Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Olde Pink House is an Old Savannah Favorite

The Olde Pink House comes highly recommended from every angle and everyone I asked about it before making my reservation.  There are a few naysayers out there - ignore them.

The Olde Pink House is on the western side of Reynolds Square in Historic Savannah and is the oldest surviving mansion in the city.  It was built for a wealthy planter, James Habersham Jr, in 1771 from land granted by the crown of England.  This pink brick National Landmark has a varied and even haunted history.  Habersham is said to have committed suicide in the basement after discovering that the architect of the mansion had an affair with his wife leaving him to haunt the house ever since.

The mansion has heard the whispers of independence helping to establish the independence for a young country, it has held wealth of a city as Planter's Bank (Georgia's first bank), it was a present to President Lincoln from Savannah and watched as the Civil War was waged and at times decided from within its walls.  It was neglected and then used to office an attorney before becoming a book store, a tea room and finally it was restored.  The William Balish family from Charleston purchased the mansion bestowing the elegance from long ago back into its stately walls.

Ghosts, staff and diners walk side by side in one of Savannah's most beloved restaurants with fare to match its history taking traditional Southern cuisine and adding a modern touch.  The many ornate rooms of the mansion are now dining rooms for couples, families and groups - there appears to be a space for all to have an unforgettable experience.  The mise en scène and old world Southern charm of the original artwork, heart of pine floors and 18th century antiques fuse to lead each diner into another time.  The attentive staff lend their part in pulling you away from the present while allowing guests to be relaxed in casual or formal attire.  Even the old bank vaults do their part as wine cellars to ensure that all is prepared.  Candlelit tables, white table cloths, dim lighting and a killer menu made it a romantic evening for my wife and I.
Fried Green Tomato 'BLT'
We weren't terribly hungry actually so we split the 'BLT' Fried Green Tomatoes and Sweet Bacon with Black Pepper Thyme Buttermilk Dressing ($8.95) between us.  The Chef was kind enough to plate this for us individually so we didn't have to drag from one plate to another at the table.  The fried tomato was perfect only made better by adding sweet bacon of course!  The buttermilk dressing made it a masterpiece - great start.

We decided to order a bottle of the 2009 Hirsch Vineyards Bohan-Dillon Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.  From cherries and plum to a touch of cola and spice with a touch of tannin, the minerality and acidity were all it needed to round it out for us.  Another reason why we had such a wonderful experience.
Braised Pork
Our entrees were right on the money for us.  My wife ordered the Braised Pork Shank with Pineapple Glaze, Macaroni & Cheese and Collards ($23.95) and even gave me a taste.  The shank was tender and flavorful paired with the semi-sweet glaze.  The mac & cheese was gone way too quickly and the collards were good Southern collards done the way momma used to do it.
Crispy Flounder
I took our server's recommendation of the Crispy Scored Flounder with Apricot Shallot Sauce, Anson Mills Grits and Collards ($26.95) which is a house favorite.  I thought the presentation was impressive even though my wife wasn't thrilled but she was happy that I was happy.  The flounder was slightly overcooked but quickly forgiven as I devoured the meal.  For a guy who wasn't hungry I sure didn't act the part.  While you already know the answer to the collards the grits were Anson Mills.  Synonymous for good and part of the Southern food culture (made from organic heirloom grains in South Carolina), the Chef worked his magic once again.

The Arches
Enchanting dinner that left us happy and satisfied.  We didn't even take the time to be entertained with the live music offered nightly in The Arches, the in-house bar offering in door or out door seating through a series or arched French doors.
The Olde Pink House is a must dine location when in Savannah.

Contact Information
The Olde Pink House
(912) 232-4286
23 Abercorn Street
Savannah, Georgia  31401

The Olde Pink House on Urbanspoon

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