The OLD Georgetown Saloon was known for that no frills, down and dirty, neighborhood dive bar vibe that locals can’t get enough of. The NEW Georgetown Saloon still is that, but this time around new owner, Chris Forland, and new chef, John Brennan (formerly Executive Chef of Plan B Burger Bar) kicked it up about a million notches with kickass, modern comfort food and creative cocktails that fit the vibe perfectly. So in honor of that super chill vibe, let’s just get down and dirty with the experience, food, and cocktails.
From what our friends tell us, the restaurant itself still has a lot of the same decor elements it had back in the day, but Chef Brennan himself amped it up by picking out some new, fun, modern additions (like graffiti), perfecting that neighborhood, roadhouse vibe that makes you want to hang there all night. There’s still a great stage for fun entertainment (we were there for Open Mic Night on Thursday) and TVs for the sports lovers. In fact, once the word gets out about all the new awesomeness Georgetown Saloon has to offer, we can see this place getting PACKED with fun entertainment every night.
Drinks and Flasktails
We weren’t really sure where to start because while the 30 seasonal brews on tap and the cocktail menu looked great, we saw that they serve 40 ozs. of Colt, Old English, or Private Stock in paper bags. YES, frickin’ paper bags–how awesome is that?! Once we got over the novelty of that we decided to start with the Mai Thai, My Darling Sugaree, and the Surley Tumble. Then, the next novelty came along and wowed us: the cocktails are served in labeled flasks to pour into a glass of ice. Fun! The Mai Thai (spiced rum, fresh lime juice, orgeat syrup) was fruit-forward, yet well balanced with a slightly tart kick of lime. The My Darling Sugaree (silver tequila, pomegranate liquor, rose water, lime juice, chocolate bitters) had notes of tea and that wonderful warm bite from tequila. And the Surley Tumble (bourbon, maraschino liquor, lemon juice, cherry bitters) was a little sour from the bitters, tart from the cherry, and the bourbon came through nicely. Overall all the drinks were great: well balanced, not too sweet, not too sour, not too liquor forward.
Start with This and Minis
The oh-so-good comfort-packed choices of apps is overwhelming. Everything sounded amazing. Here’s what we chowed down on:
Devilish Eggs: had a nice tang from the capers and a light but warm earthiness from the truffle was a nice addition, not overpowering the delicate nature of the egg. The yolk mixture was creamy with a nice smokiness from the bacon.
Biscuits + Gravy: the gravy was rich, creamy, and thick, with nice big flavorful chunks of sausage throughout. We would have liked spice from the gravy, but we get that not everybody does it like that. Our main problem with the dish is that the center of some of the biscuits were a bit raw. Maybe a little too rich for us overall, but then again, it’s biscuits and gravy . . . whaddya expect?
Whipped Shrooms: this was a perfectly cooked puff pastry with a nice sweetness coming from the onion jam, all of which was well balanced with the earthy and savory mushrooms. This was seriously DELICIOUS–Kristien’s favorite dish of the night.
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno: we have a problem with most stuffed peppers–they get soggy as hell and end up tasting like mush. Not these bad boys, though. The bacon was actually crispy on the outside (how often do you get flabby bacon, too?), with a nice smokiness coming through. Contrasting with the bite from the pepper was the cheese inside that was in good proportion to the rest of the bite. We’d eat these all day.
Mac + Cheese Tots: dear God, these are deadly for any person’s diet. They have a crispy and crunchy outside, with a warm, cheesy, and creamy inside. So rich, but so so so good.
Chicken + Waffles: before we even dug into the this dish, we were struck by the presentation. It almost looked too good to eat, ALMOST. The breading on the chicken was crispy and had a nice zesty spice to it with moist chicken waiting below. The waffles were fluffy and played so well with the chicken–noms, major noms. Tying it all together was a small bucket of sweet potato fries which were a bit softer than we normally like, but for some reason they tasted good that way. They were full of flavor and tasted like they were JUST cut and fried.
The next awesome novelty Georgetown Saloon wowed us with is their TV Dinner entrees. Yes, they are literally TV dinners served in ceramic trays with multiple compartments like the ones you had as a kid. How can you not love that? If a person were brave or strong enough to not order any of the appetizers we just mentioned, then he/she could just order the TV Dinner and be set for the night. This is really the ultimate meal deal with costs ranging from $15 to $19. We were able to try two:
Bird + Bees: this one came with fried chicken, a biscuit, mashed potatoes, a brownie, and veggies. The chicken, again, was moist with that beautifully crunchy and crispy skin. The sauce served on the side was spicy, with a sweet chile flavor mixed into the honey. The biscuit was much better this time around and oh-so-buttery. We’d take little bites of chicken and biscuit, then would switch things up by having some of the mashed potatoes that were the perfect mixture of creamy and chunky. The crispy zucchini, broccoli, and other veggies fooled us into thinking that our gorgefest was justified: hey, they’re veggies! The only thing that we didn’t like was the brownie which was more cake-like than brownie-like and a bit dry.
Shrimp + Grits: the second TV dinner we had featured grits, veggies, a Rice Krispies Treat, and salad. First, let’s talk a bit about these grits. They were creamy and rich with cheddar which went nicely with the perfectly grilled shrimp. The Krispies treat was awesome, just like momma made, and the salad added a nice bit of refreshment after all that rich food.
Finish with This
We always say that by the time we get to dessert we want to cry. And we mean it every time. This time, however, it was the most painful it has ever been because everything we ate was so amazingly rich and flavorful. But, we owe it to you to try the desserts, so we pressed on reluctantly.
First up was a Flourless Chocolate Sundae, served with ice cream, cherries, and walnuts. For being flourless, it was amazingly delicate and moist, though it was quite rich. If you love chocolate and that intense flavor from cocoa, this is definitely your kinda dessert. And, the final dessert was one for the centuries: Seasonal Bread Pudding. Oh, but you’ve never had bread pudding like this, and chances are that you’ll never forget this. Chef Brennan cuts the bread pudding up into cubes, then dips it into batter, then fries it. The results are, basically, chicken-fried bread pudding that ends up being warm and has a nice moist bite to it. Next time we go we’re trying the Deep Fried Tequila that is made with reposado, poundcake, sugar, and lime.
In case you couldn’t tell already, we have a ton of heart for the whimsical wonderfulness that is Georgetown Saloon, from the super laid-back vibe, to the fun live entertainment, the 40 ozs in paper bags, cocktails in flasks, and dinner in TV trays. While a good portion of the menu is rich and heavy, there are still lighter options like salads, crab cakes, and cheese and jam, you won’t find delicate pea-sized dollops on oversized plates here. No you aren’t going to get your typical gourmet anything…and we like it that way. There’s enough of that in Fairfield County anyway, right? What you ARE going to get at Georgetown Saloon is really creative, well-executed, down-home, stick to your ribs comfort food that you really can’t get anywhere else around here. Plus, they have brunch. What’s not to love about that?
We were invited by Chef Brennan to try the food, but our opinions and thoughts on the food, drinks, and experience are our own.
Address: 8 Main Street
Redding, CT 06896
Phone: (203) 544-8003