First Look

A First Look at Flora and Fauna | Listen

By: Amber Chase

Pancake brown butter strawberry white chocolate pecan lemon at Flora and Fauna

On May 22, the eclectic storefront that once housed Cheryl Day’s iconic Back in the Day Bakery will reopen as Flora and Fauna in Savannah’s Starland District. The latest by the FARM hospitality group, partner Brandon Carter teams up with executive chef Annie Coleman and chef de cuisine Tyler Kenny to launch their fifth concept. Flora and Fauna will continue the legacy of Back in the Day by providing Savannah with fresh-baked bread, French-inspired pastries, and a selection of locally sourced lunch options. In addition to the bakery, the space will host a supper club-style dinner menu launching later this summer featuring rotating seasonal dishes for sharing family style. 

Annie Coleman helms the bakery side of the concept and connects the name Flora and Fauna to the innate connection the restaurant will share with the surrounding farms’ partners and purveyors that fuel the menu: “In France, you’ll find shelves scattered with pain au raisin and chocolate-pistachio escargot, but these weren’t chosen for the menu based on unnamed standards of French cuisine, but, rather, inspired by local ingredients.” Coleman plans to integrate this same ethos into how she structures menus for the bakery, so you’ll find classics like pain au chocolat, delicate entremets, and pan suisse, but also new favorites like kimchi-filled brioche or a pecan croissant (rather than traditional almond). For lunch options, Coleman envisions a natural, laid-back French bistro feel with powerhouse sandwiches, savory quiches, and Southern staples. Think a towering sandwich with house-cured ham and smoky cheese stacked on sourdough or a hearty sized salad with local greens, plump strawberries, and a zesty poppy seed dressing. Reading through the brunch menu is like stepping into a French market, but you can still hear the Southern cicadas chirping. From mushroom conserve on a baguette to fried chicken gumbo, brunch at Flora and Fauna combines essential Southern charm with classic French staples. 

Cheryls Biscuit with egg and cheese at Flora and Fauna
Roast Beet Salad with ranch at Flora and Fauna

Paying homage to Cheryl Day, the breakfast and brunch menus feature her legendary biscuits. Top them with French butter and preserves or try Cheryl’s Biscuits and Gravy with ginger, sage, and vadouvan. “Cheryl’s biscuit was my first bite in Savannah,” says Coleman. “I used to travel here a lot as a kid from Beaufort, and stepping in those doors you were always greeted with a sincere welcome and a fluffy, buttery biscuit. These biscuits hold a lot of nostalgia and meaning for the Savannah community and it felt natural to integrate them into our menus.” Chef Brandon Carter adds, “When we initially talked with the Days, there were enough factors working against us, it didn’t seem likely we’d move forward. But, ultimately, they felt they could entrust the legacy of the space to us, and we never looked back. The Savannah culinary scene has been drastically transformed since Back in the Day first opened, and the Days were integral pioneers that paved the way for people like us.” 

Opening later this summer, Flora and Fauna will also feature an intimate, supper club-style dinner service. Carter, reflecting on his most memorable meal from 18 years ago, recalls a cozy space with all the tables pushed together and a small crowd passing plates diagonally and across the tables. “There was no menu, no elaborate explanations, no chef seeking personal prestige, just incredibly simple, unpretentious dishes that were jaw-dropping on their own. I’ve been chasing that dragon ever since,” says Carter. At Flora and Fauna, he hopes to re-create this vision: the hum of lo-fi beats and busy Savannah streets in the background, the smell of fresh baked bread from the morning still lingering, and steam wafting from dishes as they change hands across the table. 

“When I imagine people enjoying Flora and Fauna, the thing that comes to my mind is ‘They’ll know where they are,’” says Carter. The tie-in between these two facets of Flora and Fauna, the legacy and nostalgia of the space, and the intentionality of their menus all align with this singular concept: belonging.

Spring Greens strawberry basil spiced pecans feta poppy seed dressing

Opening Menus at Flora and Fauna

First Look

A First Look at Brodeto | Listen

As Brodeto prepares to open, Scott Crawford hopes a feeling of weightless abundance and Adriatic sea breeze translates throughout every dish.

First Look

A First Look at Luca Lagotto

Luca Lagotto hopes to supply fresh Italian cuisine and a neighborhood respite to the busy residents of Homewood, Alabama.

First Look

A First Look at Joelle | Listen

Joelle is poised to bring an undeniable liveliness to Bluffton with Italian American dishes, semolina pastas, and wood fired pizzas.

keep reading

more from First Look

Leave a Reply

Be the first to comment.