Trying a 4-Course Dinner at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

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When I first heard about The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA I got the feeling something was different about this place.

The main reason? The restaurant resides in the front of the actual Palace Theater in downtown Sylvester. In true theater style it has a tall vertical illuminated sign, proudly proclaiming its presence.

But once inside, the restaurant shows its true colors, quite literally. A theme of deep, dark greens and black tones are highlighted with gold and amber hues across the restaurant.

The interior walls, which extend two stories high are deliberately covered in framed artwork. I don’t just mean the restaurant just has a lot of artwork — which it does. What I mean is the walls of the main dining room are covered from top to bottom and from back to front with frames pieces of art.

One of the walls covered in curated art at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

Large paintings, small photos, and medium-sized selections of art adorn the walls all over the venue. More than that, the owner told me each piece was selected and placed in a specific spot.

It’s easy to get lost in the mesmerizing collection in the front half of the restaurant, and even more so in the curated selection of Salvador Dalí framed pieces towards the back. But I came primarily for the food and drink, so let’s continue there.

One of several illuminated framed Salvador Dalí prints at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

Let’s get to the food and drink, shall we?

I went for dinner on the second night that The Palace began offering their full menu. The restaurant’s atmosphere immediately set the mood, and I was ready to begin.

Appetizers

From the appetizer menu I ordered something I thought would be interesting and tasty: “Devils on Horseback.” This shareable dish offers almond and blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. The result was a compact starter that was sweet, savory, and delicious. And as someone who doesn’t enjoy blue cheese (think salad dressing and crumbles) I actually enjoyed all the blended flavors.

“Devils on Horseback” – an appetizer at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

The Palace Restaurant cocktail menu

The Palace Restaurant has a signature cocktail menu that offers a wide variety of drinks to imbibe. Top choices include an Angels Old Fashioned and a Peach Bellini. I spoke with several guests who raved about a number of other signature drinks available. While I’m not sharing the cocktail menu here, I can confirm the list is not short.

Salad and main course

For the main part of the meal I ordered a ribeye steak with cheese grits and a Caesar salad. The Caesar came out first, with crisp, cold romaine, croutons, a light house caesar dressing, and lightly topped with parmesan cheese. The salad wasn’t anything earth-changing, but it delivered everything I anticipated it would.

Then, not too soon, the ribeye steak and cheese grits arrived. Its temperature was hot and glistened on the plate, topped with seasoned melted butter and The Palace Restaurant’s own in-house steak sauce.

A ribeye steak and cheese grits at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

Cutting into the steak, it was red, tender, and flavorful. I ate most of it with only the butter garnish, but ventured to try the in-house sauce. The Palace Restaurant’s own steak sauce is not like others you’ll find elsewhere. It is red-orange in color and has the texture of a puree while bringing an almost salsa-like flavor. It’s hard to describe the taste, but I enjoyed it, and found myself coming back to dipping pieces of steak into it during my meal. The cheese grits complementing my steak were hot and tasty, with just the right amount of flavor. Nothing bland at all.

Going for dessert

There were no listed dessert items on the main menu I ordered from on my visit, so I asked my waiter if they had a dessert menu. He told me yes, and informed me they had a special fried ice cream dish. I knew I had to try it, so I placed an order. When it arrived, it was presented in a large shiny bowl topped with whip cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and dusted with powdered sugar. Wow.

Fried Ice Cream at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

Cutting into this monster dessert, the outside was crispy and warm and the inside revealed a cold ball of ice cream. The entire dish was delicious. I couldn’t finish it by myself, so I recommend enlisting the help of others (or a date, perhaps) to enjoy.

Lastly, I asked if I could have a cup of coffee and was shortly presented with a fresh cup, along with a miniature pitcher of cream. The coffee was hot and not bitter, and just what I wanted to finish things off.

Overall conclusions

The Palace Restaurant in downtown Sylvester, GA is an experience all its own. The atmosphere is deliberate and inspiring, and the service is welcoming and thoughtful.

It’s a good idea to call ahead and make reservations at least one day in advance if you plan to dine at The Palace. There are only so many tables available and in my experience they seemed to fill up quickly.

The restaurant offers larger tables for groups, tables for two, and a bar that seats at least 10 people. If the bar is full or you don’t wish to sit up high, you can wait for your table or order a drink and relax in a cozy sitting area towards the back.

A view of leather arm chairs in the sitting area inside The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

The Palace Restaurant seems to be following a method of authentic nostalgia, a revival of cherished, storied historical buildings, and an atmosphere of food and gathering that seems to be hitting a high note with guests.

Will I be back? You bet.

Have you visited The Palace Restaurant? How was your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Christian
Christian
Christian is the founder of 229 Life, a community hub for South Georgia. He likes exploring, eating new foods, and beach vacations. Say hello on Twitter at @tellmckinney.

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