Dining Notes


Fresh is the word for Local 11 Ten, opening this fall at the corner of Bull and Duffy streets. According to chef Keith Latture, this new Mediterranean spot will combine flavors of France, Spain and Italy with local, seasonal produce and specialty meats for a unique sense of place. The restaurant promises to offer a complete dining experience as well. “We wanted to bring something local that’s a little unexpected,” says designer Joel Snayd of Re:Think design. Snayd’s design concept includes custom lighting and furniture that reflect the fresh and interesting ingredients.

Barbara Jean’s has opened on Wilmington Island to rave reviews. The family-owned restaurants ship their world-famous crab cakes and she-crab soup all around the country. General manager Scott Reyna says the atmosphere is what makes the Wilmington Island location great. “We have a view of the marsh that can’t be beat,” he says. Be sure to save room for their famous dessert: Chocolate Stuff. The recipe is top secret, but the chocolate part should be obvious. It’s a warm, pudding- like, gooey mess that can’t help but be good. Barbara Jean’s, 138 Johnny Mercer Blvd. , 912. 898. 4424.

Joey Arnold purchased Kelley’s Kasseroles, and since July has been serving home cooked meals from 5: 30 a. m. to 5: 30 p. m. , Monday through Saturday. Breakfast is traditional Southern fare, with bacon, eggs and biscuits until 11 a.m. Then it’s time for an amazing lunch. The hot lunch is just $6, and includes meat (fried chicken is available every day; other rotating selections include meatloaf, beef stew and pork chops) and three vegetables (pick from six or seven made fresh daily), plus biscuits or cornbread. Arnold says this is what the area (Ferguson Avenue near Skidaway Island) has needed for a long time. But come early—the dining room only holds 30 people, and with food this good it fills up quickly. Joey’s Restaurant still does casseroles as well, and kept Kelley’s old menu too. Joey’s Restaurant,

If you ever thought Southern boys couldn’t go organic, Southern Boy Savannah Sandwiches is out to prove you wrong. SOBO (short for the two hard-working Southern boys behind it all) launched a fresh, organic lunch delivery, featuring sandwiches made on fresh ciabatta bread with natural, organic, gourmet ingredients. Owners Christopher Jones and Al Thomas noticed that Savannah had a lot of sandwich places, but that nobody delivered organic sandwiches. Delivery is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Jones and Thomas hope to have a retail location open all day in the near future. Southern Boy Savannah Sandwiches, 912. 233. 2284.

Nationally-celebrated restaurateur Nicole Bush, owner and operator of Mom and Nikki’s Soul Food, has just relocated her restaurant to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Not only has it been featured in the local press, the restaurant also has joined the elite ranks of Savannah restaurants featured on the Food Network. In 1996, Bush opened Mom and Nikki’s on MLK, and four years later moved to a larger space on Bull Street. But now she’s back on MLK, with enough space to host private parties as well as accommodate those who are increasingly deciding to dine in. Bush is excited about the move because she feels the restaurant can contribute to positive revitalization of the MLK area. Even those who missed the grand re-opening in July can still get breakfast and lunch from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Mom and Nikki’s Soul Food, 714 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 912.233.7636.

B. Matthew’s Bakery–Eatery on Bay Street will soon change hands. Charles Becton, the outgoing owner, says the popular lunch spot has been waiting for the perfect new owners to come around. “It was very important for us to find decent people who liked B. Matthew’s just like it was, and didn’t want to turn the location back into a bar,” he says. Luckily, Becton found Brian and Laura Huskey. At the end of August, Becton and partner Brian Matthew Carroll will head to Alpharetta, Georgia, to start a new restaurant project, and the Huskeys will take over B. Matthew’s for good. Most of the B. Matthew’s staff will be sticking around to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible… B. Matthew’s was also recently included in Michelin Travel Publications’ “Must Sees” series, along with local eateries Elizabeth on 37th, Il Pasticcio, and The Lady and Sons. B. Matthew’s, 325 E. Bay St., 912.233.1319.

Poppy’s Bar and Grill has replaced Coop’s Classic Grill on Broughton Street. Poppy’s, owned by Brian and Geoff Grenchik of aVida restaurant and wine bar, serves the same classic American food, along with some seafood items and a full bar. “People know us downtown,” says Brian Grenchik. He points out that people can expect to have the same standards for quality and service they’re used to from aVida in a more casual setting. Grenchik worked with the new chef on a menu for more than two months, but it is the guests who will eventually determine the restaurant’s signature dishes. “We’ve got lots of neat stuff coming down the pipeline,” he says. Poppy’s Bar and Grill, 17 W. Broughton St., 912.234.6409.

