Last Tuesday we got to take a break from the demanding work of the week and step into the charming Greenwood, Mississippi for a quick getaway.
Drive 2 hours and 20 minutes from Memphis and you find a delightful town rich with culture and history. Thankful that I saw the recommendation on East Memphis Moms.
When we got to the Alluvian around 5:00 we quickly checked in and went to check out the luxury room.
Our expectations were totally exceeded. And as you can see in the photo in the title they even left us a special sweet tea bath soap from the Alluvian Spa and some beautiful stationery with art from a local artist. The room was spacious and relaxing.
Next, we headed out to enjoy drinks on the Terrace. The staff said they do this every Tuesday night. How fun is that? We really enjoyed the view. Seriously, everything they do here is relaxing.
With half hour to kill before dinner reservations, we walked across the street to look at the Viking Cooking School and the charming downtown.
I am seriously dying to go back and take a class! They also offer an amazing gift store where you can buy all sorts of fun kitchen items.
I’d love to know the history of this gorgeous church. We stopped taking pictures and ran across the street to change for our reservations at Giardina’s, the restaurant connected to the Alluvian. Giardina’s, founded by Joseph Giardina in 1936, is steeped in history. The restaurant used to be a saloon and they had private booths with curtains during the prohibition. Instead of destroying the history behind the place, the restaurant kept the original floor plan and now has 14 booths with curtains and then a larger seating area. We found it incredibly nice to have our own space to chat.
Giardina’s had so much ambiance and was incredibly charming and refined without being fussy. This atmosphere made the entire experience that much more enjoyable. Our waiter, Charlie, was so helpful and quick to point out favorites. When I explained that I have a gluten and soy allergy, he was really easy to work with. The menu actually notes all the meals that are gluten-free. I picked from those and then he discussed with the chef which ones would also be free of soy. I’ll be honest: typically eating out with a food allergy is really stressful, but here it was a breeze! Not only were they incredibly hospitable about it, but I had plenty of safe delicious options. And here’s the kicker: I didn’t get sick. They followed through on their safety precautions.
For an appetizer, we had these delicious baked oysters with Benton’s bacon.
While we were enjoying our oysters the executive chef came out to talk to us and we loved hearing his story. Chef Cameron graduated from the Viking Cooking School across the street and it’s a goal of his that everyone that visits the Alluvian and Giardina’s feels like Greenwood is family. When he spoke about the Mississippi Delta, you could hear that he loves having roots right where he is and wants people to come and recharge as they eat his food. He told us about how Morgan Freeman comes every other month or so to get away from things and relax there. I can totally see why! Eating and staying at the Alluvian really was like going to visit family. Unrushed, relaxing, and a total treat.
I ordered this chicken and it was out of this world good. It takes incredible technique to elevate something as ordinary as chicken and white potatoes and make it one of the most flavorful dishes. When Chef Cameron came back, I begged him to tell me how he made it. The chicken is stuffed with a cream cheese and spinach sauce. It really was perfection.
Excuse the iPhone photo, but we wanted a picture of us at Giardina’s and Charlie, our waiter, was kind to take one of us!
Bill ordered the ribeye and potato. The Chef said it was safe for me to try too, and I am literally still thinking about this steak. It was prepared so well and melted in our mouths.
When we thought it really couldn’t get any better, Chef Cameron asked what we wanted for dessert. Now since I have two food allergies desserts usually just aren’t an option. However, I was in luck. The gelato was 100% homemade and safe, and y’all I don’t even know how to describe how amazing it was.
I mean I guess I’ve always kind of thought of ice cream as ice cream. It’s delicious and you can play around with the flavors to make it better, but this was in a category all on its own. It was crazy good. The mint was strong and the dark chocolate pieces melted in my mouth.
I totally stole a bite (or 3) of Bill’s vanilla. It tasted of strong vanilla bean and light hints of maybe cardamom? Obviously, I didn’t eat the shortbread, but he reported that it was really good and had an orange glaze on it.
When we finished dinner, we walked around the hotel and explored it a bit. I loved the little court yard in the middle. Don’t you just want to sit down and savor a good conversation with a glass of wine right here?
I really enjoyed interacting with the staff at the Alluvian. They were so hospitable. The hotel is packed full of incredible artwork from local artists. We could have spent hours looking at it all!
It’s a quiet town that draws you in to relax like a family lunch on Sunday afternoon. My to-do list was short here, but had all my favorite things: cooking, relaxing, and eating! It hasn’t even been a full week, but Bill and I are already talking about when we want to go back.
I worked with the Alluvian on this post and they so generously accommodated us in return for my 100% honest review. As always these words are totally my words and just what I would tell a friend!