Savannah, Ga., is known as “Hostess City of the South,” and dining experiences at places like River House Seafood do nothing but enhance that reputation.
River House Seafood & Bakery has been a premier lunch and dinner destination since 1982, but that tells only part of the story. The restaurant’s edifice actually dates to 1810. It’s one of the converted cotton warehouses that now populate legendary, cobblestoned River Street as eateries, galleries, shops and pubs. River House Seafood indeed is in the heart of one of the most historic areas in all Savannah.
Everything about River House Seafood is distinctive and signature Savannah.
The Building Epitomizes Savannah.
There’s the building and décor itself: The brick-and-mortar interior is nuanced with recesses and archways. The distinctive walls are perfectly complemented by polished brick and finished wood floors and beamed wooden ceilings. A scale-model schooner on display behind glass and maritime paintings on virtually every wall whisper politely that, while you may order a tasty steak here if you like, you’re not in a steakhouse. It’s all Southern elegance, dressed down to casual.
There’s the view: From your table, periodically check in on always-something-to-see River Street. Soak it all in—the colorful people bustling about, the restored 1930s trolley rattling past on its tracks, the cargos and tugs growling down the river in the background. It’s an ambience unmistakable for anywhere else.
And then, of course, there’s the food. And the Chatham Artillery Punch.
River House Seafood can serve chicken, pork chops, New York Strip and even a fettuccine rendering that won’t disappoint you.
The restaurant is best known – acclaimed, really – for its fresh namesake fare.
Start with an appetizer. How about the Seafood Strudel Duet? According to the restaurant’s website, it’s a presentation of “Two Twylo Dough pastries Stuffed with a Mixture of Shrimp, Crabmeat, Feta, Creamed Spinach, and Baked then Garnished with a Red Pepper Sauce and Lemon Butter.”
If you’re ready to move on to your entrée, how about shellfish? Try the River House Low Country Broil: “Shrimp, Corn, Sausage and Red Potatoes Steamed and Served with Melted Butter.”
Or perhaps you prefer seafood that actually swims for exercise. In that case, one of the more popular selections at River House Seafood is Grouper Florentine: “Charbroiled and Served on a Bed of Creamed Spinach atop Angel Hair Pasta, Topped with Lemon Butter and Crowned with Carrots.”
Don’t forget the punch.
But if you’re 21, you won’t want to leave without at least inquiring about the three words practically synonymous with River House Seafood: “Chatham Artillery Punch,“ a concoction of mythic origin dating to a visit to Savannah by George Washington in 1791. You might even sample some, if you’re of sufficient constitution. But even if the combination of Catawba wine, rum, gin, Benedictine, cherries, rye, tea, brown sugar, orange juice, lemon juice and champagne is too much – the exact recipe is printed on your placemat—at least the souvenir glass entitles you to invent bragging rights back home!
The ambiance, the food, the Chatham Artillery Punch—the whole River House Seafood & Bakery experience is well worth the short walk from your Bluegreen resort.
And if you do try the punch, the walk back, in the gentle Savannah fresh air, just might do you good.