Originally created 09/26/03

Snug is intimate, but not smug



The Snug certainly is one of the most aptly named restaurants in Augusta. Just off Davis Road and bustling Bobby Jones Expressway, it's a slow-paced haven and one of the coziest eateries in town.

With twinkling white lights, lush indoor greenery and richly colored wood accents, the Snug offers an intimate ambiance in which diners lean in to conversations and speak in hushed tones. Stuffy? Maybe a little, but we're not complaining. In an era of restaurants that bellow birthday greetings from across the room, a touch of subdued sophistication is more than welcome.

The restaurant specializes in steaks, prime rib and burgers cut from aged Angus beef. Also featured are daily specials, seafood, pasta, dinner salads, appetizers and sandwiches, supplemented with a very nice wine list. There's no children's menu, but during our dinner visit, the server helpfully adapted a dish for our no-frills pre-teen.

The frills suited the rest of us just fine. The Snug has extra touches that transform a meal into an experience.

Our dinner began with jumbo lump crab dip served with hot garlic toast ($7.95). The dip had a rich sherry flavor, but the crab meat was more stringy than lumpy. Nevertheless, we made fast work of the appetizer.

For entrees, we chose a daily special of Neptune's Cow and the Cajun Canoe ($16.95 each). Neptune's Cow included an 11-ounce New York steak topped with shrimp saute and blue crab sauces, served with mashed potatoes and green beans. The steak was slightly overcooked but otherwise delectable. The shrimp and sauce were wonderful, though so rich that a little went a long way. We particularly liked the potatoes, mashed with the skins.

The Cajun Canoe was a to-die-for combination of jumbo gulf shrimp, chicken breast and Italian sausage in a mildly zesty Cajun sauce served over fettuccine. If you're going to launch your carb count to the moon, this is the way to go.

We were particularly impressed with the fresh bread and family-style salad that accompanied the entrees. The salad was so pretty, with vivid flashes of color from extra-fresh vegetables, that we dug our way to the bottom of the bowl. We had fun sampling all three homemade dressings that were brought to the table.

We didn't make it to dessert, but they looked good enough to save room for.

Service was flawless and clutter-free. The Snug initially struck us as a bit pricey, but great food and good ambiance are worth splurging on.

ON THE TOWN

THE EATERY: The Snug, 240 Davis Road

HOURS: Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; dinner, 4:30 p.m. until, Monday through Saturday

PHONE: (706) 863-1118

THE VERDICT: Fine food in a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere. **** out of *****

Mary Deriso is the retired general manager of the Pinnacle Club, a private dining club in Augusta. Christine Hurley Deriso is a writer whose children's book, Dreams to Grow On, is available in local bookstores and on Amazon.com.