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Olde Pink House

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Olde Pink House Review

This pink-brick Georgian mansion was built in 1771 for James Habersham, one of the wealthiest Americans of his time, and the historic atmosphere comes through in the original Georgia pine floors of the tavern, the Venetian chandeliers, and the 18th-century English antiques. Looking to contemporize a cherished landmark, the owners added a "new" dining room with vintage pine floors and walls. A lovely bar, The Arches, is adjacent with curvaceous doors that can open on balmy nights for outdoor seating. Expect great service and amazing food. The menu has no shortage of delicious choices, but some of the best-reviewed dishes are the simple items with a twist. How about a classic chicken potpie with roasted veggies, porcini cream sauce, and a sweet-potato biscuit? If you want some the best ambience in Savannah, head downstairs to the Planter's Tavern, where the menu from upstairs is available, but in a more-intimate space flanked by two large fireplaces and piano jazz.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 23 Abercorn St., Historic District, Savannah, GA 31401 | Map It
  • Phone: 912/232–4286
  • Location: Historic District

    Restaurant Details

  • Credit cards accepted.
  • No lunch Sun. and Mon.
Updated: 11-12-2012

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Olde Pink House Review

    My wife and I have been to Savannah many times and we never miss going to the Pink House. We always eat in the bar room on the lower level and try to dine at the bar. This way you get to meet other diners while enjoying really good food. To me the best dish is the scored flounder. Have a few drinks and enjoy the food with old and new friends.

    by Steve_Kahn, 8/6/12
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    Olde Pink House Review

    You know how you always say it would be great to visit somewhere and have someone local there to steer you around the bad choices to the good ones that the locals know about?

    Let me just say this about our dinner tonight at Olde Pink House: Sapphire Grill, The Mansion on Forsyth, Jazz'd Tapas, Garibaldi's, Vic's on the River, 45 Bistro, Noble Fare, Alligator Soul ... the list goes on, but the point is -- from someone born in Savannah -- there are way too many others to enjoy before you should succumb to a pink tourist trap. I mean, you're in town for two or three or four nights, why risk it? More about our experience tonight below.

    First, granted, it's a beautifully historic place. It was built in 1781 and was the Olde Pink House when my mother and father went there for lunch with co-workers in the early 50's. And you'd have to guess that restaurants don't generally stay around like that if they're not doing a good job. Look at it this way tho, if the patrons are largely tourists, a restaurant can probably survive forever on people that go there just once and then leave town. Think about what that means when the people working there know that.

    Anyway, if you insist on being drawn in by the pretty house and plan to make reservations, if you have three people you might want to tell them you'll be four (or if 5, tell 'em 6 and so on). Otherwise you'll likely find yourself jammed into a table designed for the smaller number (and to optimize their profit, not your dining experience). Otherwise, if you ask for something better, you'll likely receive a firm, barely polite, no.

    With a friend in town who really wanted to try it, against better judgment (I know - there are reviews by others that glow), we decided to give it another try (last time was 10 years ago - time heals old wounds I guess).

    We made the reservation two weeks in advance. We wanted 7 pm but they said it had to be 6:45 and that we'd have 15 minutes of leeway. If not there by then, the table would go to someone else. They even called the day before to confirm the 6:45 reservation for 7 people.

    On arrival we waited only briefly before arriving on a round table jammed into a corner and set for six. The answer to the ask for a different table was an additional chair and another place setting squeezed onto and already full table. And, of course, throughout the meal we were leaned over and spent much of the time handing plates back and forth to the servers.

    The entrees arrived an hour and ten minutes into it. Along the way someone came by to apologize and to say that the chef said it would be 3 to 5 more minutes. We all laughed at that point guessing how long that was in Olde Pink time. Turns out 3 to 5 means 15.

    Oh, the food... the bread was great - rolls, then biscuits (they were great) and then so-so cornbread. The she crab soup was also very good but there's better in Savannah. The fried lobster tail was great but arrived minus the pepper sauce (or whatever it was called) - a key element as it turned out. And the "famous" Crispy Scored Flounder? First, it was luke warm. Mmmmm, cool fish. And no matter what you might picture it in your mind to be, you'll be less than pleasantly surprised when it arrives. You know about presentation and the impact it makes on dining pleasure (or not)? White oval plate. Big ol' flat fish with tail and skin, minus just the head, and sort of brownish orange. That's it. Nothing else. Not even a sprig of parsley from Denny's. It was ok I guess - if you like picking through bones and aren't too hungry. It came with a separate little cast iron dish with about a two tablespoons of grits and three of collard greens. And they were luke warm as well. Good, but luke warm. And it was $27. Did I mention there was lots of bread?

