellenic Center. 
 
The event is known for bringing wines in from all over the world and offers a sampling of tasty dishes from area restaurants, all at a reasonable price. This year was no different. There were about 50 international wines and specialty foods from 15 local restaurants. 

It was a great chance to try some of Savannah’s most popular eateries like Vic’s on the River and Sage, a trending restaurant that opened earlier this year. These two restaurants definitely had my favorite dishes of the event. I'm looking forward to hitting up (and reviewing!) these restaurants soon! 

While great food and wine should be reason enough of a reason for me to go, there was the added benefit that all proceeds go to the Scholarship Fund and the many charities of the Philoptochos Society of the Greek Orthodox Church. The community of Savannah, local individuals in need, and victims of tragedy are a big focus of those charitable efforts. 

In an effort to raise more funds, for the first time, the Festival held a silent auction from 4 – 6pm featuring romantic weekend getaways in the historic district and on Tybee Island, as well as fine jewelry, gift baskets, gift certificates, and more. The wide price range of items will allow every attendee to participate.

I had a lot of fun silently bidding away on everything from light margarita stuffed baskets to vases and jewelry and dog-friendly finds. While I mostly just helped to kick the fundraising up a notch, I did get to go home with a few items. And so did my lovely friend who joined me. 

I will definitely return to this super fun event next year! 





 
Picture
There are really too many reasons to love The Distillery; the food, the beer selection, the atmosphere, and the events, not to mention their club. I have been a big fan of this place since we first walked through the door. And now, it is always on our "Must Do" list when we have visitors in town. 

They have a really great, ever changing list of craft beers on tap and over 100 varieties of bottled beer available. If that isn’t enough to draw you in, the menu is fantastic, too!

There are lots of great appetizers to start you off. The Pretzel Treasures (little pretzel nuggets served with two dips – cheese & mustard), Fried Pickles (pickle spears served with honey jalapeno remoulade sauce), and the Distillery’s specialty Hog Hammers (dinner size cuts of pork with your choice of delicious sauce) are all amazing ways to kick off your meal.

As a huge salad fan, I tend to check out this section first. While it is light on the options, the Savannah Chicken Salad with blackened chicken made up for it. Big on taste and loaded with fun things (bacon, tomatoes, sweet potato fries, and cheese), this salad did not disappoint.

Other stand-out dishes include the Big Daddy’s Fish Tacos, Black Bean Burger, and Houdini Chicken Sandwich ---- all great choices! This menu is really packed with options though, so do not feel tied to any one dish. I love The Distillery because I never feel like I have to order the-same-one-dish-I-like. I’ve yet to try everything on the menu, but I’m up for the challenge. 


The only flaw I really have here is that the service is very hit or miss. Sometimes the servers are attentive and can answer your craft beer questions, while other times you might barely see your server. So plan on spending your time there, though the issue has been better recently.



 Top Shelf: Double Chocolate Deep Fried Moon Pie

If you only do one thing while you are in Savannah, go to The Distillery and get the Fried Moon Pie. The menu claims “there are no words to describe the awesomeness”, and they are not lying. Go there. Eat this. You’ll thank me. The best $6 you’ll ever spend.

Local Alert: If you are local (or travel to Savannah regularly) and love craft beer, it is definitely worth joining their Beer Club. Every month they offer their beer club members a night of beer tasting; four tickets to redeem for 5-oz. pours of any of the month’s featured brewery. The club is a reasonable $50. Keep in mind that it is a one-time-only fee for a lifetime membership. Plus it gives you a good excuse to frequent The Distillery! 


location: 416 w. liberty street (downtown)
connect: The Distillery
SavannahMenu.com VIP restaurant: not yet