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Did someone say "poppers"?

I watched for some months as the menu at Sol has been coaxed into its current form. Now Sol has grown into its first–day–of–school baggy, rolled–leg jeans.

This new fit is like a glove, playing to strengths of the kitchen and to the casual and eclectic vision of its new(ish) owner, Andrea Johnson.

Let’s start with a before–dinner cocktail, a specialty of the small but elegantly stocked bar. Martinis and specialty drinks abound — and I soothed my work–spent taste buds with a gin martini concocted from Leopold’s gin — a small, craft distiller in Detroit. It’s a remarkably clean, smooth gin — a twist of lemon added a shot of freshness.

Wanting to add some spice, I chose Poppers from the app menu. These house–made examples of the ubiquitous commercial jalapeno popper raise this bite–sized treat to a new level. A coarse, crispy exterior wraps around a gooey filling rich with smoked Gouda and Jack cheeses and Jalapeno peppers. Cool, creamy cilantro lime dipping sauce helps ease the heat — or just take another sip of martini!

There are plenty of meal portioned entrees featuring fish, chicken and beef, but I was smitten with the taco and flatbread portions of the menu. Ultimately, I settled for a Thai Shrimp flatbread.

A crisp flatbread was the perfect flavor delivery vehicle for diverse flavors in this dish —  sweet shrimp popped up with a hint of saltiness, then sweet flavors of coconut, and finally a smidgen of fiery Sriracha chili sauce — the crisp crust helped bring it all together. Need more flavors? Try tender pieces of red pepper, crisp broccoli, tangy red onion, sliced green onion and the foundation of Thai flavors: peanuts.

There is plenty more on this menu to explore, and as soon as the weather settles down I’ll be back to do just that.
Service is prompt; the wine and beer lists are small but thorough. Watch for unique craft spirits (see the accompanying column on pre–Prohibition cocktails) to begin appearing on the back bar.

1611 Habersham St./(912) 232–1874 

Bites and pieces

A nice selection of beers from Victory Brewing will be paired with an imaginative menu (Eggs Florentine and a Golden Monkey mimosa) at Ruth’s Chris on Wednesday, April 13. $50 per person ++, 6:30 p.m. 721.4800 for reservations.

Serious home cooks will be happy to learn that Kitchenware Outfitters, next to Publix in 12 Oaks Shopping Center, is an official dealer now for The Big Green Egg. The all ceramic outdoor cooking appliance has owners devoted enough to be called a cult.

Temperance, a new beer bar at 220 Broughton St., should open soon. Expect 24 draft beer taps and a solid bar food menu. Longtime Savannah food service veteran Christian Peranzi is back as general manager. For beer fans, this pushes past The Distillery’s 21 taps. Word from Crystal Beer Parlor is that a bar remodeling is in the planning — that would take that landmark pub to 36 taps or more!