Originally created 11/30/01

Wine and dine

The formal image of the Partridge Inn is changing with the arrival of Executive Master Chef Philippe Chin.

Mr. Chin, hired in October, has a long list of awards for his fusion style of cooking and a string of successful restaurants in Philadelphia.

"I believe the Partridge Inn is known for that stuffy, special-occasion kind of place," Mr. Chin said. "But it's not. I think the most important thing is that I really want the bar and grill to be known as a neighborhood place. It's a place where everybody can come. Change is going to come, believe me."

The Partridge Inn is renovating its building and revamping its food and service.

Mr. Chin, who is still learning about Southern food, has already revamped menus for the bar and grill and the Morris Partridge Dining Room, adding international flair to some traditional Southern foods, including greens, pecans, black-eyed peas, succotash, rice and peaches.

Appetizers on the dining room menu include smoked salmon cheesecake, Down South spring rolls and sweet potato and pumpkin bisque. Prices range from $6 to $9.25.

New main courses include Asian barbecue salmon fillet, spicy pecan-encrusted Mahi-Mahi, roasted New Zealand rack of lamb and sesame-crusted sushi-grade tuna loin. Prices range from $16.95 to $25.95.

Mr. Chin added a new section to the bar and grill menu - fun munchies and small plates to share. The selections includes appetizers or bar food such as rib tips, peel-and-eat shrimp, Cajun spiced "popcorn" chicken and "Drunken" rings. Prices range from $4.25 to $9.75.

The bar still offers soups, salads, sandwiches and bigger plates, such as bourbon-marinated salmon, seared sirloin steak and grilled chicken.

Changes to be completed by mid-January include renovation of the bar to create a more elegant but relaxed atmosphere, with much more wood. The name will change to the P.I. Bar and Grill, Mr. Chin said.

The dining room will become a versatile banquet ballroom for special occasions and Sunday brunch.

A major change will be the addition of a new restaurant designed by Mr. Chin, scheduled to open March 15. it will feature his fusion style of food.

"Fusion to me is combining all the best of every cuisine in the world together," Mr. Chin said. "It should be called American food. Because what is America? It's a melting pot. That's what we are. That's what Americans are. It's a combination from the best of every food in the world."

The interior will feature lots of light and color and a sushi and wine bar, Mr. Chin said.

"I would say it is going to be something that Augusta has never seen before," Mr. Chin said. "It's going to be great. The restaurant should reflect the food. It's a fusion of different styles. It's going to be striking, very uplifting to the eyes, very different. It's going to be hip."

Hours of operation for the bar and grill are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m., and lunch is served until 2:30 p.m. The dining room serves dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call the Partridge Inn at (706) 737-2428.

Reach Valerie Rowell at (803) 279-6895 or valmac007@hotmail.com


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