The Olde Pink House dates back to 1771 (Habersham House) where the soft native brick bled trhough the plastered walls to change the color from white to pink. It housed the Habershams till the 1800s when it became the Planter’s Bank, with the old money vaults now serving as wine cellars. It was added on to at that time and later occupied by the military during the Civil War. After that it was used as a bookstore, colonial tea room and offices while suffering decay and neglect. In 1970 it underwent a one year structural restoration and the restaurant opened in 1971. In 1992 it changed hands and had more refurbishing. A fire in 2018 damaged the upstairs ballroom and it closed for 4 months for repairs. On the lower level is a tavern restaurant serving food in a more casual setting. It was fun to see but the food was over-rated and mostly fried.
Dining room options
We sat in the ballroom which was large and sterile. There are about 13 dining rooms in the house. The evening didn’t start well when it turned out they were out of the wine we ordered. They also no longer had the night’s special stuffed shrimp. Music was in the background and tapestries cover the walls. Huge chandeliers hang from the high ceilings and the wood floors looked almost original. They do have an elevator to the second floor. Large windows were covered with heavy drapes and the well spaced tables were covered with white clothes and napkins. Our particular table was very small and it became a juggling act for us and the staff. A very personable lady, dressed in period costume came round the tables to visit. She was a singer and offered to serenade the table if there was a song we wanted to hear.
A bread basket contained biscuits and cornbread muffins. The cornbread was not gritty, a tad dry and a bit sweet. The biscuits looked like muffin-tops they were so flat. They were good, with a nice crispy edge, but very crumbly. They came with softened butter.
Corn bread fried oysters were topped with Green Goddess sauce and came 5 to an order but the server suggested ordering an extra so we could more easily split them. The oysters were fine if you could find them in the mass of fried coating around them. The dressing did not help as it was could not stand up to the assault of the fryer. This was not a success.
“BLT” salad contained fried green tomatoes, sweet applewood bacon, black pepper thyme buttermilk dressing and they split it in the kitchen for us. The dressing was tasty and the fried tomato crispy and not overly battered. The bacon had flavor but not any smokiness. With a bit of salt the salad was nice but not awesome.
The Crispy Scored Flounder was accented with apricot shallot sauce and came with sides of creamy stone ground grits and collard greens. The fish was deeply scored and fried. It was dull and cooked more than it should have been. Parts of it had a mealy texture. The sauce was good but couldn’t save the dish. The grits were fine and creamy. The collards were nicely seasoned and the best part of the plate.
Chef’s Fried Chicken came with a side of mac and cheese. It was strongly recommended by the server as the best thing on the menu. The white meat had bites of juiciness but was mostly dry. The dark had some moistness but once again the coating was too thick and overwhelmed the chicken. The mac and cheese was dry with some crispy edges. There was some cheeseyness to the dish but I was not satisfied with it.