Cha Bella, Broad and Broughton Streets, Savannah, Ga.

Tonight we dined out at a place we’ve come to love up in Savannah, called Cha-Bella.  We drove up with our neighbors, Ron and Jannette, stopping for cocktails first at the cellar tavern at The Olde Pink House, some blocks away.

The tavern was dark and comforting, with a welcoming gas log and deep leather chairs. Ann’s Long Island Iced Tea, and our friend’s martinis were well-constructed, and my Walker Red was a generous pour. Serendipitously, we kept meeting people whose life tapestries  bore similar threads to our own, and the conversations flowed easily until it was time to walk over to Cha-Bella.

Walking across the squares of Savannah on a Saturday night is always pleasant, the city being full of students and their limitless energy. We passed some SCAD photography students lying across the sidewalk on their bellies shooting film for some project as if it was as normal as strolling.

Cha-Bella was warm and softly lit as we arrived.

For dinner we ordered the grouper special served with avocado slices over risotto, a plate of yellow-fin tuna, chicken breast braised in olive oil, and a breaded pork cutlet. I, myself, had a chance to sample both fish platters, and found myself wishing I had ordered the tuna, not that the grouper was lacking in merit. The darker flavors of the tuna were simply a better match for the Merlot accompanying the meal.

The meal was splendid, as was the company. Our conversations ranged from easy journeys and pleasant vacations to dead-stick landings and storms at sea, and from raising babies to the joys of the empty nest.

I hope we dine so well again soon!

— Elliott

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