Georgia Trend Magazine. May 2023 print.

On the Georgia coast sits a white ranch-style house with picnic benches on a wraparound patio. The small, wood-paneled and homey interior feels like a watering hole created in your grandma’s living room. Hardwood floors, neon lights, pink drapes, disco balls and random knickknacks such as pineapple-shaped mirrors, baking molds and nautical-themed paintings recall what you would find in a home from the ’50s. But this is not a dive bar or an antique store – it is a neighborhood restaurant on Tybee Island.

The creators of Sea Wolf wanted to pair their successful bar concept – Lone Wolf Lounge in Savannah’s Starland district – with innovative globally inspired cuisine and community events at the beachside neighborhood. On weekend afternoons, you will find local musicians performing country, bluegrass and blues music under the cool shade of oak trees in the front yard.

Sea Wolf specializes in “hotdogs and champagne,” and you’ll discover sparkling wines and champagnes from around the world on the menu. The innovative cocktail program is equally fancy, with drinks such as The Richard Wolf, a rum Old Fashioned with citrusy lime and orange hints, and a Scandinavian-inspired refreshing long drink, The Owlbear, with Douglas fir-infused gin, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters. You may also opt for a glass of a coastal terroir wine or a daily draft beer special.

Since its opening in September 2020, Sea Wolf has appealed to a broad range of diners. About one-third of the seasonal menu is plant-based, but you won’t even miss the animal protein. For starters, the French onion dip, made with potato starch cream cheese and three kinds of caramelized onions, was luscious and comforting. It was served with a side of warm grilled pita bread on delicate, mismatched floral china.

A wide selection of fresh oysters on the half shell, sourced from boutique fisheries on Prince Edward Island and Washington, are served with house-made cocktail and red-wine mignonette sauces.

If you prefer your oysters cooked, come Monday through Wednesday for grilled oyster specials with experimental toppings. This is probably the only place you will find red-wine-braised and shredded pork shoulder on top of a grilled oyster enhanced with breadcrumbs, kalamata olives, tomatoes and parsley.

Gourmet hot dogs are the most popular section of the menu, but you won’t need mayo and mustard on them. Chef Thomas James loves to experiment with contrasting flavors and takes the classic American dog to a whole new level. Try the Adobo Chicken Dog topped with sweet and spicy adobo-marinated grilled dark chicken, pico de gallo and pickled jalapenos on a buttery brioche. Made with 100% Australian Wagyu, the sausage has deep flavors and smokey undertones and the jalapeno adds a nice kick.

For a meat-free option, the Romeo & Olivia Beyond Sausage on a vegan pretzel roll is quite satisfying. It is topped with mushrooms and olives tapenade, sweet Romesco sauce and fresh micro cilantro leaves.

The menu at Sea Wolf is largely dictated by seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors. For an entrée, try the BBQ Bourbon Lion’s Mane, another healthy and vegan-friendly dish of mushrooms cooked in Four Roses bourbon sauce, served over crunchy wild rice and fried shallots.

Brunch specials offer comfort foods inspired by international flavors. While a classic grilled cheese and rotating soup such as curried cauliflower bisque are a staple, you can also find innovative breakfast tacos. Think Mexican-style black bean taco with hot pickled jalapenos and cilantro, or Asian five-spice roasted pork with pickled onions, spicy aioli and fried eggs.

While the desserts are homemade, they don’t quite hit the spot. A key lime pie in a glass bowl made with vegan cream cheese and graham cracker is runny and not as creamy as you would hope.

Sea Wolf has a casual, family-friendly and fun atmosphere with very unique food and drink offerings. It’s a place to grab a bite after a swim, celebrate with a glass of champagne or watch a baseball game at the bar. Check out the Instagram page to see the endless creative possibilities.

~ Written for and published by Georgia Trend Magazine. All rights reserved.

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