When you walk past the DeSoto Hotel the scent of spices hint of the sensory magic inside. 1540 Room has a new team and a new direction. Chef Collin Clemons has a background in hotels and restaurants throughout the country and welcomes Savannah to come and share his food for an unforgettable culinary experience. Be led through a series of daring dishes, with their menu changing multiple times during the season based on the finest ingredients available. Andrew Noye joined the team to provide a chemistry between the dish and the glass as only a highly accredited professional can. With their distinct menus and food and wine pairing approaches, this is a team that is looking forward to showing Savannah what they can do and I for one am looking forward to the adventure.
If someone had eaten at 1540 more than a year ago, what are some of the changes that they could expect?
The room may look very similar and we are working to change that, but the menu, temperament, passion, voice and talent are all new. The cuisine is nowhere near what it was before.
Tell us what sets 1540 apart?
1540 is trying to set itself apart by going in a different direction than what everyone else is doing. There are many places doing farm to table ultra Southern, whiskey and fried chicken, cocktail focus, shrimp and grits. We are taking a more broad view. We are sourcing local products and combining them with techniques and spices from around the world. Then pairing them with wines from all over the world probably from some places that people are not familiar with.
Please explain the “vibe” at 1540 Room?
1540 is this big almost Victorian room with an open kitchen. Nothing to really distract you from the food and companionship in front of you. When the restaurant is full there is great conversations all around but because of the space you can’t hear everyone else’s conversations. You can smell the wood smoke from the grill.
What is your favorite menu item and why?
My favorite menu item is the Mushrooms. We get these locally grown Black Pearl Oyster mushrooms that Chef rubs with herbs and then grills. They are served over whipped funky cheese and topped with a combination of toasted spices and nuts.
Does 1540 offer a tasting menu or any other special menus?
We will soon be offering a Chef’s table experience. This is envisioned as an experience where Chef will just cook for you based off of what was procured that day and then I will select wines to go with each course if desired.
It seems people’s perception of 1540 Room is that it is a special occasion restaurant. Please help us break that stereotype and let people know why they should be eating at 1540 regularly?
They should be eating with us regularly because of the genuine experience that we strive to offer consistently. We have designed the menu to have something that can appeal to just about everyone. The prices on the menu and wine list are pretty reasonable for fine dining. We want to be a favorite place for locals. We are fine dining but we are not stuffy.
Will you be able to accommodate allergies, ie, gluten and/or dairy?
We can accommodate just about any allergy. Some are more difficult than others. I would say tree nuts is the hardest for us because they are so prominent on the menu. But we can make it happen and have.
In your opinion when people visit 1540 Room what is the perfect order?
Baba Ghanoush (Toasted Pumpkin Seed, Pita, Georgia Olive Oil) & Smoked Steak Tartare (Cured Duck Yolk, Fried Capers, Lavosh)
Mushrooms (Black Pearl Oyster, Funky Cheese, Dukkah) followed by Merguez (Lamb Sausage, Moroccan Couscous, Turnips, Ras el Hanout Jus, Fried Chickpeas, Cilantro)
Sholeh Zard (Congaree & Penn Jupiter Rice Grits, Saffron, Honey, Pistachio, Rose, Medjool Date, Advieh Spice)
I love bubbles so I would get a bottle of Dosnon Recolte Noire Brut Champagne