Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Before we left for Savannah, I had made reservations at Elizabeth on 37 after reading at several sources that it was one of the best places to dine in the city. Housed in an early 20th century mansion away from the main touristy section of the city, Elizabeth has been recognized as one of the top restaurants in America and is a James Beard Award winner. Although a little more upscale (and in turn, more expensive) than we usually go for, we splurged since it was our only dinner in Savannah (and basically our Valentine's dinner).
We did decide to save some money and calories by sharing an appetizer and entree. We ordered the Vidalia onion soup (a special of the night) and the pork chop served with brussel sprout hash and five-cheese macaroni. The soup was pureed with Vidalia onions and fennel with two pieces of shrimp and pieces of fried onions. It was smooth and tasty especially when bites were mixed with the crunchiness of the fried onions. I was not a huge fan of the shrimp mixed with the soup, but my boyfriend enjoyed it. After soup, we were served small mixed green salads with fresh goat cheese.
The pork chop was juicy and flavorful especially with the au jous. The brussel sprouts were mixed with bits of bacon, which helped the somewhat bland flavor of the sprouts. I have to say that I think this was the first time I've ever eaten brussel sprouts. They weren't bad, but it's probably not something I would order on a regular basis. Macaroni and cheese is probably my favorite comfort food, and the five-cheese macaroni did not disappoint. I could not tell you what the five cheeses were, but it was creamy and flavorful. There were also pieces of squash mixed in.
Although Elizabeth may be a little stuffy(part of which I will attribute as eating at an early time when the restaurant is not full of tables of conversations) and the restaurant was a little chilly (granted it was about 30 degrees colder outside than Savannah normally ever is), it was a great meal and experience. Our service was consistent and one of my major compliments to the restaurant is that they completely divided our meal into two bowls and plates, so that to other diners it didn't look like we were sharing a meal. Our portions were large and very satisfying considering we ordered only one entree and appetizer.
This was obviously my first time at Elizabeth on 37th but I noticed that many of its awards and honors were from years ago when its original chef was still there. I think it's probably lost a little bit of its "umpf" since Chef Elizabeth Terry retired in 1996, but still a great place to eat.