The venerable 17 Hundred 90 has undergone a culinary facelift of sorts, hiring two new chefs and spicing up the menu to add more contemporary and upscale dishes. Executive Chef Valintus Domingo was the executive sous chef at the Mansion on Forsyth Park. With 20 years of experience ranging from Charleston to Washington State he honed his skills working on both coasts and with such names as Wolfgang Puck. With the new menu, he’s “trying to bring more life and fresher, more upscale menu, more 2000 than 1980.” Darcy O’Connor is the new executive sous chef and brings a high-class pedigree of her own. A graduate of New York’s Institute of Culinary Education, she worked for the Fairmont Hotel and on the corporate task force for Harrah’s.

The two will bring a seasonal freshness to what Domingo calls “Savannah’s first fine dining restaurant.” The fall flavors will be appropriately rich, and Domingo is focusing on appetizers, including his award-winning jumbo lump crab cake which is served with a lime chili aoli. Other fresh specialties include a double cut pork chop, off the freshly cut whole rack of pork. The two chefs stress that everything is made in house from the cornbread to the honey pecan infused pesto butter, to the 18 oz. rib eye steaks freshly cut from the bone. 17 Hundred 90, 307 E. President St., 912.236.7122.

Late night weekenders now have a new option for the post-bar munchies: Gerald’s Diner. Taking the location of the former and beloved Jupiter Café, Gerald’s is the brainchild of BBQ caterer extrodinaire, Gerald Schantz. Thankfully, Schantz will keep the same “meat an’ three” style menu that Southerners love so much. Monday through Thursday the diner will be open for breakfast and lunch, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday there will be dinner with a full menu of bbq ribs, pulled pork and fried shrimp with an extremely late-night breakfast buffet Friday and Saturday that will stay hot long after the last clubs have closed. The food will include the regular assortment of omlettes, biscuits, meats and specialty potatoes pancakes. For those aiming for a more dinner appropriate specialty, Schantz has created the 2/3 pound chili-cheeseburger, served on a hoagie

Schantz is looking at an October 1 opening, and has his sites set on live music and a beer and wine license, to better serve a 4:20 p.m. Savannah Happy Hour stating a desire to bring back the “Jim Collins era of beer and wine.”

Schantz is also the owner of Aurora Glass, and his personal eclectic touch will certainly utilize some of that material in the interior. He also plans on changing the way people think of take-out by implementing a strict, triple checked and verifiable series of forms that customers will be able to see on their bags. Gerald’s Diner, 324 W. Bolton St., 912.786.4227.

Savannah darling Fiddler’s Crab House will be opening a second location on the Soutside this fall. Part of Liveoak Restaurant’s portfolio that includes Spanky’s, Tubby Tank House and the Cobblestone Conch House. Chef Emmanuel Garango will offer a similar slew of seafood and American favorites. Occupying the former Go Fish on Hodgson Memorial Dr., the remodled restaurant will have a waterwall outside, a meeting room/banquet area and outdoor seating. Live music is also planned for the future. Fiddler’s Crab House, 7201 Hodgson Memorial Dr..

Tanner’s Taste of Chicago, has flip-flopped ownership recently with Paulette Faber buying the restaurant back from the previous owners who had purchased the Savannah classic from her husband Michael Faber in 1994. Now that the restaurant is back in the family, Michael says his wife lets him “come in and play.” The Fabers are going to be expanding the small snack stand into a bone fide Chicago-style diner. November 1 Tanner’s will annex the store to the east of the current location and add some 75 sit down seats in subsequent renovations. Breakfast and Vienna kosher foods will be served as will be hickory-smoked ribs. As any good diner should, breakfast will be served all day. Tanner’s Taste of Chicago, 21 E. Broughton St., 912. 234. 8111.

The Old Pirates’ House is under new ownership with Jamie and Kristi Carver partnering with Cheryl Power, owner of the Shrimp Factory. Over the next year the Carvers will assume sole ownership of the Savannah institution. Calling it “the opportunity of a lifetime,” Jamie Carver, formerly head chef at another Savannah tradition, Johnny Harris, will serve as GM, owner, operator and chef at The Pirates’ House. There are big plans in store for the oldest building in the city. 45 South will be re-opened first in a limited role on the third Friday of each month, then full time at the beginning of the year. Perhaps more ambitiously, Carver is planning on re- opening Hannah’s, the famous haunt of Ben Tucker and Emma Kelly, where he plans to feature jazz and swinging blues along with a happy hour in order to lure in the locals. Hannah’s should be open in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The Pirates’ House, 20 E. Broad St., 912.233.5757.