The Savannah Tequila Co. designed with a rhythm of colors and a laid-back vibe has just opened in the Plant Riverside District. Ten years ago, when a taco in Savannah might easily have contained canned beans, the idea of a Mexican restaurant in a posh hotel would have been mystifying. But Executive Chef Kyle Lipetsky, Sous Chef Shahin Afsharian and Chef de Cuisine Victor Terrones knew that with a respect for the region and prime ingredients they could make Savannah Tequila Co. stand out. This endeavor has led them to hiring a team that they credit as the spine, heart and soul of the Savannah Tequila Co.: Carlito, Davidcin, Pris, Andrecito, Cass, Roy, Felipa, Astrid and Gio.  The truth is they are not reinventing Mexican food but taking their favorite items and making them with passion, love and a little bit of a sexy twist.

Another face that sets STC apart is Tequilier Chelsea DeMark. Chelsea has personally designed the tequila and cocktail menus, offering a diverse range of highland and lowland tequilas, unique varietal mezcals and tasting boards designed to highlight the nuances in the spirits. The cocktail menu showcases traditional ingredients from Mexican cuisine to highlight the agave spirits within.

Nobody knows  the secrets of the menu better than the Chef and the road to the best cocktails better than the Tequilier.  That’s why we are going to turn this feature over to the experts and let them give you their best advice on what to eat, what to drink and why at the new The Savannah Tequila Co.

In your opinion what would be the perfect order for a couple on date night?
Answers from Chef de Cuisine Victor Terrones and Tequilier Chelsea DeMark

Victor:

For a date I would share all the dishes and different cocktails in each course. For appetizers, I would recommend pairing the Sangria Vino Blanco and Sangria Vino Rosado with the Flautas, Sopes and Queso Fundido. For an entrée, I would recommend pairing two Pepino Coolers with the Carnitas Taco, Fish Taco and Carne Asada. For dessert, I would recommend pairing the Horchata Leche Punch and Eternal Savannah Summer Margarita with the Tres Leches.

Chelsea:

Everyone should start with the chips and guac! It is so creamy and perfectly balanced. The perfect cocktail pairing for this is something light and refreshing like the Paloma de Riviera. For dinner I have to recommend the Enchiladas Banderas and an order of Mushroom Tacos. The enchiladas showcase many of the beautiful ingredients the kitchen is preparing and the mushroom tacos have an incredible umami accompanied by the nutty and spicy macha salsa. The main course is well accompanied by a Corazon de Chai and a Tres Chiles Margarita, which feature rich flavors and bright acidity. A dessert of chocoflan makes the perfect pairing for a flight board- try the One Tequila 3 Ways—it takes you on a journey through the aging of tequila, showcasing an aged blanco, reposado, and añejo all from the same base distillate. It really allows you to taste how the oak affects the final spirit. A Horchata Leche Punch is a sweet finish to accompany your flight board that is essentially dessert itself.

Which menu times would be recommended for a large group to share?

Victor:

Flautas, Fundido, Guac, Salsa Trio, Sopes, to start and for main just all our tacos, Carnitas (my favorite), Fish, Barbacoa, Gringo, Chicken and Mushroom.

Chelsea:

We offer pitchers of sangria! And, for private events we can provide a personal draft cocktail unit for you and your friends to enjoy right at the table! Instant gratification. I highly recommend filling it with the Legend of the Hidden Palenque cocktail, tart and smoky with a hint of hibiscus and mint.

For someone who wants to educate themselves on Tequila what do you recommend as a starting point?

Chelsea:

Come try a tasting board! We have four, each designed to take you on a specific journey. The One Tequila Three Ways showcases aging, Los Altos vs. Los Valles juxtaposes highlands and lowland tequilas or for a journey into other agave spirits The Agaves de Mezcals features 3 varietals of agave that can be used to make mezcal, along with a traditional pairing of oranges and sal de gusano or worm salt. Trio de Blancos lets you taste the difference between 3 unique regional Mexican spirits—tequila, mezcal, and sotol.

Lateral tasting of multiple styles of tequila or agave spirits next to each other is the best way to identify the impact terroir and production method have on the final tequila. Also, our team is always happy to walk you through some of their favorites and Chelsea is always on standby to wax poetic about every last bottle on our shelves.