One North Lincoln Street, Savannah, GA 31401
There are a few streets whose names immediately paint a picture of fun and fine dining. Beale Street in Memphis. Bourbon Street in New Orleans. West 46th Street in New York. Hanover Street in Boston’s North End. Add to this list River Street in Savannah, Georgia. This cobbled lane winds its way for several blocks along the shore of the Savannah River, which remains one of the busiest commercial waterways in the country.
But despite the waterborne traffic, the real action happens on River Street, with its cheek-by-jowl line up of restaurants, taverns and shops that are so good that the locals are willing to mix with the tourists to enjoy the flavors that are uniquely Savannah. The city’s Colonial-era brick warehouses have been appropriated to serve as home to a night life scene that reflects a laissez faire attitude that mirrors that of New Orleans.
Which brings me to the doorstep of the Boar’s Head Grill & Tavern. An unpretentious entrance beneath a weathered green awning belies the goodness that waits within. The menu is pure Low Country, with locally-sourced ingredients and traditional recipes that have served as the “comfort food” of Southerners for generations.
The choice of entrees was difficult, but I settled on the chef’s sauteed tilapia Francaise, prepared in a lemon, caper and butter sauce and served over basmati rice. I am picky when it comes to tilapia, as it is among my favorite seafood choices. This was indescribably good, the best I have ever tasted, and was paired with an excellent wine to complete the meal.
My dinner companion chose crab cakes prepared in a Cajun remoulade, along with barbequed shrimp that was wrapped in bacon and grilled with peach barbeque sauce, served over jicama cole slaw. I must admit that peach barbeque sauce is an entirely new concept to me, but it was very flavorful.
The dining room in the old brick cotton mill was not fancy, but that only served to make the meal more relaxing. Everybody in Savanna seems intent on making sure visitors are having a good time, and that includes our wait staff who were friendly, funny and fast. The views of the river and the constantly moving street party outside were entertaining and contributed to our enjoyment. The Boar’s Head Grill & Tavern is well worth putting on your “to do” list the next time you visit Savannah.