Step onto the sidewalk in downtown Mooresville and prepare for a coastal surprise at Savannah Oyster Company. Once you walk through these doors, it’s like being whisked away to the culinary chic streets of bigger seafood destinations like San Francisco or San Diego. Parallel park out front or utilize one of the nearby public lots and stroll over to historic Mill One.
Welcome to Savannah Oyster Co. in Downtown Mooresville
Picture the charm of Charleston colliding with the coastal cool of Maine – a bespoke bar stocked with fine tequilas and brown liquors of all sorts awaits the pleasure of your company. The timeless gaze of Hemingway hangs on a nearby wall.
A mix of Southern warmth and Palm Beach chic creates an atmosphere that’s a voyage into a maritime narrative of days gone by. I would love to see the lights come down a bit in the evening and some candles on the tables only because that’s how I imagine Hemingway would’ve wanted it, but…I digress.
The tables, draped in white cloths like billowing sails, are strategically set in cozy vignettes, some with Spanish moss hanging overhead creating an authentically Southern landscape. The center aisle transforms into a social thoroughfare; a gastronomic catwalk where patrons can see and be seen.
I sat exactly there and can confirm the people and seafood watching were equally delicious.
The servers, guided by manager Eric’s flair for hospitality, are dressed impeccably in pastel oxfords with bowties. His saying, “You can’t overdress for Savannah,” sets the tone for an evening where style and indulgence rendezvous. And indulge you shall.
The raw bar is a treasure trove for oyster aficionados offering a selection that could make Poseidon himself jealous. If I were going for a casual date night, I would show up hoping to snag two seats at the raw bar for a shucking good time.
Now, let’s talk oysters – the true stars of the show. The menu is updated daily based on a seasonal selection of the freshest seafood. I indulged in two of everything: Briny Olde Salt River oysters, sweet Virginia Rappahannock oysters, Beau Soleils that were so pretty I could’ve turned the shells into earrings, Fat Bellies from the N.C. Atlantic, and East Coast Blue Points – all on the half shell.
The plating is an art form; each mollusk is presented with the precision of a surgeon and the wildness of a Picasso. It’s like they’re saying, “We shuck with style,” as even the lemons were elegantly wrapped.
Specialty mignonettes were tucked into the crushed ice: cucumber dill, traditional shallot, strawberry jalapeño, and the ever-present cocktail sauce. While I prefer to let the sea do the seasoning on my oysters, these mignonettes were delightful additions to the second go-round.
As a small aside, rarely will I ever mention the bread service at a restaurant (Kindred, your milk bread is the obvious and addictive outlier). However, the freshly baked mini sourdough boule served hot and accompanied by sorghum butter, seasonal jam, and house-made pimento cheese was irresistible.
I took our server, Terrie’s, recommendation and ordered the featured dish of the night: a Saffron Lobster Risotto with peas and crispy shallots. Hands-down the most sophisticated dish of the entire evening and the kind of plate I will be talking about all month. The lobster was sublime.
Service is where Savannah Oyster Company truly pearls – knowledgeable with a big ol’ dollop of southern charm. The staff navigates the menu like seasoned captains, guiding you through the briny depths of their offerings.
A mezcal smoked old fashioned came to the table in a full-on smoking cloche. It was not only impressive as a presentation but filled the air around with the aroma of a beach bonfire.
The Savannah Bananas cocktail features local distillery Murto Made’s Bananas Foster Rum, coconut cream, and lime juice, and just might make you forget where you are for the evening in the best possible way.
I can’t wait to take my sister-in-law, Cathy, to try this one as she was the first person to introduce me to Murto Made. I owe her for this.
The restaurant was bustling around 7:00 on a Thursday night. I crave restaurants with an interesting crowd and lively buzz, so for me, it was a perfect fit. However, if you prefer a quieter place, I might request a table in the back part of the dining room or even outdoors, weather permitting.
Have I mentioned that Savannah Oyster Company is the second restaurant concept from the team at Barrel & Fork? A long-time special occasion favorite for my partner and me, Barrel and Fork is quiet and intimate and executes some of the best meals and award-winning cocktails in the area, bar none. It’s situated in a cozy home-turned-restaurant in downtown Cornelius: the one with the glowing fire pit out front.
So, whether you’re a seafood savant or just someone looking to add a dash of coastal chic to your culinary escapades, Savannah Oyster Company in Mooresville is the place to be. Southern Fork Restaurant Group is a winning gastronomic team and has created a dining experience that’s as tantalizing as a freshly shucked oyster.
John F. Kennedy made known the saying “A rising tide lifts all boats,” and we see you, Savannah. You’re elevating all of downtown Mooresville. Your excellence is a siren’s song that I predict will bring adventurers from Charlotte and beyond.
Hope at least some of them get to try that Saffron Lobster Risotto. I’m still thinking about it.
Savannah Oyster Company
201 N Church St suite 100
Mooresville, NC 28115
About the author: Jordan Eicher is a resident of Davidson, NC, and a travel and food blogger who is well-known for her excellent restaurant reviews. A member of Yelp Elite Charlotte, Jordan can be found at the hottest local restaurants and traveling the world with her family.
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