The Olde Pink House, a restaurant that is rumored to be haunted, is located in Savannah's Historic District on Reynolds Square, one of the oldest squares in the city, dating to 1734. Nearby attractions include all of the house museums and historic buildings and sites of the district, including the Savannah City Hall, Factor's Walk, River Street, the Owens-Thomas House Museum and the Davenport House. The restaurant is accessible from Interstate 16, which dead-ends into the Historic District. Savannah's free downtown shuttle runs near the restaurant.
Southern Living calls the Olde Pink House a "Savannah culinary institution'' and the "most Savannah-esque restaurant in town.'' The restaurant occupies a Georgian-style mansion built in 1771 by Joseph Habersham Jr., who lived in the house until his death in 1802. The mansion's old brick exterior is covered with a soft pink stucco, giving the house, and restaurant, its name. Mr. Habersham's ghost is said to inhabit the house; however, he only appears between October and March, perhaps to avoid the summer heat. The ghosts of slave children who died in a yellow fever epidemic have also been known to lock women into the basement ladies' room. One waitress cautions that, if you are downstairs and need the powder room, you are much better off going upstairs. The restaurant is a regular feature on Savannah's many ghost tours.
Inside the restaurant, guests find high ceilings, period antiques and candlelit dining rooms. The Olde Pink House is a popular spot for a romantic evening, and many couples celebrate birthdays and anniversaries here. Downstairs is the Planters Tavern, the restaurant's first bar, which is a livelier space with loud conversations and live music. The Savannah Morning News says that, in the Tavern, "the feeling of being in a grog house of old wraps itself around you like a warm blanket.'' A second bar, The Arches, has just been built adjacent to the house and has a more contemporary look and feel.
The menu at the Olde Pink House is elegant American fare with an emphasis on seafood. The influence is Southern, specifically Low Country, with elements like grits, buttermilk, she-crab soup and sweet potatoes. Everything is given a gourmet spin, however. For instance, sides include two kinds of grits - mascarpone cheese grits and creamy stone ground grits - and sweet potatoes are served with pecan vanilla butter. Ravioli is stuffed with caramelized Vidalia onions and sweet potatoes, and the crispy fried lobster tails are served with bacon buttermilk whipped potatoes. The restaurant also serves lunch, and the two bars serve light fare.
Reviewers generally cannot say enough good things about the Olde Pink House. It is the third-highest rated restaurant in the city on tripadvisor.com, a popular Internet travel review site. Typical comments include: "A true gem!'' "One of the best meals I've ever enjoyed.'' "The staff was attentive, the food was amazing, and the atmosphere is elegant, but not snotty.'' The few negative comments tend to focus on the atmosphere, which some guests called "stuffy;'' the service, which some found to be slow and inattentive; and the price, which some thought was too high for the quality of the food. However, the Olde Pink House remains one of the most popular restaurants in Savannah. Whether it is Mr. Habersham's ghost or the food and atmosphere that is luring visitors, this romantic old house is sure to be serving guests for a long time.
Read about other Savannah tourist attractions:
- Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa: Savannah's Luxury Resort, Only a Ferry Ride Away
- The Mercer Williams House Museum: Savannah's Haunted Mansion from ``The Book''
- Jepson Center for the Arts: Savannah's Contemporary Cultural Center
- The Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge: Savannah's Birding Paradise
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