Buchanan’s restaurant has a Southern/Caribbean flare with nods toward India and Morocco. Try the Bahamian Chicken Curry over sweet potato and kale or the “Charleston Sauté” – “shrimp & country ham with sweet peppers, onions, ripe tomatoes and filé gumbo over our creamy grits with a tumble of fried okra.” Buchanan also has changing daily chalkboard specials.
If you are younger and want to be more wild, go to Savannah and party at multi-level Club One. Remember “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”? This is where the Lady Chablis performed. It’s the coastal Backstreet and very fun, but I’m not in my 20s anymore so I like a good restaurant and conversation rather than pumping music and shots.
Start with a day at the beach at Tybee Island, and at night if you want exceptional food in Savannah, I highly recommend Garibaldi Cafe. It’s a gorgeous New Orleans/French/Southern Brasserie that is a quintessential genteel Savannah jewel.
In Savannah you can drink on the sidewalk but only with a plastic cup, so during my partner’s smoke break the nice efficient lesbian manager would pluck the glasses out of our hands and poor the devil’s elixir in plastic — we didn’t even realize it until we returned to our tables. I highly recommend the lobster fettuccini alfredo with sherry: fierce.
Also when in Savannah, try Jazz’d Tapas Bar. You can also visit River Street but it’s straight and touristy. When you tell restaurant people in Savannah that you are gay, they instantly love you. It’s fun to introduce myself and add “and this is my partner, Todd.” They always smile and say ,“Ohhhh.”
Despite our region’s reputation, most people in the South now view homophobia as akin to racism — it’s an ignorant way of thinking, so you and your partner should vacation where you want and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Years ago I was so afraid to be with another man in a restaurant or other venue with mainly straight clientele and now I’m proud.
Top photo: Don’t let the laid-back, unassuming exterior fool you: Indigo Coastal Shanty in Brunswick, Ga., is home to amazing food from Chef Kate Buchanan. (via Facebook)