    The worst of it was the waiter's attitude. We weren't happy with the surly response on the table. And we're not drinkers so that didn't make him too happy either apparently. It just went south from there - and not the hospitality type of south(ern) either.

    Wanting it to be over, we all said no to dessert. I'm sure that didn't make him happy either. He saw that someone had a credit card out already and said "I see you have your card out. Shall I bring you the check?" At that point, for grins, I asked for 3 separate checks. By the time he returned, he was slapping the checks on the table. Uncomfortable at the time and funny once we all left, we decided another 10 years was probably not long enough.

    In fairness, it was a busy night. And there were plates and silverware falling from wait staff hands all around - in a place with hardwood floors and hard walls and lots of noise. The waiter was literally yelling out the specials at the beginning as people at other tables we're clearly taking notice of his loud voice. The point again is, there are simply way too may other really good choices in Savannah - and those named earlier are only the places in the same general walking area as the Pink House (except perhaps the Mansion - it's a little further - but you really should see and enjoy that one). If you get in a car, there are even more great choices.

    by hal5115, 12/25/09
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    Wonderful Dinner!

    I was a little concerned when we entered the "house" and saw that they were using chivari banquet chairs at their dinner tables - the kind of chairs that you rent for weddings. Luckily, the food was not mediocre banquet food, but actually VERY good. The she crab soup was fabulous as was the flounder and the grouper. And the price wasn't too bad either. Service was great - I would highly recommend visiting this restaurant! Just make reservations in advance to make sure that you can get the seating time you want - it is very busy. It is also interesting to walk through the restaurant after dinner to see all the rooms - each is a different theme. They even have a ballroom on on the second floor! There is a great little bar in the basement as well. All in all, a great dining experience.

    by OCDiner, 6/29/09
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    Why Did I Ever Wait So Long to Eat Here

    I am a Savannah native. I took my mom to the Olde Pink House for dinner Saturday, 07/18/08 at 6:00p.m. We've lived here all of our lives but have never eaten here. We had the most pleasant experience. We arrived at about 5:40p.m. and were promtly taken to our table. Our server was Linda. She was excellent. She explained all the special dishses and answered all our questions. The service was impeccable. My mother ordered the scallop appetizer and I ordered the she crab soup. The scallops(two very large scallops) were cooked to perfection. The she crab soup was just the right consistency and Sherry was added once brought to the table. We both selected salads, my mother enjoyed the ceasar with an excellent home made dressing and I enjoyed the special which consisted of baby greens with pine nuts, fresh raseberries,crumbled blue cheese and a balsemic vinigerette dressing. Our entre's were even more delicious. My mother ordered the shrimp and scallops fetticine and I ordered the house specialty of the crispy scored flounder. The flounder came with creamy grits and I chose asparagus instead on the usual collards that came with the dish. I am a true southerner but we usually do not order collards when dining out! Linda was very gracious to adjust our selections. The flounder was drizzled with a onion and appricot glace' which hightened the flavors that I just can't describe. I almost forgot we started off our meal with a "Peach Tini" (peach martini). The atomosphere was wonderful. We were dissappointed that we did not have any room for desserts and ended up taking our entre's home. there is so much history in this house. They've done a wonderful job restoring and preserving the house but also updating it as well for modern necessities (i.e. restrooms, elevators, etc.) The dining room (main floor- green room to the left of the entrance foyer)we were in could of stood to be cooler; but with such high ceilings and the humid tempertures outside, it was tolerable. Our dining experience was a beyond our expectations. We loved it! We also enjoyed walking around and veiwing the different dining rooms (rooms in the house). There are three floors (main, upstairs, and basement). I can't wait to eat here again.

    by SDWallace, 7/21/08
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    Mixed ambiance

    Pink house is inconsistent at best but Gail Thurmond kept us coming back. Live classic piano music is forth enduring many things. Our first visit to the Pink House was outstanding; the scallops were to die for. Subsequent visits were less impressive including a cleanliness issue; however, Gail was so talented that we continued to visit even if just for a cocktail. Gail is now sadly gone so the risk of dining at this establishment is not worth it.

