Savannah is a great city, full of great people doing great things. So next time you are ready to hit the town but can’t figure out where to go then check out Scout’s, “My Favorite Things” series. We will get the inside scoop from influential community members on where they spend their down time in our great city. Safely supporting local business is essential to keeping our city vital and is needed now more than ever.
Photo credit: Liesa Cole
To be a high achiever you need a go-getter mentality and nobody embodies that more than Savannah’s own Libbie Summers. In a world of farmhouse chic and coastal whites, Libbie Summers is a rule-breaking, color-loving, home-making renegade. From ships to chateaus, she has flown, sailed, and helicoptered around the world, cooking for some of the most prestigious clients as a private chef before trading in her traditional chef’s jacket for a few other titles: author, art director and originator of the visual feast. Libbie’s latest venture is the launch of the Libbie Summers label, a modern-utilitarian collection of apparel and housewares. Each piece is thoughtful, tailored and punctuated with unapologetic whimsy. Each piece is handmade here in the South by women!
If you could use some help in the kitchen, don’t miss The Whole Hog Cookbook. The NY Times called it a “pork for chicks” book because it was “aggressively pretty.” Libbie couldn’t have been more proud of cookbook, Sweet and Vicious -baking with attitude and Brown Sugar 22 DELICIOUS recipes. She trained professionally in traditional French baking (of which there is very little in this book), and wanted to do a baking book.
You can find all of Libbie’s books on her website and her charming personality and joie de vivre shine through on her social media accounts @libbiesummers and @libbiesummerslabel. Libbie loves the hostess city and her insight into some of Savannah’s great establishments will leave you filling up your May calendar will all the hot spots.
Your favorite place to grab a cocktail in Savannah and why?
I’m not a huge drinker, but Savoy is hands down THE place I go to grab a cocktail when I have those notions. Somehow owner, Jane Fishel, has created an atmosphere that makes you feel cool and included as soon as you step through the door…maybe because she’s so cool.
The restaurant or restaurants you eat out at the most?
So many great places and the list keeps getting longer!
The Grey – I figure I have to do 10 good deeds after every meal I have here because eating here is such a gift. BRAVA to Chef Mashama Bailey and BRAVO to Johno Morrisono for the vision and love that went into this endeavor. And, a big congratulations for taking the dream on the road to Austin!
The Drayton Hotel – I love what the chef is doing here and the dining areas are stunning…but not stuffy. Bravo to owner Raghav Sapra and his team for the special gem they have mined here that is just steps away from tee shirt shops but somehow you enter another world where you can breathe.
The Collins Quarter – How could a restaurant make an Avocado Toast that you dream about? The Collins Quarter does. Also, my favorite coffee in town!
Pizzeria Vittoria – Food and Wine just voted it Best Pizza in the South and it should have been Best Pizza South of the Canadian Border. Chef Kyle Jacovino is driven and down right dangerous when it comes to Napoletana cooking.
Troupial is a MUST stop for arepas (I mean there is a damn Arepa Bar even) and a DELICIOUS coffee. The owner, Majo, is nothing short of a goddess.
Nom Nom Poke Shop – Ask for extra Togarashi sauce with your Spicy Tuna Crunch Bowl…and hoard it away for spicing up mundane dishes at home later.
Fox and Fig Cafe – No, I’m not Vegan, but Fox and Fig makes me think about becoming one…for like a second. Order the Fox Burger -yes, it’s a simple Beyond Burger, but what they do to the burger is BEYOND. They serve it with loads of caramelized onion, arugula and a tasty agave-dijon sauce. The kicker is the sweet pretzel bun that houses the whole masterpiece.
Bull Street Taco –
It was the owner’s sharp wit that brought me there, and the Tuna Poke Tostada that keeps me coming back!
Atelier Apron Dress in Black Linen @libbiesummerslabel
Where do you go to get your comfort food fix?
The Pork Fries at Sandfly BBQ are life changing. Period.
Where do you go to unwind?
Up on our roof. We lucked out and have the most beautiful view of the city and it’s sunsets. It’s an ahhhhh at the end of the day.
Do you have a retail store or stores that you can’t live without?
Boutique shopping in Savannah just keeps getting better and better and that makes me very happy!
Places where I find some of my favorite treasures are:
Hygge Savannah (I love this cozy store so much, it is the only store that carries my Libbie Summers label). Hygge is located in a secret garden so that is in itself makes it magical, but the owner, Cristina Drumm, has filled it with the most perfectly stunning utilitarian goods. She also carries my favorite candle and perfume. The scent that people always ask “what is the scent you are wearing.” You’ll have to go to her store to find out.
P.W. Short General Store: Damn this store is amazing! Scott Hinson, the owner, has curated a store that’s like the coolest hardware store meets Art Basel. P. W. Short is a place where I have bought a hideously beautiful vintage nude painting and a Japanese pot scrubber on the same visit. I love this store!
Tapley’s Mercantile: For folks that don’t know, Savannah has some great junkin’ (always drop the “g”) spots. The newest and greatest addition to the lineup is Tapley’s. It’s bright and airy (was an old grocery store, so it is massive) and like all good junkin’ it is constantly changing. You can buy an antique farm table and a jar of strawberry preserves. I could and have spent hours inside!
Alex Raskin Antiques: Basically a stop you CAN. NOT. MISS. when traveling to Savannah. I’ve had the privilege of hosting a few boutique events inside Alex’s “shop” and it provided the backdrop to an evening my guests could never have imagined. Filled with curiosities you may pick up an antique book for $12 or lean against a primitive table that you wished you hadn’t because the price tag on it was $60K. It’s basically heaven inside an 1869 Mansion whose inhabitants include antiquities and critters.
A Savannah business that you find inspiring?
Loop it Up Savannah
is a community art program which was founded in 2008. It brings art and creativity to 5000 young people each year. I LOVE THEIR MOTTO, Make Things & Be Nice! Loop it Up began as a children’s knitting and crochet class at the West Broad Street YMCA, and quickly grew to include a broad spectrum of art forms in weekly classes for children and adults throughout Savannah’s urban neighborhoods.
@libbiesummers Bespoke Events
What is your favorite sweet treat in Savannah?
I have a HUGE sweet tooth so I have a few stops!
1. A slice of Peanut Butter Pie at Cotton and Rye will put you in a trance while you eat it – It has a pomegranate-grape sauce, milk crumb, brown sugar whip and cardamom graham crust!
2. A small brown paper bag filled with nostalgic penny candy at The Grey Market.
4. A slice of Strawberry Suspension Cake at Lulu’s Chocolate Bar – two layers of rum-brushed chocolate cake and a center of mascarpone and strawberries all shrouded in chocolate.
5. A single, perfectly frosted and sprinkled vanilla cupcake at Back in the Day Bakery.
6. A handcrafted Strawberry Balsamic ice pop at Savannah Square Pops.
7. A plate of the chef’s selection of Petit Fours at The Drayton Hotel are almost too pretty to eat…almost.
If someone was visiting Savannah for the first time, what’s the one thing they should not miss?
I always encourage folks to do an inspiring tour because there is so much to learn about our beautiful city…even for locals.
I was BLOWN AWAY by the Portrait of a City signature walking tour I recently took with art & amble.