Great things are happening at the intersection of South Main and West Vine streets in downtown Statesboro. Open for just five months now, one Georgia Southern alumnus and his team are making a big impact on the community, with a focus on flavor and a philosophy on fresh that you won’t believe until your taste buds live it. With more than 1,000 Facebook likes, South & Vine Public House is a food experience Savannahians soon will be driving to Bulloch County to discover.
You won’t find the menu online because it changes daily based on ingredient availability and the owner’s intuition. No matter what’s featured, you can be guaranteed it will be made with local ingredients and cooked to perfection by chef and owner Seni (pronounced “Shanney”), head chef Stephen and sous-chef Sebastian, a Miami native.
This is a restaurant that gets it.
At South & Vine Public House, food is the main event. From Brooklet’s Hunter Cattle Company beef, ground in-house, to the made-from-scratch ketchup and mayonnaise, these folks are really cooking. The menu features what’s in season, so when an item runs out, it’s all gone. The bread at South & Vine is an absolute showstopper. Served with room-temperature honey butter that glides on effortlessly, it’s baked fresh daily. The fried green tomatoes are served with a bacon-mushroom cream sauce and paprika oil. They’re absolutely delicious, and I’m not even a fan of mushrooms! On my last visit, I ordered the special of the day: cornmeal-encrusted red snapper with a tomato-avocado salsa over Freeman’s Mill grits. Topped with grated sweet potatoes and shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese, it was out of this world. Also, the South & Vine hamburger took me to places I’d never been. Excellence reveals itself in each menu item’s texture, plating and taste. Happy hour is from 4–6 p.m. daily, featuring 25 percent off the entire bar and all appetizers. The Glorious Gin and Tonic is a must-try!
A casual environment, you’ll find a small vase of fresh flowers at each table and utensils wrapped in white linens. The restaurant has an open concept floor plan including a “window” into the kitchen, and a chalkboard placed behind the hostess stand highlights daily specials. Open for dinner from 4–11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, seating includes tables, booths and a bar area overlooking South Main Street. Attention is even given to the clean, tastefully decorated restrooms — which I always appreciate — and they’ve recently begun featuring live music. To get all the details, be sure to like them on Facebook.
The team at South & Vine is welcoming and knowledgeable about the menu. Seni and his wife, Janetta, move about the restaurant, conversing with customers, making mental notes of names and faces. It’s a place guests feel comfortable and leave satisfied. Upon finishing dinner on our last visit, we received a hand-carved “flower vase” made of Walker Farms’ rainbow carrots, compliments of the chef. It’s these subtle notes of hospitality that set South & Vine apart.
Dine here if it’s flavor you seek, an appreciation for quality ingredients, beautiful presentation and healthy portion sizes paired with appropriate prices.
You can visit my food blog at SomeKindaGood.org to see more photos of the restaurant’s food, staff and atmosphere.
Rebekah Faulk is a local food writer and blogger at Some Kinda Good, a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. Email her at SKGFoodBlog@gmail.com.