Atlanta Food Critic

ROAD TRIP: Rocks on the River, Savannah GA

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Our trip to Rocks on the River was an exercise in mediocrity. We had very high hopes since Rocks had been rated so high on Urbanspoon but we were less than impressed.

Some new found tips for those visiting Savannah and wanting to venture down to River Street – we finally found an easy way! Park in the Whitaker Street garage. Parking is scare on Level 1 but if you drive in the direction of the pay booths, you can continue to the lower levels and there are plenty of spaces. Take the elevator up to the street level, walk directly across Bay Street to the Bohemian Hotel. Take the elevator down to the bottom floor and you are in Rocks on the River. You are also directly on River Street! This makes is SO easy for easy, cheap parking and no hassle way down to River Street.

We arrived promptly at 7pm for our reservations and were seated right away. Our service was extraordinary and truly was the best part of our meal.

IMAG1679We got started with Parmesan Flatbread with Sundried Tomato Pesto.  Unlike our delightful flatbread experience we enjoyed at Seasons 52, this was like a salty mini pizza.

We shook that off and we prepared to order entrées. I knew Rocks on the River was pricy but in fairness, there is a wide menu selection and you DO NOT have to spend a fortune to eat there. In hindsight, I wished we had gone this route. I always try to order the “flagship” menu items so we can accurately perform a review. It’s tough judging a place known for steaks and seafood when you order a burger and a tilapia sandwich. Agreed?

I ordered the Ultimate Fried Seafood Platter which comes with shrimp, scallops, oysters, and grouper, house fries, blue cheese sweet slaw, Rocks remoulade & roasted garlic cocktail sauce. Melanie chose the Rocks Surf and Turf which is a center cut petite filet mignon, jumbo lump crab cake, sour cream & chives mashed potatoes, Rocks remoulade sauce and house green beans.

Rarely do we discuss specific prices, because we are much more concerned with value – bang for the buck. But, in this case we feel it is directly relevant. My Ultimate Fried Seafood Platter was $28 and Melanie’s Rocks Surf and Turf was $29. The reason why we mention this, is that when one pays premium dollars, one expects premium food and what we found instead was simply OK. When you pay THAT kind of money for food, it MUST be spectacular. The diner MUST be in awe and we were just unimpressed.

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Ultimate Fried Seafood Platter
Rocks Surf and Turf

When my meal was first presented to me I was quite impressed. It looked like there was just a ton of seafood on my plate. Unfortunately, this was a deception because it was piled on top of a bunch of french fries. Anybody know what happens when you pile hot fried food on top of french fries? As the grease from the fried food drains, it soaks the french fries (which are more than capable of absorbing this). What the diner soon discovers, is that there is actually very little seafood but plenty of greasy, soggy fries. The sauces, which in my humble opinion should be used sparingly if at all as the natural flavor of the seafood is the target of one’s taste, were lackluster. I must give them an A for effort as many restaurants simply will serve the run-of-the-mill sauces provided from their vendor.

When I glanced over at Melanie’s plate, I realized that the Rocks Surf and Turf included the 5oz filet rather than the 8oz. More disappointing was that she had ordered it medium well and it came out charred. I personally don’t like my meat cooked this much but, when it is prepared as such, it must be cooked slowly to avoid just this type of tragedy. The cut itself was quite good – the meat had a wonderful consistency and was full of flavor. The accompanying sauce was the perfect compliment. The crab cake was a real gem, but to label this “surf and turf” is a misnomer.

If you go to Rocks on the River, I would suggest some of the less expensive menu items. The value for the upper-end is just not there. Guten appetit!

Rocks on the River on Urbanspoon

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