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Savannah restaurants open on Christmas Eve?


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#1 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 29 November 2005 - 09:44 AM

I just received an email from a lovely lady who is traveling southward and going through Savannah on Christmas Eve. She is looking for a restaurant, serving seafood, which will be open for dinner.

My family is traveling from Raleigh to Jacksonville FL with a one night stop in Savannah on CHRISTMAS EVE with my 2 boys, ages 10 and 7. We want a nice Christmas Eve dinner near the Riverfront (staying at Marriott) and are looking for a memorable experience but want to be careful that the place is somewhat kid friendly. We want seafood, price not as important. As native NCians, we cut our teeth on BBQ and collards so we are not searching for those per se.
Who is open on Christmas Eve? Do we need reservations?

If you have any advice for her, please post it here. Thanks so very much, as Wolf Blitzer says ...

Is anyone familiar with one of these restaurants?
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#2 Cucina

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:50 AM

Why doesn't she call the concierge at the Mariott? They should know better than about anyone. But she's right to get a reservation now.

If Elizabeth's is open - hands down first choice. Elizabeth and her husband Michael have a wonderful place with exceptional food. I don't know that you'll see lots of children there, but I can't imagine getting anything other than a warm welcome.

Edited by Cucina, 30 November 2005 - 09:54 AM.


#3 R.E. Turner

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 01:32 PM

Gifted Gourmet, I'm familiar with most of the restaurants reviewed on the Fodor's site, and can add a few comments:

Probably the most "kid-friendly" of the restaurants listed is Johnny Harris', and it's definitely a setting for a memorable meal: Octagonal dining room, live music and/or dancing on Saturday nights, and I've never had poor food or service there. From the Marriott, it's only about 2 miles via expressway, with plenty of parking. They're known primarily for their BBQ and steaks, but the seafood is typically fresh and well-prepared.

Elizabeth on 37th is (again, in my experience) always good, but I'm not sure whether I'd take my own 8-year-old there for dinner, lest he disturb others who are enjoying an "occasion" meal. Parking can be a problem, and it's not located in a neighborhood where I'd want to trek with small children.

Personally, I love both Georges' and the North Beach Grill (both owned by the Georges -- two guys named George, so the apostrophe isn't misplaced!) However, they're a pretty far piece from the Riverfront, out on Tybee Island... NBG is a total dive with great food, but not necessarily the spot for a celebratory meal with the family. Georges' is more formal, but tends to get pretty crowded: Two boys who have spent the day in the car might not enjoy being cooped up!

Most of the other restaurants listed by Fodor's aren't really known for their seafood. Bistro Savannah seems to be well-reviewed, but I've only eated brunches there (and heartily recommend!) Another spot, not listed by Fodor's, that might meet all of the travellers' requirements: The Aquastar at the Savannah Westin. From the Marriott, one can take a short walk down the waterfront and then take a water taxi ride across the river to the Westin. The views from the restaurant are amazing, and the restaurant has received glowing reviews from everyone I've spoken to.

For more restaurants and reviews, here's a link to the Savannah Morning News restaurant guide, with linked reviews. Mind you, some of the reviews are out-of-date (restaurants closed since review.) Cucina offers the best advice, though: contact the concierge for the most up-to-date information on what's open/closed/requires reservations/etc.
"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress."
Charles Pierre Monselet, Letters to Emily

#4 Gifted Gourmet

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 01:51 PM

There is truly nothing comparable to the information provided by locals and/or visitors on the options for dining. Thank you, R.E. Turner, for this information and know that I, too, keep a folder of places to dine in the Southeast ... Savannah is a place I occasionally visit myself from Atlanta.

And a big welcome to you as a new eGullet member, R.E.!
Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"


#5 R.E. Turner

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 06:59 PM

There is truly nothing comparable to the information provided by locals and/or visitors on the options for dining. Thank you, R.E. Turner, for this information and know that I, too, keep a folder of places to dine in the Southeast ... Savannah is a place I occasionally visit myself from Atlanta.

And a big welcome to you as a new eGullet member, R.E.!

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Thanks for the welcome, Melissa! I've lurked and read for quite some time, and figured it was finally time to join.

I have been fortunate to live in Savannah for most of my adult life, but family obligations necessitated a move back "home" to rural Georgia a couple of years ago. Happily, I still have many friends and close family members in Savannah, though, so I rely on them to provide up-to-date restaurant reviews and guest rooms when I get a chance to visit. I hope that your correspondent enjoys her visit to my favorite city!

Rae
"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress."
Charles Pierre Monselet, Letters to Emily

#6 R.E. Turner

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:31 PM

I'm heading for Savannah tonight for the holiday festivities, and this review makes me think I'll be dining on River Street at least once over the next week or so: River House Seafood and Bakery . I haven't actually dined here, either, but it sounds wonderful, and should be open on Christmas Eve -- River Street is very tourist-friendly, and most shops/restaurants/bars will certainly be open. (The review includes a link to the restaurant's website, though, with a toll-free number and an e-mail link, if she wishes to contact them directly to learn their schedule.) At any rate, it sounds delicious, and is a convenient and scenic walk down the riverfront from the Marriott.
"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress."
Charles Pierre Monselet, Letters to Emily

#7 maf

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 06:56 AM

I tend to fade in and out of participating in these discussions, depending on how busy it is at work. I do try to respond to any inquiry concerning Savannah and am sorry if this post comes too late to be helpful.

There is a new restaurant called Cha Bella on East Broad Street at the Southeast corner of Broughton Street (formerly Suzabelle's). I haven't been yet, but local buzz is favorable. The owners also have a place called Tango on Tybee Island, which is one of my favorites. The advantage of Cha Bella is that it's within walking distance of the Marriott.

The menu is heavy on, but not exclusively, seafood. I'm sure it would be friendly to the younger ones in the group (Tango certainly is), especially earlier in the evening. Prices seem moderate for a good restaurant.

This would be my first recommendation based on the criteria mentioned. Some of the other places mentioned would be good as well; Savannah has quite a few upscale restaurants considering its relatively small size.
"Eat at Joe's."

- Joe

#8 MaxH

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 02:26 PM

This doesn't meet the original request for seafood, or specifically Christmas Eve. But apropos Savannah restaurants, a chef with some loyal following in the San Francisco Bay Area, who has Southeastern roots (and was always working that region's specialties onto his menu in California), is in Savannah now, operating a BBQ and catering business called Angel's.

I haven't visited it yet but would be interested to hear from any who have.

#9 R.E. Turner

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 12:28 AM

Melissa, I hope that your correspondent and her family had a memorable Christmas Eve in my favorite city! "Unfortunately," I had no opportunity to review any restaurants during my long holiday visit to Savannah. (Poor, poor me: Friends and family went to a great deal of trouble to feed me like royalty. Shrimp straight off the boat, country hams from the best suppliers, angel biscuits that required lead weights to prevent them from floating away, and Chatham Artillery punch and/or sweet iced tea to wash it all down. My "fat jeans" are getting a workout!) I hope to hear at least one recent, good restaurant review from Savannah, though, since I'll be back that way within the next month or so, and may not have such a gracious reception!
"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress."
Charles Pierre Monselet, Letters to Emily