Photograph by Jeannine Rae Steinkuhl
EAT – Salt + Marrow
The newest addition to River Region fine dining is Salt + Marrow. Located in the sparkling Crowne Plaza just across the river in North Augusta, the restaurant boasts a stunningly designed dining room, parlor bar with additional indoor and outdoor seating, and Jackson’s Bluff – a rooftop bar with sweeping views of the Savannah River and neighboring SRP Park.
With a winning team of Hotel Manager Jeff Brower, General Manager Vince Johnson, and Executive Chef Dominic Simpson, the restaurant boasts a menu inspired by the river and reminiscent of the city’s early days. A lot of thought and research has been put into what sort of products would have been shipped up the river and additional effort put into finding local farms to source meats and produce. Dishes are cooked over an open fire using a grill that raises or lowers for precision cooking and an oven with the same heat source. Both require skill to use and deliver perfect flavor similar to what hearth-style cooking would have yielded 300 years ago. “It’s a craft,” Brower explains as Simpson works on a Bourbon and Soy Glazed Pork Tomahawk.
The menu changes depending on what is in season, available locally, and is also influenced by the creative minds of the team. Partners include City Roots, Anson Mills, Grow Food Carolina, Clemson University, Bulls Bay Saltworks, and Springer Mountain Farms. They’re always on the lookout for other sources and ways to incorporate the local community into each dish. The well-rounded menu has a little something for everyone with steak, pork, fowl, vegetarian, and seafood entrees like Fish + Grits made with Anson Mills stone ground grits and veggies from City Roots Urban Farm. Smaller plates include dishes for sharing or a first course like East Coast Oysters, creative salads, and soups like the Hearth Roasted Sweet Potato Bisque. Of course the dessert menu falls in line with the main courses – Southern inspired with innovative twists. Salt + Marrow is a taste of the South for both the surrounding community and visitors to the hotel.
SIP – Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Whether you’re a local looking for a place to eat with friends or just in town for a visit, Salt + Marrow has an a-la-carte breakfast menu that pairs perfectly with a Tito’s Mulligan Mary.
A Tito’s vodka recipe
Tito’s Mulligan Mary
1 1/2 oz Tito’s Handmade Vodka
4 oz bloody mary mix
Just add Tito’s Handmade Vodka, bloody mary mix and ice to a shaker. Shake and pour everything into a pint glass. Go wild with your garnishes or keep it simple and classic (it doesn’t make you a bad person).
Artisan – Frog & the Hen Market & Eatery
Some days, between work and the kids’ soccer game, there’s just too much going on to make a complete family meal. Sometimes, with a full-time job and so many different places to grocery shop, it’s too difficult to make sure that your meat, your produce, and your grains are sustainably sourced. Luckily Frog & the Hen Market & Eatery has you covered. They work with as many local farmers and businesses as possible to provide healthy, yummy food that helps support the local economy in the process. Most of their suppliers are located in the Southeast and many of those are located right here in the Augusta area.
At the Frog & the Hen Eatery & Market, you can reserve a table for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; or pickup a lunch to take to the office or an entire meal to bring home for the family. They’re also hoping to eventually have an online ordering option with a pickup window to make the whole process even easier.
Many of the products and ingredients used in the Frog & the Hen recipes are available in the market, including Anson Mills grits and grains. You can also find creamed honey and lip balm by the Augusta Honey Company, who provide honey for the restaurant. Di Chico’s Peri Peri sauce is on the shelves and is also an optional side sauce with The Hen’s Signature Half Roasted Chicken. Joyce Farms provides all of the chicken for the kitchen whether you’re picking up a sandwich for one or a pot pie for the whole family. Fresh juices from Humanitree House are also in stock and are used in some of the cocktails at the bar. And whether you’re sitting down for brunch or need a pound of coffee for a home brew, we recommend you try their own special roast by Buona Caffe.
With each dish Frog & the Hen Eatery & Market is pouring back in to the community and making an easy and healthy meal possible. It’s an ever-growing collaboration with local farmers and businesses to provide a healthy meal in a comfortable environment – whether that environment is sitting in a booth with your friends over weekend brunch or at the family dinner table on a weeknight trying to get in a little extra quality time.
If you’d like to find out more about some of the local vendors partnering with Frog & the Hen Market & Eatery, check out our previous articles at augustamagazine.com/goodtaste. There you can read more about The Augusta Honey Company, Humanitree House, Buona Caffe, and Di Chico’s Peri Peri Cafe along with many other local restaurants, cafes, and more.
Article appears in the April 2019 issue of Augusta Magazine.