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Friday, August 15, 2014

22 Square

A few years ago, Savannah started doing restaurant week and, more than anything, it motivates my parents to get out of the house and spend a night out, dining at a fun place.  Since restaurant week was happening while I was home, I got to crash their date night.  When it came to choosing from the list of participating restaurants, it was a unanimous vote.  Not only had none of us been to 22 Square, it also had the most extensive restaurant week menu (six options for each of the three courses).

They call it "farm to fork," but let's not get any more pretentious than the farm to table concept already is.  There is no difference between farm to table and farm to fork.  22 Square's version just utilizes alliteration.  Cute.  I'm overlooking how hard they're trying to make themselves stand out with that phrase because the food was wonderful and, to be honest, sourcing all the ingredients locally did seem to make a difference.  That difference started with the bread basket.  Sure you can have sourdough french bread, but even better is the bread right next to it.  It looks really similar but is actually made with beer from Moon River, the brewery around the block.  Down at the bottom of the basket is a flatbread, sort of like a fluffy crust pizza without the cheese, made with heirloom tomatoes, and it is not to be missed.

For my appetizer I went with the pickled vegetables, ham, and egg.  This dish was so much more than what the menu listed.  First of all, the egg was deviled.  I didn't know what type of egg I was going to get when I ordered it and figured I would like it no matter what.  But I was only kidding myself by not admitting deviled is the best way to eat an egg.  It truly was a mixed bag of pickled veggies, including cauliflower, green beens, and cucumbers, each in different brines.  Then the ham was like a thick prosciutto and wrapped crispy greens and a piece of cheese.  Nowhere on the menu did it describe that preparation.  If it had, I wouldn't have debated between that and another app - it would have been this all the way.  For my entree I ordered the duck with zucchini hash and a peach elderflower reduction.  It wasn't overly sweet and everything from the hash to the texture of the duck breast was buttery.  We all thought three of the desserts looked particularly good so we got one of each and put them in the middle of the table to share.  I never would have thought to serve peach halves with a bit of honey, walnuts, and basil (of all things!), but it worked and was certainly refreshing.  The blackberry cobbler was not a cobbler.  At first that was disappointing, but then you realize it was just an issue of mislabeling.  Once we realized it just should have been called a bread pudding, all was good.  My father's favorite was clearly the chocolate mousse.  My Mom and I were more focused on the other two desserts and when we looked up, he had polished off the mousse on his own.  They didn't even need to wash the bowl after he was done with it.

This was the first time I have ever eaten a restaurant week menu and didn't feel like it was restaurant week.  Nothing about this menu was "less than."  Every dish was thoughtfully prepared in a way to make the local ingredients shine.  

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