With their classic cocktails, locally sourced food, and the relaxed atmosphere of Cheers, (you remember them right, the place where everybody knows your name); Saint Germain Restaurant could be considered the fanciest dive bar in Norfolk.
Even though they have been open a little over a year now, it has taken me just as much time to take my first steps in. Simply put, I was intimidated. From the outside looking in, I saw a dark space, with chandeliers, bird cages, animal heads mounted on the walls, and a dinner menu with words I could barely pronounce or even try to understand. It reminded me of an upscale New York restaurant, the place where you have to make reservations months in advance, give up your first born child in exchange for a meal, and you can't send back the food if you hate it because it's has 4 Michelin stars... you get the picture.
It took getting an invite from a few Saint Germain regulars for me to take the plunge, and since that eventful night occurred, I've kept coming back. What sets them apart from every other Granby St restaurant is their ability to balance classic food and drinks while adding a modern touch.
My two favorites, the Bar Burger and Pizza (which is only available after 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays) is a good start if you don't want to jump head first into those modern and eclectic principle dishes.
The burger consists of short rib and bone marrow, onion jam, maple smoked ale cheddar, smoked tomato aioli, bread and butter pickles, mangala fries and saffron ketchup. It is recommended to order the wellness of your burger a step above your normal liking; and as someone who orders everything medium rare, this was great information to obtain.
For the drinks, expect the unexpected. Before Saint Germain, I could not tell you what was in a old fashioned, what mezcal was, or why anyone would want bitter anything in a drink. The beverage making process here is pure art, and the bartenders take it seriously.
Whatever preconceived opinions you have about this place, take a moment and empty them from your mind. Hate it or love it, your visit here is sure to be one for the books.