Monday, April 20, 2015

Local 11ten: Sensational Modern Savannah Cuisine

Steeped in rich history, with beautiful public squares, moss-draped trees, majestic fountains and some of Georgia's oldest mansions, Savannah is also known for it's vibrant restaurant scene. Nestled in Savannah’s gorgeous historic district and housed in a creatively restored 1950s era bank building off Forsyth Park, Local 11ten is considered one of the best restaurants in Savannah, and the first stop on our culinary journey through the 'old south'. Chef Brandy Williamson respects local ingredients and simple farmhouse table cooking concepts while still retaining an element of sophistication, upscale epicurean delights and killer cocktails. Voted one of the "South's Greatest Chefs" by South Magazine, this North Carolina native brings a French influence to Savannah's Southern cuisine. The stylish décor is understated modern-chic with monthly art exhibits curated by an in-house gallery coordinator giving visitors a fresh look at contemporary Savannah. The semi-private 'vault room' front of the bank’s historic safe is available for small groups with each evening's dinner menu presented outside the restaurant in the bank's original exterior depository. Very cool. The best value is the six-course chef’s tasting menu with wine, however each dish we ordered from the Spring menu was creative, delicious and absolutely outstanding. The Seared Sea Scallops with smoked butterbeans, hominy, green garlic and shaved radish with mint beurre blanc was a dish I could happily order every week of the year. For anyone visiting Savannah, Local 11ten is a triumph from start to finish.

The sexy modern interior of Local 11 Ten in Savannah

Housed in a creatively restored 1950s era bank building, the décor is understated modern-chic with monthly art exhibitions 

Chef Brandy Williamson's menu features locally grown seasonal produce

A selection of bottled waters include a handsome bottle of Hildon

Basil Gimlet made with Ford's Gin, basil and lime

Fresh baked warm bread and local churned butter

Amuse-Bouche of Puréed Strawberry, Creme Fraiche and crumbled pistachios

Local lettuces, fresh herbs, preserved lemon, house-made ricotta, shaved apple, marcona almonds, preserved lmeon and apple vinaigrette

Open-Faced Rabbit Ravioli with fire roasted tomato sauce, basil coulis and house-made ricotta

Glass of 2012 Novelty Hill Merlot from Columbia Valley in Washington State

A chilled glass of 2012 Miner Viognier from California

Pork Three Ways: cheek with braising jus, smoked belly, trotter cake, mustard green salad, shaved carrot, radish, green beans, lemon, herbs and smoked bacon hollandaise

Seared Sea Scallops with smoked butterbeans, hominy, green garlic and shaved radish with mint beurre blanc — one of my favourite dishes of the week!

2011 Chateau Baulac Dodijos French Sauternes to enjoy with local cheeses

Assorted local cheeses

Citrus-Cranberry Apple Chutney
Serves 10-12
Recipe courtesy Chef Brandy Williamson

This recipe goes great with pork chops, but can also be served with turkey, duck, or roasted chicken.

5 lb granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 lb unsalted butter
2 shallots, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple brandy
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 bay leaf
2 oranges, zest and juice
Salt to taste

Sauté the apples and shallots in butter. Add the sugar and stir to coat. Then add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half. Remove the bay leaves. Purée half of the mixture then combine it all together. Adjust the seasoning as necessary, adding honey if your prefer it sweeter, or vinegar if you prefer tangy. Serve warm with pork chops, roast chicken, duck or turkey.