Fiddlers Seafood Knows Attention to Detail

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Fiddlers Seafood Southside
Savannah, Georgia 

Attention to detail is unmistakable. Nine times out of 10, if a restaurant understands how to be great in the little things, that trait is going to carry over in the taste and presentation of food, as well as the quality of service and atmosphere. Fiddlers Seafood in Savannah, Georgia nails it. From the coastal beach-shack vibe to the seafood inspired menu, stepping through the front door is like stepping back in time. Maritime, that is.  Black and white photographs depicting generations of happy fisherman families fill the walls, while char-grilled oyster platters and steam pot shrimp dinners come barreling out of the kitchen.

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The menu is posted outside on the patio, so you can get an idea of pricing and a jump-start on what you’d like to order.  Once seated, you’ll receive a tangible menu that opens up like a window (It’s these little nuances that make my heart sing!). It’s full of colorful, enticing and tempting pictures that will prolong your decision! After careful deliberation, I decided on the Lobster Sliders for $14.99–a trio served three ways: lobster salad, lobster sautéed in a garlic wine sauce and fried lobster.  I also ordered a Caesar salad for the sake of something green.  

THE FOOD:

I enjoyed the unique spin on the popular lobster roll. The bread was toasted and each filling provided a different flavor. The shape of the white plate was also a nice touch. I liked the fried lobster best. The crunch of the light batter with the succulent meat worked well. The menu is broken down into a few themed categories: Oyster Bar, Beginnings, Soups & Salads, Fiddlers Finest and Steam Pot. You can also choose from Fried, Land and Sammies selections. I plan to try the Seafood Nachos and blackened Fish Tacos on my next visit. Not to worry, Fiddlers Seafood doesn’t forget dessert. Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie, Chocolate Brownie A La Mode and Clemmie’s Peach Cobbler range from $5.99 – $6.99.

THE ATMOSPHERE:

I visited during lunch on a Wednesday afternoon. The atmosphere was friendly, upbeat and coastal. In other words, my kinda party. Our waitress couldn’t have been more pleasant. We shared a few laughs and had everything we needed throughout the meal. Open seven days a week, with daily Happy Hour specials from 4 – 7 p.m., attire is casual and no reservation is needed. Live music happens every Friday beginning at 7 p.m. I can’t wait to visit again!

A fish pond flows around the restaurant.
A fish pond flows around the restaurant.

With two locations, Fiddlers Seafood has been around for over 22 years. I visited the Memorial Drive venue, but if you’re in downtown Savannah, be sure to check out the Fiddlers Crab House River Street location too. Either way, you’re guaranteed a great food escape!

Fiddlers Crab House Southside on Urbanspoon

The Transcendent Lobster Roll: A Worthy Splurge

imageFor months now I’ve been reading and hearing about the ubiquitous lobster roll–in Bon Appetit and Cook’s Illustrated magazines, and on TV shows like the Cooking Channel’s Eat Street. I must admit I’ve only eaten lobster on a cruise ship vacation; it is not something I can often afford. Plus, I live in the South and have always associated the lobster roll with Maine and seaside towns like Portland, Oregon. The concept of pairing lofty lobster with the all-American lowly hot dog bun, well, that’s just not something you see every day. So, over the weekend I sequestered myself in the kitchen and set out to make this mystery. I may be in Georgia, but with one bite, I was at a seaside shack on the upper East coast, toes in the sand.

imageWith a little help from the July & August edition of Cook’s Illustrated, the recipe was actually very simple. The most difficult part is getting the meat out of the lobster tail, but no worries. I’ll share a tip that makes it easy. I purchased two lobster tails for $18.95 from Ellis’ Meat Market here in Statesboro, then cooked them for 12 minutes in boiling salted water.

imageMeanwhile, I toasted two good ol’ Sunbeam white bread hot dog buns in butter and seasoned them with salt and pepper on each side. They didn’t know what to think.

imageI managed to get all my ingredients locally, which can never hurt. I picked up some lemons, green onions and celery from L&D Produce. Chop about two tablespoons of celery and a teaspoon of the onion. A little onion goes a long way, it shouldn’t overpower the lobster.

imageOnce the lobster is finished cooking (you’ll know when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the tail registers 175 degrees), drain and let it cool. Be sure to take them out of the hot water. I forgot to do this and nearly burned myself cracking the shell because I was so excited to get to the meat. There is more than one way to skin a cat, but to keep the tail meat in one piece, Cook’s Illustrated recommends removing the meat by turning the lobster on its side, and pressing down with both hands until the shell cracks. Then, with the flippers facing you and shell facing down–thumbs on opposite sides–pull back to crack the shell and remove the meat. Works like magic. See? Dice lobster into 1/2 inch chunks.

imageNext, mix two tablespoons of mayo with a pinch of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, and a splash of lemon juice. Toss in the green onion and celery. Mix well and add lobster meat. Toss to coat.

wpid-IMG_20130825_164422.jpgAnd now for the assembly. I used a lettuce trio including green leaf, iceberg and radicchio. Line the hot dog buns with lettuce. Then spoon lobster salad into the buns, until it’s spilling out and looking irresistible. Finish with a drizzle of melted butter and a final sprinkle of salt and pepper.

imageThe lobster roll is really the perfect, down home dinner party food around. It’s so approachable and unpretentious. That is of course, if everyone brings their own lobster. Ha! Serve it with potato chips or fries, whatever suits your fancy.

imageThe crunch of that toasted bun with the creaminess of the lobster salad is something to write home about. The lemon juice really brightens the flavor.

imageBon Appetit contributor Michael Paterniti says, “For me, the lobster roll is more than just culinary transcendence or proof that simple food made simply is the most soul-satisfying of all. It is summer itself, the baptismal rite after winter and mud season, a diary of days.” That sums it up.

Here’s a quick reference of everything you’ll need.

Lobster Roll Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (Preferably Dukes)
  • 2 tablespoons of minced celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of minced chives or green onions
  • Salt & Pepper
  • A pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 2 Cooked Lobster Tails, Chopped
  • Unsalted butter
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Hot dog buns

Have you ever eaten or made a lobster roll?