Last Monday, three innkeepers and a husband met at Alligator Soul to admire the new logo and sample the newly-opened-for-lunch menu. Chef Chris DiNello shared with Savannah Foodie’s Tim Rutherford: ”Our focus is on express gourmet Southern-style lunch for under $10. The menu will be short, light and diverse. Diners should expect changes on a regular basis because I’m using ingredients that are fresh, local and predominately organic.”
Alligator Soul’s world class cuisine and ambiance is well-known in the bed and breakfast circles, and a favorite of these three innkeepers and one of our top choices for dinner recommendations. Could Maureen and Chris, the co-owners, meet our expectations and their own?
We briefly discussed the menu and finally agree to choose four items from the ten lunch offerings (all priced under $10!) and share them round the table. Diane chose the Gumbo’s Back, Baby, a combination of rich dark Roux, green peppers, celery and onion, finished off with Wild Georgia shrimp and smoked Andouille Sausage, okra, Tasso ham and served over Carolina white rice. Jackie chose Shrimp and Grits – lemon-butter and creole spiced Georgia Wild Shrimp sauteed and served over Georgia stone ground grits with Tasso Ham and cheddar cheese. Jake (our token male) chose the Grilled Steak Salad of organic baby greens with red onion, blue cheese and sun-dried tomatoes tossed with a roasted poblano vinaigrette, topped with the grilled sliced hangar steak and garnished with sweet vidalia onions. I chose what turned out to be the biggest hit of the meal – a Seafood Burger. This delicious savory blend of Georgia wild shrimp, Gulf crawfish, scallops and local grouper is served with whole-grain creole mustard and chipotle coleslaw with grilled pineapple!
The plates went round once allowing us a great mouthful of each offering; I had started with a bite of my own burger, and quite frankly was reluctant to hand it round, but I did – after all I agreed to share. It finally came back to me in portion bigger than I expected and I was quite eager to finish it off before anyone asked for another sample! The meal was completed off with a house-made almond biscotti, just the right touch of sweetness to send us out into the working world again.
I kid you not when I say, the seafood burgers were such a hit that I incorporated them into a lunch reception for a newly-wed couple from Germany the very next day. These delightful creations paired well with our Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, the Chili-rubbed grilled shrimp, caprese salad, and other finger-food creations of the staff at our inn.