The local restaurant group Ele and the Chef seems to have another hit on its hands with the Little Duck Diner at 150 St. Julian St. That’s the space most recently occupied by the downtown location of Moe’s Southwest Grill.
If you aren’t familiar with Ele and Sean Tran’s company, you’re probably familiar with one or more of their restaurants, which include Chive Sea Bar + Lounge. The Vault. Flying Monk Noodle Bar and Fire Street Food. The pair also own Current Kitchen &Cocktails, which opened earlier this year in the spot formerly occupied by their restaurant Ele.
The Little Duck Diner delivers some of the staples of the traditional American diner. The stylish décor relies heavily on black and white patterns and includes a variety of pleasantly retro elements. The menu includes egg dishes, pancakes, waffles, milkshakes, hamburgers and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. There are also several larger entrees.
The menu also has some of the Pan-Asian flair that we’ve come to expect from Ele and the Chef. For example, one of the omelets includes Laotian pork and cilantro.
On my first trip, I took my server’s recommendation and tried the wonderful Bi Bim Bop Bowl ($14.95), which includes a hearty combination of steak, rice, kimchi, carrots, onion, daikon and a fried egg. That’s one of the most expensive menu items, by the way.
The Little Duck Diner occupies a portion of the ground floor of the Cay Building on Ellis Square, so there will be a lot of foot traffic throughout the day and deep into the night. The diner will probably be in the regular lunch rotation for some downtown workers, and I suspect it will become a popular first stop for some who are heading out on the town.
The Little Duck Diner has a variety of seating inside plus some tables outside along St. Julian Street.
The restaurant should get its beer and wine license at the Savannah City Council meeting on Oct. 12.
The Little Duck Diner’s hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday. It’s always worth keeping in mind, however, that new restaurants often make changes to their hours in their first weeks or months. You can find out more via the restaurant’s Facebook page.
The local restaurant scene is especially dynamic right now, and that energy looks to continue into 2018.
City Talk appears every Sunday and Tuesday. Bill Dawers can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. Send mail to 10 E. 32nd St., Savannah, Ga. 31401.