Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Elizabeth on 37th

I just had a realization. Reading these entries about my trip to Savannah is kinda like a modern day version of showing family members a slide show from your vacation. That being said, this is the closing entry from the trip and I saved the best for last!

A friend of mine from work had strongly advised that I go to Elizabeth on 37th while in Savannah. As in she pretty much forced me to make the ressies. And yes, it really was worth it.

The restaurant itself is located in an old house with dining areas in different rooms. For the majority of this meal we were in a room by ourselves. Which was actually pretty cool. We got loads of attention from all the employees to the point that at the end of the meal I'm not really sure who our front server was. I really cannot rave enough about the staff..and this really brings home the point that I tell me students all the time: guests are willing to pay a bit extra for higher levels of service.

We decided to skip apps and all that good stuff since we weren't overly hungry from our high tea at Gryphon Tea Room that afternoon. (And a high tea it was. If I lived in Savannah I'd be at this place everyday.) Our servers had a different idea, however. Our first three courses were an on-the-house surprise.

Dinner started with an amazing Amuse Bouche of a local Clam with Chipotle Aioli. Not too spicy, the savoriness of the Aioli was a perfect match to the sweetness of the Clam.

Next we were served a small portion of the Cream of Vidalia Onion Soup. The flavors were amazing-not too rich or overpowering. It was a bit thin for a Cream Soup, but the warmth was greatly appreciated on the cold evening!

We were also served a small dinner salad with beautiful greens and surprising hunks of fresh curly Italian Parsley. It was also covered in beautiful fresh apples...which unfortunately I'm allergic to. So I had one bite of the salad, started getting a little itchy and had to push it to the side.

For my entree I ordered one the specials: Local Black Grouper with a Cauliflower "Flan", Roasted Tomatoes, Wild Mushrooms and Truffle Oil. I was a bit hesitant to order this at first, but (one of) our servers insisted that the Truffle would not be overwhelming. He was right! I think this may be one of the only dishes I've had where the Truffle oil was used in a way to merely enhance the other ingredients...instead of being an ingredient all to itself. The flavor was so mild that I relied more on the aroma instead. The Cauliflower Flan was perfect in it's smooth velvety consistency. And the Grouper was seared to perfection. I really, really liked this dish and have to say that it was a perfect representation of how the combinations of different elements on the plate can come together perfectly.

The plan was to skip dessert after the afternoon sugar rush at high tea. But when we heard (yet another server) tell us about this dessert, there was no denying it. Goat Cheese Cheeescake with a Sour Cream Icing and Peppermint Cream. (Yeah, this thing was so good it even deserves it's own sentence.) This officially may be my favorite dessert. Ever. We've all had Goat Cheese Cheesecakes before, but the combination of the boarderline savory Cheesecake with the barely sweet Sour Cream Icing was amazing. Add in the light Peppermint Cream (think Peppermint Stick Ice Cream) and we forgot about how full we were. Think I'm exaggerating? If I rated food on this site with stars, or forks or whatever, this dish would get the whole kit and caboodle.

We had a subtle but floral Viognier with the meal that had all proceeds going to Tibetan Monks. Yes, random, but I guess that they had some wine left over from a charity function. So pretty cool. If I had more money I would have gone to town with this wine list. And then sent a check to Tibet.

I just had another realization. I'm kinda glad that Elizabeth on 37th isn't located in Orlando. Because I would want to go every weekend. It definitely is a special occasion place (my share alone of the bill was three digits) but I know that next time I'm up in the Savannah I will have to stop in.

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