Food can save the world. And, certainly, in that case, so can beauty.

Savannah has them both in no short supply. That’s why it’s thriving — and what a good time to be in this town.

That’s why I’m here. And it’s why I hope you’ll come back every week to share what’s new and notable on the plates and with the food fates of this fine town.

My name is Nick Margiasso ... the IV, to be exact. Yes, that’s four generations of Italians and Italian-Americans who have spent a lot of time and lineage cooking and eating, and traveling to do more of the same. This is the blueprint that first brought me to the lovely city of Savannah, and a big part of the reason I returned here to be a part of this city’s rebirth along with you. So that’s a little bit of my resume — my heritage.

Not convinced?

In just the last year, I have foraged for mushrooms in Tuscany to pair along with rabbit and pasta produced that very day. I’ve awaited freshly sliced fish just moments out of the Pacific in Seattle. I sat in amazement at the rich simplicity of snails and sauvignon served up to my knowing smile of the rare occasion in front of me in Toulouse, France. And, of course, I edified tourists and denizens about the best pizza, bagels and cookies in my home city of New York (Queens represent).

And I can write a little, too.

But that all helped bring me here, and I’ve never been happier. To meet the old and new faces in Savannah each day, take it all in, and taste it all — and then chat about it here. So won’t you come join me? And be sure to keep in touch as we witness the resurgence of southern style in the kitchen.

Nick's Notes

• Cohen’s Retreat will be hosting the Velvet Gala tonight at 5:30 p.m. for a good cause. The night will feature small plates and special red velvet cupcakes served up by the restaurant to raise money for the Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire’s youth programs. Buy your $65 ticket, which also includes music and a silent auction. Velvet attire encouraged, but not required. Tickets at eventbrite.com or at the door.

• The annual Savannah Stopover Music Festival has announced a new partnership with this city’s own resident brew masters, Service Brewing Co., which will be the official beer of the March 7-9 festival, as well as serve as one of the venues. They're set to host Bright Light Social Hour on March 7, Andrew Combs on March 8 and Susto on March 9. Read more right now at dosavannah.com. 

 

• Speaking of Service, Husk’s recent one-year anniversary marked the kickoff of a 5-6 p.m. Monday-Friday happy hour at the restaurant that will include specials on Service brews and pairings.

• Since we are on the topic of drinking, The Lost Square bar on the rooftop of the Alida Hotel near the east end of River Street is serving up some of the best new drinks in the city. Their cherry-infused whiskey cocktail and post-Christmas coffee/eggnog style rum sensation are not to be missed at the newest secret spot, high atop the streets of Savannah.

• Back, now, to all things Italian: Squirrel’s (not the first name I'd think of when I think pizza) will be the new answer to the need for rustic old-world Italian-style pies, set to be opened by vaunted chef Chris Dickerson this spring. Savannah seems to be the last place awaiting the wave of authentic pizza from Italy to hit, and now that seems like it will be just as omnipresent as the aforementioned squirrels in the city. Look for updates right here when the new spot opens. 

• Bocci Italian Bistro's new location on Bull Street has also helped bring a little authentic Italian to the most booming street in Savannah. Come for the tasty pizzas but also stretch out for the home-cooked meals from the Mother Country that aren’t readily available all over town.

​Nick Margiasso is a Savannah-based writer and New York native. He is also an assistant coach for the SCAD men's tennis team. Send notes about the Savannah food scene to nm4pr@yahoo.com.