A local favorite for more than 30 years, Garibaldi restaurant closed in 2010 after its lease ran out on its South Market street location in downtown Charleston. Yes, there's still a Garibaldi Columbia and a Garibaldi Savannah, but that's small comfort to the fans yearning for the restaurant's signature Crispy Flounder as well as numerous Italian dishes.
Garibaldi, named for the Italian military hero Giuseppe Garibaldi of the 1800s who fought successfully to unite the country, was located in a red brick building that once was home to Limehouse Produce. In spite of its touristy address, the restaurant always claimed a legion of local followers.
Looking back at some of the old Post and Courier reviews, I can see that its food consistently garnered praise. And people just had a good time there.
Interestingly, at least to me, was the repeated mention of an appetizer no longer on the menu: the pimento and anchovy. Back in 1991, the critic wrote, "It's very simple, just large pimentos with a couple of anchovies served with a side of oil and vinegar. The secret is to put it on toasted garlic bread and eat in the style of an open-faced sandwich."
Now that's sure to bring back some memories. But neither the pimentos nor the flounder are what brings us here today. (I don't think there's a chance in Hades of getting the flounder recipe; the other is easier to duplicate.)
Instead, Tracie Collins emailed recently with this plea: "I was just having a serious craving for the Shrimp Savannah that Garibaldi's used to serve. Any chance someone has the recipe?"
I did not have high hopes for getting this recipe, either. But surprise, the chef of Garibaldi Savannah emailed and bravo! We have it.
The kindly chef is Gerald Green, who wrote, "I saw your request in the Charleston paper. I started working at Garibaldi when I was 16. I'm the chef at Garibaldi in Savannah and have been for 30 years. I would love to share the recipe with you and invite you to stop by if you're ever in Savannah."
Chef, count on that the next time I'm down Savannah way.
"You definitely want to enjoy this dish with garlic bread," Green advises.
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
2 ounces shiitake mushrooms
2 ounces button mushrooms
4 ounces raw shrimp, peeled
1 ounce Pernod
2 ounces heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic bread for serving
Place butter in a saute pan, let it melt. Before it browns, add garlic and warm; again not browning. Then add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook for 2 minutes, shaking the pan often. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes, again shaking the pan often. Add Pernod and reduce by two-thirds, then add heavy cream and reduce it by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with garlic bread.
Sweet and easy
Longtime contributor Judy Oken of Meggett recommends this recipe she found online and tried.
"It is so easy and delicious, just wanted to pass it along. ... Made mine in pie plate and cut like a pie but would be great as the bars. Will do that next time, I already plan to make again soon."
Pecan Pie Bars
1 can Crescent Rolls
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Roll dough out in greased pie plate or 9x13-inch pan and up sides, pressing together. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Mix remaining ingredients and pour into crust. Bake 18-20 minutes more. Cool 1 hour.