Once again, I got to hold her purse and accompany Melanie to a professional conference held in Savannah, Georgia. We had a swell time and except for misery at the hands of USAirways, it would have been a fine trip.
We stayed at the Hyatt and got a corner room with a view of . . . a Federal government installation in the form of a NOAA ship parked here on the river just outside our window. A busy river out there.
Couple of funny observations. First, there should be a law that hotels must disclose a transparency rating for its windows. Second, busy rivers provide interesting bumps in the night.
We checked in at the Hyatt with a great service experience and clear directions to the elevator. The Hyatt in Savannah has that familiar atrium design with a huge open center space. We strolled over to the elevator banks, got in, and keyed in our room. On the way up, I gave my wife a traditional, fanny-pat and secret bun squeeze as we zoom up in the elevator and looked out over the lobby area and atrium. Whenever we’re in an elevator alone (and sometimes in traffic) I have to express my affection like any normal married guy. And besides, who can see, right?
Except at this Hyatt, the smoked windows in the elevators and in your rooms are TRANSPARENT. Think about that. They tint the windows, but they are still transparent. In most hotels, a tinted window means that you can see out on them, but that they cannot see in on you. Except at the Savannah Hyatt. I was standing around in the lobby area one night, looked up at the elevators and realized that you could clearly see anyone and what they were doing. I also made this realization about the windows in our corner room. See, the room overlooked a large sun deck with about 40 lounges and various tables and chairs. I’d been taking showers then wandering over to our windows and looking out over the river and the sun deck wearing a smile and nothing else thinking, gee, what a fun view. I didn’t realize until much later in our stay when I was sitting out on the sun deck and Melanie was in our room that . . . you could see in.
If I offended anyone, please accept my apologies. Yes, I do have a naked body and normally I dress it when I know I’m in public, but when hotels provide tinted, but transparent windows, you may see more than you bargained for or ever wished to see. Sur-Prise!
But, let’s get to the main point of these posts: Food. We ate dinner at the Sapphire Grill, Elizabeth’s, and Il Pasticcio. (And lunch at a nice Asian place in a converted movie theatre and a “Chicago-style” sandwich joint).
The Sapphire Grill was a total gas and not just for the food. First, it’s next to Paula Deen’s place, Lady and Sons. Second, the food is very good. Third, the ambience is even better.
Now, the food at the Sapphire Grill was quite well done and tasty too. Melanie had a porterhouse pork steak and raved over it the entire meal. I had the tasting menu that was delightful if a bit “down the middle” for me. I like a junkie chef and this person played the tastes a bit too simple and safe for me. But, it was still an excellent meal with a nice glass of Chablis.
Finally, the ambience was fabulous. The room itself is dark with lots of wood paneling and a long, exposed, rough brick wall. Nice bar for early arrivers which included a May-December couple that gave Melanie and me a fun opportunity to gossip. One of the conversational delights we have in nice restaurants is looking around the room and figuring out the people we see. Why are they there? Why are they together? Married or first date? If they look like business, who’s picking up the check, who’s buying and who’s selling? With this odd couple we played detective all night until we left. She looked like she was having a lot of fun and he looked content. Then three 30 something babes came blasting in and took a table. None were wearing wedding bands, all were dressed for a happening night out, and they enjoyed each other’s company. In my experience it is very rare to see three, attractive, probably single, and 30ish women in an upscale joint. Usually women like this are with men and usually women like this are married.
So, if you go to the Sapphire Grill, you’ll get to walk by hungry people who are standing in line at Paula Deen’s place, have a great meal, and a great time people-watching. Highly recommended!
Elizabeth’s is a great place, one of my all time favorites after only two visits. It’s away from the river and you really need to take a taxi there. It’s a long walk and you’d have to go through neighborhoods that everyone says you need to avoid. But, it is fabulous, nouvelle Southern cuisine served by skilled, professional, and knowledgeable waiters, and all in a most charming large old home setting.
(It reminds me of the house my greatgrandfather Will Hains built around 1900 and that I lived in as a child, then married the girl of my dreams coming down the stairs Michelle Pfeiffer charged up in a movie about my uncle called, “The Children Nobody Wanted.”)
Savannah is a great eating town, but double check the windows.