If you spend enough time downtown Savannah or any time following along on the constant makeovers going on in town, then you know Savannah is moving toward becoming more of a modern Southern oasis along the Georgia coast. Sure, we’ve had plenty of wonderful places to stay, eat and enjoy for many many years, but the tide is clearly turning. Yes, new hotels and eateries are being built, but a lot of the old ones are getting desperately needed makeovers. The latest to fit that description is the Hyatt on Bay Street, downtown Savannah.
I haven’t asked about the money that has been spent, because really that doesn’t matter in the big picture. I can tell you, however, that the investment has been significant. I had heard some buzz a couple of years ago that the Hyatt was going to get a facelift, but sometimes with hotels you learn to believe it when you see it. I am here to tell you that I have now seen it and I very much believe it.
Moss and Oak is the new restaurant concept at the Hyatt Savannah. If you remember the dark, 1970s looking space that sat just to the right after you walked in, then you will be stunned to see what has replaced it. Yes, stunned. I’m not using that word lightly.
The overhaul has been thorough. The space is gorgeous. The food is pretty good as well.
Executive Chef James Morin comes to Savannah from the Tampa Bay area where he worked his way up in the Hyatt family. Chef James is Canadian, but like so many others, has found himself a bit obsessed with Southern trends in food and the abundance of locally sourced products. Upon arrival, one of the first chats he had was with Savannah Bee Company. The next thing you know, there’s a hive on the Hyatt’s roof providing them with their own honey. “I decided to become a bee keeper.” he says with a laugh. He’s also working on an herb garden up there as well.
His first menu is pretty straight forward. Understandably so. Sandwiches and flatbreads for lunch, a little more offered at dinner. There’s a ribeye, buttermilk fried chicken (very well made), a Braised Short Rib and more. As an appetizer we enjoyed the honey glazed oven baked chicken wings. The feel, like all of the others new to town, is Southern with some modern twists. After all, that’s what visitors to Savannah are looking for. You can get a look at their dinner menu here.
The talker after dinner was dessert. I have no trouble saying already one of the best in Savannah. The Dark Chocolate and Banana Bread Pudding with Buttery Caramel Ice Cream immediately goes into consideration for an Eat It and Like It Foodie Award for Best Dessert. If you know how things work around here, then you know I don’t just throw that around. That dessert is worth driving downtown for.
Of course, the new look at the Hyatt is a must see as well. So many charity functions are held there throughout the year, I gather it is only a matter of time before a lot of Savannah’s movers and shakers start making their way back to the Hyatt once Summer winds down. They are going to be pleasantly surprised at what they see. Another baby step in the right direction for what we all see in Savannah just a few short years down the road.
See you on TV,