No, the headline doesn't deceive you. There are no typos. A few weeks back in this space, we spent some time remembering the top five stories in food for 2017.
In the spirit of all of the college football polls that have already come out predicting next season (sorry Dawgs fans, that's a tough pill to swallow, I know), it is never too early to start looking at some of the stories in food that will be making our headlines over the next 12 months. Husk Savannah will get a lot of buzz going forward I am sure, as will the other spots that have opened, but there are some pretty big happenings on the way. I could definitely list 10, but here are my top five, in no particular order.
Perry Lane Hotel, 256 E. Perry St. Yes, of course, there are seemingly 50 hotels opening in Savannah at any given time these days, but this one is around the corner. She sits on Drayton Street downtown across from McDonough's - the heart of town, really. The visuals coming out of there are amazing. I'm told ownership is sparing no expense on detail. The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market could be another major addition to our food scene. Their rooftop bar will likely be a player with locals, as well.
El Coyote, 1 W. Victory Drive. We first told you about the plans for the space formerly occupied by The Florence on Victory Drive back in August. The lease was sold to a group that includes The Wyld Dock Bar owner Tony Seichrist. The plan is to make it three different concepts, the largest of which is El Coyote, a Mexican-influenced concept headed by Landon Thompson, formerly at Cooks and Soldiers in Atlanta. The plans, although very loose as the year wound down, were for a "Wyld on land" offering upstairs and a coffee/sandwich shop in back. I'm calling it now: We will eat it and like it.
The Grove, 301 W. Congress St. If you spend any time in and around downtown, you've probably seen it already. Signage in the form of banners are already up. The Grove sits at the corner of Congress and Jefferson right behind City Market and a couple of doors down from Molly MacPherson's and Garibaldi. The former law office has gotten a complete makeover. It's actually a good looking building complete with a rooftop bar/restaurant area. I had dinner with one of the owners in Atlanta last year when the concept was still very much up for debate. The name changed since then, but if the food is as good as the space looks, we could be in for a treat. I feature a conversation with The Grove on an upcoming episode of my podcast, "Shuck It!" Find that at eatitandlikeit.com or on iTunes.
9 Drayton St. This space near Drayton and Bay doesn't get a name, because that also has been a bit of a moving target. Brought to you by the ownership behind The Collins Quarter and Tybee Island's The Deck Beach Bar and Kitchen, this space is slated to be a three-story gastropub. The rooftop will feature a bar area that will face the gold dome of City Hall. Initial plans for the menu were similar to New York City's The Spotted Pig (just as a point of reference). If I know the guys behind the place, then it's not going to happen until it happens very well. That said, I would expect to see them open their doors in 2018.
The Eat It and Like It Foodie Awards. In something of a restructuring year, we took a half step back in 2017 and chose to pull back our popular awards for Savannah/Hilton Head's best. We are very proud of our awards because they are never tied to advertising. Not everyone can say that. A foodie award goes to who and what we think is best and that's the bottom line. Look for our winners and "After Party" celebration to return this spring.
Lili's Restaurant and Bar on Wilmington Island is hosting a wine dinner Jan. 15. Chef Mir's inspiration for this one is wild game. Menu will include quail, bison, venison and more. Tickets are $100 and include wine pairing, of course. Reservations and info at 912-235-2664.
Looking a smidge ahead, it is one of my favorite events of the year. Whiskey, Wine & Wildlife is a fantastic food festival on the beach of Jekyll Island from Feb. 8-11 at The Westin. Find information at whiskeywineandwildlife.com.
Savannah Tech is kicking off a new year of interactive cooking instruction. Bistro Savoir Educatif is a series of classes, held quarterly, that show you how to prepare all kinds of dishes in your own home. The first is Healthier Cooking on Jan. 24. Visit savannahtech.edu for more information.
The snow put us off schedule for television, but make sure you join us for an all-new episode of "Eat It and Like It with Jesse Blanco" at 7:30 a.m. Sunday on WSAV-TV. It's the best way to stay in tune with the area's food scene, or you can follow us on social media, of course. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @eatitandlikeit.