Restaurant: Starland CafÃ© and Catering
Cuisine Type: Handmade panini, soups and salads
Chef: Michael Pritchard
Restaurant bio: Located in the Starland Neighborhood, Starland CafÃ© has been around for more than 10 years. According to chef and co-owner Michael Pritchard, the quaint cafÃ© was once known for serving mostly locals, but Starland CafÃ© is now known as a favorite "off the beaten path" Savannah restaurant.
The cafÃ© serves panini, soups and salads, and Pritchard says that as the neighborhood continues to grow and change, the hours at the cafe will expand into dinner in 2017. The plan is to keep everyone's favorites as well as adding some creative entrees to the mix. The cafÃ©, which also exhibits local artwork, is also known for its catering business serving a broad selection of platter style lunches and boxed lunches for larger parties, office lunches or corporate luncheons.
Starland CafÃ© offers vegan options, like its popular Tomato Thai soup, as well as vegetarian options. And all salads are made with organic spring mix, romaine and house-made dressings.
Chef bio: Chef and co-owner Michael Pritchard may be a familiar name if you've kept up with downtown restaurants the past 12 years. Pritchard says he got his start at an early age in the service industry
washing dishes at a restaurant in Hilton Head and then moved to Savannah to expand on his talents. He started out in Savannah as the manager of The Olde Pink House at age 23 before going to manage the Gastonian Inn. He also owned other Savannah favorites including Good Eats Restaurant, which was located in the former Leoci's Trattoria building, and Cafe Zeum within The Jepson Center for the Arts.
By his side is Chef Drew Wrenn, who has been with Starland for four years and now manages the Starland Cafe location. Pritchard also operates a production catering business, Starland Production Catering, which caters for movies, television shows and other productions including the Warner Bros. productions "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Magic Mike XXL." Pritchard says his company catered 12 films just this past year.
Favorite Recipe: Collard Greens and Artichoke Dip with Smoked Gouda
Why: "I foresee this dish making its way to our menu," Pritchard says. "This dish definitely fits Starland CafÃ© and we do it on our catering menu and people really like it. It's something we are known for."
CHEF MICHAEL PRITCHARD'S COLLARD GREENS AND ARTICHOKE DIP WITH SMOKED GOUDA
1 lb. collard greens - julienne
1/4 cup olive oil
1 sweet yellow onion - diced
6 cloves garlic - minced
1 cup dry white wine
12 oz. cream cheese
10 oz. sour cream
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups smoked Gouda cheese - divided
3 cups marinated artichoke hearts - sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven at medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic and stir while cooking until garlic has started to brown. Then add collard greens and cover, allowing to wilt for about 10 minutes, stirring as necessary. Pour in wine and cook 1 to 2 minutes, continue stirring collards. Add cream cheese, sour cream, red pepper flakes and 2 cups smoked gouda cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is thoroughly heated. Once mixture is combined and hot, add chopped artichoke hearts and fold them into mixture. Transfer to a lightly greased large baking dish and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 cup smoked Gouda cheese.
Broil 6 inches from heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Serve with toast points, pita bread or tortilla chips.