The Grey was already on the list of favorite bars/restaurants in downtown Savannah, and after having Easter dinner there, it’s moved up that list even further—it’s rapidly becoming one of our favorite places to relax and enjoy the company of some good folks.
First of all, The Grey is becoming part of a growing and welcome trend in downtown Savannah restaurants, which is having a captivating atmosphere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a restaurant can survive on looks alone, but it’s much easier to wait an extra 15 minutes (because let’s face it, that happens to every restaurant at some point) for your food when you are waiting in a place that becomes a pleasurable distraction.
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The menu itself also echoes the combination of new and old; drinks such as the Gran Terminal and the Queen Mary are crafted with care and the most beautifully-formed ice cubes that I’ve ever seen–and the food harbors a distinct Southern essence without veering towards the mundane, or worse still, the butter-laden. The oysters, all varieties, somehow all manage to taste briny and fresh, and yet each one has its own distinct and delicate flavor. The sizzling pig is Heaven in a tiny cast-iron skillet, in all its pulled-pork-and-fried-egg-glory, and the charred squid salad’s smokiness reminds me of the best parts of cookouts. The pappardelle pasta with rabbit ragu may have quite possibly ruined me for future pasta dishes, and even the less adventurous wild game eaters at our table were, well, game for the dish. The seafood boudin tastes exactly how it sounds–a delectable mix of seafood and rice in a sausage casing, and the mint sauce that accompanies our leg of lamb is nothing like the thick emerald jelly that I’ve always seen accompanying Easter lamb. As I’m sure must happen all the time, we can’t even entertain the idea of dessert, but we manage to make room for the “sorbet,” tiny homemade lemon and rosemary popsicles that are the perfect size and the perfect palate cleanser, and are chef Mashama’s homage to the popsicle desserts of her childhood.
Even Carla Hall, of “Top Chef” and “The Chew” fame, couldn’t stay away and enjoyed her Easter dinner with Cheryl and Grif Day of Back in the Day Bakery. Given Back in the Day’s cult status among Savannah residents, the Days’ seal of approval goes a long way, as does Natasha Gaskill’s of A Squad Bake Shop (the go-to wedding cake maker for discerning Savannah brides). Seeing both national and local celebrities as we enjoyed dinner with our friends made for a dinner that was cozy and yet also exciting, and a celebration of new and old, and that’s the charm of life in Savannah.