Restaurant: 700 Drayton Restaurant
Chef: Geir Kilen
Cuisine Type: Southern cuisine with European influences and emphasis on local products.
Restaurant bio: Nestled within the historic Mansion on Forsyth Park, 700 Drayton Restaurant opened April 11, 2005. The restaurant and cocktail lounge are adorned in colorfully eclectic artwork, furniture and chandeliers, creating a romantic and elegant atmosphere where guests can enjoy edgy Savannah coastal cuisine with favorites like pan seared sea bass, Mansion seafood stew, chop house steaks, and Southern favorites like fried green tomatoes. 700 Drayton is the site of the 2013 Savannah Food and Wine Festival's Celebrity Chef Tour and offers an extensive wine list, six private dining rooms, carriage wine cellar and their iconic Viennese Ballroom. They recently launched a new dinner menu including Coriander and Red Chili Grilled Ahi Tuna, Maple-Molasses Glazed Scottish Salmon, Blue Cheese Filet Mignon and New Zealand Venison Loin.
Chef bio: With more than 25 years of culinary experience and extensive four-star hotel knowledge, Kilen brings a wealth of expertise of fine dining to 700 Drayton Restaurant. Kilen joined the restaurant last year after serving as the executive chef of The Commerce Club in Atlanta. He was also responsible for the opening of the Palm Beach Restaurant, a successful Caribbean-style restaurant in the Atlanta suburbs, which he owned and served as general manager and executive chef for three years. Before arriving in the United States, Kilen received a culinary degree from The Culinary Institute in his hometown of Kristiansand, Norway, and a certification in Business Management from Kristiansand Handels Skole. He will serve as the host chef for the 2013 Celebrity Chef Tour during the Savannah Food and Wine Festival.
Favorite Dish: Bronzed Wreck-Fish
Why: "This fish is awesome," Kilen said. "It has the same flavor as the popular Chilean Sea Bass - it's from the same family - but it is caught right off of our coast. It's great to have such a great fish so close to us. And the grits are Southern but with the twist of the Boursin cheese. The jam adds the taste of sweet to balance the savory flavor of the fish. The smoke adds another level of flavor but the flavors blend nicely."
Sugar snap peas
Fish is seasoned with Cajun seasoning, pan seared and finished in the oven with butter and lemon.
1 quart grits
1 gal. whole milk
1 lb. butter
2 Boursin cheese (5.2 oz. each)
1 quart heavy cream
Dissolve salt in the boiling milk. Add grits while stirring. Add butter and cream. Stir every so often as it tightens. Be careful to avoid scorching.
40 oz. Roma tomatoes
21/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest cut into strips
Â½ cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
Â¼ cup port wine
Process Roma tomatoes through the robot coupe till pureed. Put all ingredients in pot, cook till thick, 30 min.
SMOKED TOMATO COULIS
Â½ bag hickory chips
1 quart heavy cream
5 lb. Roma tomatoes
Soak hickory chips for half-hour. Place soaked wood chips in a 6-inch pan. Place 2 inch perforated pan on top of 6-inch pan. Place washed Roma tomatoes inside perforated pan, place pans on stove top. Adjust flames to medium heat, cover with 2" pan and smoke for 20 minutes. Reduce heavy cream by half. Peel the skin off Roma tomatoes, place tomatoes in vita mix, turn on low, add heavy cream reduction slowly.
For plating, use 7 oz. of Wreck fish, 2 oz. coulis, 2 oz. sugar snap peas, 4 oz. Boursin grits, and 1 oz. tomato jam. Coulis is placed in bowl and grits rest on coulis in the center, and the fish is placed on top of grits. Tomato Jam is spooned on top of the fish. Sugar snap peas are sautÃ©ed in butter with a little salt and pepper, and placed around the fish. Garnish with a pinch of micro greens.
700 DRAYTON RESTAURANT
Address: 700 Drayton St., Savannah
Hours: Breakfast: 7-11 a.m.; Brunch (Sunday): 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Lunch (Monday - Saturday): 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner: 5-10 p.m.