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Eat It and Like It: Sugo Rossa brings upscale Italian to Savannah’s Southside

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Eat It and Like It: Sugo Rossa brings upscale Italian to Savannah’s Southside

30 May 2017

No, The Melting Pot is not opening a location in midtown Savannah. Let me just toss that on the table right now.

As we cross the unofficial starting line into summer, there are a couple of restaurants that will spend some time as Savannah’s shiny new pennies. We talked about one last week, The Deck on Tybee Island. The other is the newest Italian restaurant, which opened its doors this week. A lot of people will tell you the best part about it is that you won’t have to drive all the way in to downtown Savannah to enjoy it.

Sugo Rossa is the latest offering in the city. An Italian restaurant brought to you by the guys and gal behind Cotton & Rye. You will find it in the Twelve Oaks Shopping Center on Abercorn Street.

The plan for Sugo Rossa had been in the works for a while, I’m told. As in, within months of Cotton & Rye opening, they thought there could be an opportunity to roll out a second restaurant in the shopping center.

“It was always going to be Italian. That was never in question,” says Zach Shultz, who, along with Brandon and Kimberly Whitestone, owns and operates the new space.

I think it was a stroke of genius. A win for everyone, from the owners to the patrons to the nearby businesses.

“We are very excited about it,” says Bridgette Michalski from Savannah Wine Cellar, a long-standing wine shop and tasting room in Twelve Oaks. “We still, all these years later, have people coming in saying they had no idea we were here.”

Not only are they there, but they are one of the few spots in the city where you can sample any of a few dozen wines in tiny pours. A great selection as well.

“We already have some of our regulars telling us they will likely stop in here for a bit of wine before heading over for dinner at Sugo Rossa,” she says.

Sounds like a great idea.

So what can you expect at Sugo Rossa? We didn’t get a look at the full menu, but we did get to sample a few dishes last week. Chicken piccata with house-made pappardelle was great, as were the mussels marinara. There’s a wood-burning pizza oven and very nice sized bar alongside storage for plenty of bottles of wine. I expect there to be a nice selection of wines, but nothing too over-the-top pretentious. That’s not their style.

This new space should be a hit with the non-downtown crowd. I am regularly amused by both the number of people who refuse to drive downtown unless they absolutely have to and the number of downtown residents who need a very good reason to drive south of DeRenne. Options are good and Sugo Rossa will offer a new one, six days a week, lunch and dinner.

I suspect we might just see more higher-end dining options begin to dot the landscape as our food scene continues to evolve. It will take some time, but seeing what is happening in the Starland District of town is all the proof you need. Atlantic is off to a roaring great start at the corner of Victory and Drayton. The number of others that are on the way prove the point as well.

But as rents continue to crawl northward north of Anderson and Henry streets, you will very likely see some more people taking a shot at attracting a local crowd a little further out from the Historic District. Which is good news for everyone.

See you on TV,



Address: 5500 Abercorn St.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; closed Sunday

Info: Reservations at 912-417-2330,