Restaurant: Chive Seafood Bar and Lounge
Owners/Chef: Ele Tran and Sean Thongsiri.
Restaurant bio: In an homage to the roaring 1920s, Ele Tran and Sean Thongsiri recently opened Chive Seafood Bar and Lounge, the latest addition to their growing restaurant empire (others include King and I, Tangerine Fusion and Sushi Bar, Ele Fine Fusion, and Fire Street Food in Savannah and Charleston). Tran said she wanted the Broughton Street location to evoke the glamour of the swing era with a modern twist, and completed her vision with plush decorations, Sinatra-esque music, and a variety of gin cocktails with names like The Bee's Knees.
"We believe that downtown Savannah needed an upscale seafood dining experience," Tran said. "We used this space the best way we could to coincide with what we wanted to offer Savannah."
Chef bio: Thongsiri developed his culinary skills as a boy in Vientiane, Laos, where he learned how to prepare fresh food by helping his mother in the kitchen.
"Where I grew up there were no refrigerators. When I wanted to prepare a meal I had to get it fresh," Thongsiri said. "So I would go to the river and catch my food for the night."
At 18, Sean moved to America and quickly picked up on the cuisine. He now crafts all his menus using a creative mixture of the two techniques. He said Chive's menu was designed specifically around seafood dishes, such as sea bass, oysters, mussels, and more.
Favorite Dish: Baked Fish Filet with Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce
Why: "It's a great, simple seafood dish."
Filet of fish (your preference)
2 medium ripe tomatoes
2 red onion shallots
4 garlic cloves
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Mushroom Vegetarian Seasoning, to taste*
2 teaspoons fish sauce
*Ingredients can be found at an Asian market
To make the homemade roasted tomato sauce, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic in it. Place the baking sheet in an oven pre-heated to 450 degrees F. Bake the vegetables for about 20 minutes, and then allow them to cool to room temperature. When cooled, blend them until they get a creamy texture. Pour the vegetable mixture into a medium saucepan on low heat. Add Mushroom Vegetarian Seasoning, sea salt, black pepper, fish sauce, and lime juice. Top with cilantro.
To pan roast the fish, bake the fillets in a skillet on medium heat, about three to five minutes on each side. Then, line a baking sheet with tin foil, and place the fish in the center. Bake about five to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets, on each side at 450 degrees F. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve.
CHIVE SEAFOOD BAR AND LOUNGE
Address: 4 W. Broughton St.
Hours: Lunch: Monday - Friday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday - Saturday 5 - 11 p.m.
Special Hours: Chive just began late night sushi hours. Thursday 11 p.m. - 1 a.m. and Friday - Saturday 11 p.m. - 2 a.m.