Frog Hollow Tavern

Eclectic | New American | Tavern
One of the best

Waiters at Frog Hollow Tavern are mesmerists. When they describe a dish, specifying where the groceries come from, what techniques are used in preparation, and how the meal is plated, their spiel is so polished that I get lulled into a happy reverie, like listening to a song in which melody overshadows lyrics. I wind up having to slap myself to attention and ask for repetition of details: “What was that? … saffron butter?… organic stone ground grits? … macerated berries and a hint of almond? … what the heck are tomatoes gastrique?”

Such confusion is a pleasant dilemma. No matter what you order in this stylish urban tavern, it is likely to be wonderful. On the Roadfood price scale, it’s a splurge (entrees in the $30 range); and despite the restaurant’s assertion that it lets “freshness speak for itself,” nearly everything on the menu is complicated and multi-layered with hints of this and that, subtle undertones, and surprise seasonings.

If there is a leitmotif to chef Sean A. Wight’s cuisine, it is big flavor. Nothing is bland. Even macaroni and cheese (made lasagna-style with flat noodles), is powerfully cheesy; collard greens are very sweet and very pungent; shrimp and grits isn’t just shrimp and grits, but rather a gallimaufry of shrimp, grits, andouille sausage, pork lardons, and tomatoes.

Must-eats from the regular menu include silk-white dayboat grouper, an appetizer of beguilingly crisp arancini made with “dirty” Carolina gold risotto, and creme brulee that is, in fact, agreeably unfussed-with other than a subtle shot of almond in the custard underneath its singed-crisp integument.

Frog Hollow Tavern is popular and crowded enough that reservations are de rigueur. The gatekeepers up front can be officious, assigning customers to the bar if they arrive a few minutes early (despite plenty of empty tables in the dining rooms). Once a party is seated, service is professional, hospitable, enthusiastic, and genuinely helpful.

What to Eat
Frog Hollow Tavern, Shrimp & Grits
Shrimp & Grits
Kaleidoscopic shrimp and grits includes salty pork lardons, andouille sausage, and local tomatoes. The shrimp are large and snappy; the grits are Anson Mills' best.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Grouper
Dayboat grouper is plated with roasted turnips in a pool of very zesty saffron citrus butter.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
Nothing is ordinary at Frog Hollow Tavern. Mac 'n' cheese is made lasagna-style, giving it an agreeable chewiness. The flavor is classic.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Pork Chop
Pork Chop
An immense double-bone pork chop rivals Iowa's finest. The meat is butter-tender.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Wedge Salad
Wedge Salad
The lettuce is cool and crisp, the bacon is thick, the blue cheese is pungent, the tomatoes are local, and the aged sherry vinaigrette is intoxicating: a wedge salad to reckon with!
Frog Hollow Tavern, Tea Hive
Tea Hive
The Tea Hive is a house signature drink of cathead honeysuckle vodka, chamomile, lemon, and honey.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake
The whipped cream atop a strawberry shortcake is fresh and thick. The macerated berries are layered into an earthy biscuit that lets the fruit do all the sweet-talking.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Mussels
The mussels, from Maine, loll in a broth of white wine, saffron, vidalia onions, shallots, and mustard.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee
Under the crisp, fragile skin of creme brulee, the custard is enriched with a faint hint of almond.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Collard Greens
Collard Greens
Greens to the max: potent, onion-sweet, pork-rich.
Frog Hollow Tavern, Arancini
Crisp-skinned arancini are opulent spheres of Carolina Gold risotto, duck confit, and asiago cheese.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Wednesday5pm - 10pm
Thursday5pm - 10pm
Friday5pm - 10:30pm
Saturday5pm - 10:30pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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