    by Miller43, 7/17/08
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    Best Dinner in Savannah

    Olde Pink House was wonderful. Easily the best meal in Savannah in several visits. Authentic gourmet Southern cuisine. Setting, service, and food were excellent. She crab soup and crab cakes were our appetizers. Entrees were scored grouper, encrusted tilapia and new york strip. All were house specialities and cooked to perfection. Can't wait to go back.

    by southerngourmet, 5/27/08
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    Wonderful for Special Occasion or Any Occasion

    My husband took me to The Olde Pink House for our anniversary. This had to be one of my best meals ever. The BLT salad was so yummy and we both had the special of striped bass that was out of this world. The staff was so friendly and the atmosphere was fantastic!

    by Andrea_K, 2/28/08
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    Made our Thanksgiving UNBELIEVABLE!

    My sisters and I recently lost our parents so we decided to try a restaurant instead of a home for Thanksgiving this year. We couldn't get a reservation for Paula Deen's restaurant so I was tried the Old Pink House after reading the reviews here.

    They not only met our expectations, they exceeded them!! WOW! I never tasted food like that. The she crab soup was unbelievable, and I still fantasize about the Lobster Pot Pie!! BEST thing that has passed my lips in years!!!

    I cannot say enough about how comfortable and wonderful our Thanksgiving was thanks to the Old Pink House. The service was excellent, the managers and waitresses were so attentive and thoughtful, we cannot WAIT to go back!

    by mikenrobin, 12/3/07
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    My favorite restaurant

    The Pink House is my restaurant of choice in Savannah - and one of my favorites anywhere. Beautiful atmosphere, wonderful food, fabulous service. I have done a lot of business entertaining here and all have always been pleased. The scored flounder is their specialty, but I often order three appetizers - one as an appetizer and two served together as an entree. If you are not very hungry then a drink and an appetizer downstairs in the tavern is a wonderful option. When the fires are lit and the piano is playing, it doesn't get any better in Savannah. Whatever you do, save room for their specialty dessert, ice cream served in their homemade praline basket!

    by starrsville, 11/23/07
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    When in Rome

    I have been to the Pink House a number of times and will be down there for Easter and plan to revisit. AS a native southerner and a huge fan of Savannah - thought I would share some perspective for folks with the hope of maximizing your expereience. Savannah attitude is not modeled after New York or LA, it is classically Savannah. Laid back and relaxed is the mode so if you are measuring service by how quick you get in and out, you will be disappointed. If you think of service in the European traditon, the host assumes you are there to relax and not be rushed, you will be closer to the Savannah attitude. Also I have always found my Pink House experinece to be best when I have eaten downstairs in the bar/lounge area. That seems to be where the locals go and you will find a fun and relaxed atmosphere with music and lots of local color. Last trip our server even gave me a mini tour of the old vault down there which is now used for storage. If you ask for downstairs seating, start off with drinks at the bar and just enjoy the atmosphere until your table becomes avaialale. Plan on spending a while there and you will be delightfully surprised (and tipsy).
    Nothing but excellent experience and in my opinion the best restaurant Savannah has to offer. ANd lots of interesting chef innovations using local items like pecans, shrimp, crab, etc in unique ways.

    by landrover, 3/31/07
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    gotham foodies dad

    My wife and I ate there in Jan 07, She had the crispy scored flounder and I the pork chop. For starter we had the she crab soup (rich but delicious). Both meals were wonderful and the service was attentive and friendly.

    by rfcasella, 1/5/07
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    Not worth a special event

    Our family celebrated our parents 50th wedding anniversary and I feel very sorry we choose this restaurant. For starters we were seated at two separate tables (we were a large party but saw other large parties seating together). When we asked if there was a way we could all sit together (or at least the adults at one table, children at the next) we were abruptly told no!We had advanced reservations so they knew we were coming). Our waitress was rude, did not even attempt to do or say anything nice to our parents(one ex. of many... reached in and took salad plates without even asking if we were through). Food was okay, some people in our party said their dishes were okay. My filet was fatty and on the advice of the waitress (wanted pink she told me to order Med. well against my better judgement the filet came out tough). My sons fish was horrible. Would not choose this restaurant for a special occasion but if you do not expect much and are looking for atmosphere it is pretty inside. There are much nicer restaurants in Savannah to choose from and that offer both high quality service, exceptional food, and ambience.

    by Kay_S, 11/26/06

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