A few more Savannah restaurant scene updates

Another in periodic posts about culinary developments around Savannah.

On Sunday, much of my City Talk column was about Bub-Ba-Q, the new restaurant at 514 MLK, in the old Brick House space. Blowin’ Smoke occupied the spot for years before moving to Habersham Street.

The Bub-Ba-Q website needs updating, so you might want to check the Facebook page. As I note in the column, it’s a tough spot in terms of visibility. As a friend said, it’s just easy to forget that it’s there.

Since Bub-Ba-Q already has two other Georgia locations (Woodstock and Jasper), it’s likely that the business is well-capitalized and has already worked through many of the kinks that new restaurants face.

On Tuesday, my City Talk column was about the newly reopened and revamped Soho South Cafe. Soho has already gotten a big writeup from Jesse Blanco’s Eat It and Like It, so I didn’t say all that much about the menu. I focused on the new interior, the addition of dinner three nights a week, and the full bar.

Here’s a shot taken from the bar looking into the dining room:

Yes, that’s a piano in the foreground. Clinton Edminster, one of the organizers of the First Friday Art March, has played from 7 to 10 p.m. for the last two Saturdays — that might become a regular gig.

Soho served dinner for a minute sometime around eight years ago, but the popular lunch spot didn’t seem to get much traction with the evening hours. That shouldn’t be a problem now, for a variety of reasons. If the food is good and the service solid, Soho should have some busy nights along with its busy days.

Click here for Soho South Cafe’s website.

I also had an excellent meal last week at Local 11 Ten, one of Soho’s sister restaurants. A friend and I split the mussels appetizer (always a great choice at Local), then I had a caesar (more than I needed), and then grilled filet mignon (rare), with truffled camembert-potato gratin (wow!) and rapini (a really good but slightly tough green vegetable). We split a dessert too — a clever adaptation of s’mores.

Oliva Restaurant & Bar has now closed, possibly for a few different reasons, according to Eat It and Like It. I suspect that if Juan Rodriguez of Rancho Alegre had stayed involved in the partnership, Oliva would still be going strong, but who knows? I loved the place on the several visits I made. Where else could you order grilled octopus or handmade ravioli filled with pate?

I’m sure there’s some interest in the Oliva space, which is on Whitaker Street just south of Moon River’s beer garden. (Before Oliva, the space was home to the ill-fated second location of Screamin’ Mimi’s.)

So, with Oliva gone, that’s one less Italian option downtown. The ongoing 4th anniversary special might give some of you a reason to try Leoci’s:

For the most part, my dining experiences are limited to the downtown area, but I should note that I enjoyed Dickey’s Barbecue Pit for lunch one day last week on the Southside (near Big Lots near Savannah Mall). It’s a chain with a couple of other locations locally, but I had never heard of it.