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The Grey is 2017's Restaurant of the Year

by  CN Team on November 16, 2017
The Grey is 2017's Restaurant of the Year

 How does an ambitious restaurant achieve true greatness? Chefs spend a lifetime obsessing over this distinction. Cooking must go beyond sound technique and polite enjoyment, striking something deeper than the chords of satiation and contentment. Service should surpass expectations of basic hospitality, and brim with magnanimity and delight. The overall experience, from the kitchen to the table, demands transcendence from the merely enjoyable — or even thrilling — to a moment that is nearly spiritual.

Everything that it takes to realize this enormous feat — a coherent vision, a distaste for complacency, and singular leadership — Mashama Bailey accomplishes at the Grey in Savannah, Georgia. With nearly 2,000 meals under my belt for Eater, I can’t think of another restaurant that has fulfilled its promise so richly.

At a time when Southern cuisine has soaked up the limelight for at least the last 15 years, the restaurant synthesizes much of what’s relevant about this moment in American dining: an amalgamation of global and regional flavors; a big-city chef making a seismic impact in a smaller town; and an acute awareness of, and reckoning with, complex racial, economic, and cultural histories.

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Photo credit: Sarah Kohut

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