Since it opened, my brother has claimed Common Thread is the best restaurant in Savannah. Bold claim, especially when you’ve got stunners like The Grey around. We figured there was no better time to decide for ourselves than on our anniversary and no better dinner dates than my brother and sister-in-law themselves. TL;DR this restaurant lived up to our expectations. I highly recommend going with at least another couple so you can try several items on the [seasonal] menu because there’s just too much you’re going to want.
We started with cocktails because, duh. I ordered a whiskey-based cocktail that was a great start to the evening. We soon moved onto wine because they have a pretty good list and are quite knowledgable. A cocktail to start before sharing some vino…I felt right at home. Of course, that could also be because the restaurant is inside an old Victorian mansion. The decor may seem modern by the bar, but the overall vibe is quite homey.
The menu is divided into four parts, increasing in heft, with four items per section. We decided to order most of the menu and it was a great decision. From the first section, we each got one of both oysters on offer. Rather than simply serving oysters with horseradish and mignonette in the middle of the platter, each is treated with its very own complementary topping. One had chalaca (?), black cherry tomato, lime, and black pepper; the other had tom kha, bird’s eye chili, and cucumber. I can’t remember which I preferred (maybe the cucumber), but they were both delicious and delicately dressed. We also got the crudo, which was served on a savory cookie that looked like a giant lotus root. It was topped with nduja seasoning, ginger, and orange. Loved.
For our next course, we got the escalivada, which was roasted vegetables served over spiced yogurt with a salsa and sourdough. The salsa offered a nice zip that brought an otherwise fall/winter dish into the spring season. We also got the beef tartare with five spice, soy, chili, pickled mushroom, yolk jam, and aioli. This one was great and very different from your standard tartare thanks to the salty soy.
Next we got the octopus (with potatoes, lemon, and olive mayo) and the short ribs and shrimp (in a broth with peanut, celeriac, Thai basil, and collard kimchi). I don’t know that I’ve ever had short rib prepared in a broth before and I quite enjoyed it. I usually see it served with heavy things like mashes, but this was a great way to keep it in third course territory. Also, that collard kimchi was the perfect Asian/Southern bridge. We really enjoyed both of those, but the true winner of this course was the softshell crab. Mark insisted we order two because softshell crab season is so short and we needed to take advantage. I’m so glad he pushed for the double order because this may have been my favorite dish of the night. It was served with a Singaporean black pepper sauce with cucumber, red onion, tiger salad, and ramp aioli. Ramps – something else with a very short season that we had to score. The crab was prepped tempura style and was one of the larger softshell crab dishes I’ve come across. These guys were PLUMP. I wish I could eat this weekly.
After all that we only needed one entrée for the four of us (and, honestly, we could have stopped there and still been very full…but where’s the fun in that?) so we got the dry aged NY strip. It was served with a potato mousseline, mushroom ragout, and red wine sauce. Think: refined steakhouse. Again, no complaints.
Mark was right on the money with this one. Everything we ordered was delicious and I loved the progression of the menu. Would I go again? IN A HEARTBEAT. Seriously, sign me up.