One can’t help but feel romanced while strolling through Savannah’s Forsyth Park after sunset. Spanish moss dangles under ancient oak canopy while glowing street lamps flicker across the sidewalk and frothing fountain offers a moody soundtrack for those who want to skip hand in hand.
After a short jaunt through the park we arrived at The Collins Quarter, one of Savannah’s trendiest restaurants. It was a Friday night and the place was packed so we hopped up by the bar at a long communal table, staring down at a petite menu lit by the the wick of a wee wax candle.
Aussie owner Anthony Debreceny transformed an old hobby shop (toy trains, board games, the works…) into a hip eatery inspired by his native Melbourne. Well travelled locals had spent years complaining about the city’s lack of elevated coffee culture. The Collins Quarter seems to have filled the void, offering a hip Melbourne Cafe vibe serving up frothy lattes, pretty pastries and an epic brunch.
While sipping through the citrus perfume of a local craft brew (Southbound Brewing Co’s Scattered Sun Belgian Witbier) Anthony popped by the table to chat about the restaurants new dinner offering. I soon discovered an amazing Toronto-Savannah food story which had me grinning with delight. When I asked what the signature dishes on the menu were he immediately chirped without hesitation, “our burger has been ranked the best in the city!”
Here’s the Toronto scoop: Anthony hired Toronto based Brad Denton Designs to create the restaurants open concept interior. Brad then introduced Anthony to close friend Cory Vittelo who he had worked on a couple of TV programs. Cory owns popular restaurants THR&Co and The Harbord Room in Toronto and ended up flying down to Savannah to consult on The Collins Quarter menu.
The most magical part about the story is that the infamous burger at The Harbord Room, which has been ranked as one of Toronto’s best for years, is offered at The Collins Quarter and presented in the exact same fashion, on a wooden board, sandwiched between two brioche buns and served alongside crispy fries and sliced pickle. Toronto food fans can take pride in the fact that The Collins Quarter has now been ranked as serving the best burger in Savannah! I of course had to order the bloody beast to ensure the perfect beefy bite had successfully made the trip south of the border (you won’t be disappointed).
The menu of course offers more than just a Hog Town inspired burger. Fond memories also include grapefruit and lemon ricotta muddled Dirty Candy Salad, coconut slathered Pig in a Poke and a thick-ass slice of Red Velvet Cake best paired with sweet crema topped espresso.
1) Scattered Sun Belgian Witibier by Southbound Brewing Co
2) Dirty Candy Salad | roasted beets, shaved beets, grapefruit, lemon ricotta, spicy granola, ginger mango
3) Brisket Burger | 8oz house ground brisket patty, cheddar cheese, mustard aioli, brioche bun, truffle fries
4) Pig in a Poke | confit pork belly, coconut parsnip mash, swiss chard, huckleberry hibiscus gelee
5) Red Velvet Cake