January 9th, 2013 by Jihye Chang
Technically, Liam’s Restaurant is in Georgia. But it’s pretty close to Tallahassee, and it’s on the Thomasville Road, which connects from Tallahassee to Thomasville. I wish this restaurant was in Tally, not in Thomasville, though, as 30 minute drive can be too much when one’s very hungry.
I found out about this restaurant from a bartender at the Fermentation Lounge during during my first week living in Tallahassee. He said his family has been living in Tallahassee and Thomasville area for many generations, and Liam’s was his favorite restaurant along with Jonah’s, also in Thomasville. I visited Liam’s the very next week for lunch, and it was awesome.
We ordered a hamburger, tomato basil soup, and sashimi tuna salad. Not pretentious or overly creative, but food made with fresh and good ingredients, prepared with care. And the price for lunch was pretty good, too.
Miso tuna salad – I liked the dressing and salad components. Tuna was a little bit overcooked, but it was still good.
But we never got to go back until the end of our second year in Tallahassee. We went a few times for dinner with close friends, and then once for brunch. I think their brunch and lunch are much better deal than the dinner. Still, it feels pretty good to make a reservation and drive up the road and eat for a long time with your good friends. This place has enough charm and goodness that I can let go of a few minor things.
Food: I like their lunch and brunch better than the dinner (priced better/ not as loud or crowded/ more selections). Dinner may seem a little bit over-priced, but I love trying their cheese selection (price varies by selection) and talking to Rhonda, the owner and cheese-person at Liam’s who is so enthusiastic and welcoming. Also good is the American charcuterie plate ($16). I wish they would serve baguette or rustic Italian bread with these, though. (They serve thick slices of cheese flavored bread.) One day I shall try their $100 cheese course!
Charcuterie plate is yummy! It’d be nice if it came with a bit more condiment/ toasted breads or cracker, but still the selection is good. I love the lardon – the white stuff at the right bottom corner.
Sugar Beet Salad: house-pickled sugar beets, blue cheese, walnuts, chive oil – this was interesting. Beet was very hard and crunchy..! I liked the flavor and the texture, but I could not eat a lot of it. Probably would be better to share among friends, rather than having it as a salad for yourself.
Tomato Basil Blue Crab Bisque: heavy cream, fresh tomatoes & hand-picked blue crab $6 – yummy! Rich but not too much, and generous amount and good flavor of blue crab. Loved it.
One of the best things I ate at Liam’s was this Farmer’s Toast dish: grilled & buttered crostini, forest mushrooms, truffle cream sauce, organic fried egg, $12 – such a simple thing, but so yummy!
Roasted quail with nocchi, and mushroom cream sauce $28 – my husband loved it. I got to taste it, and it was a little too much for me. Too much game meat, too much cream, ,,, just too intense. But the quail was tender and juicy. The gnoccchi would be good just with the mushroom sauce without the quail, I thought.
Hanger steak $28 – this was the only thing that was a little disappointing. The meat was a bit tough, and the sauce was too thick/ salty. I could not get the character of this dish. Nothing special or delicious compared to the other dishes I had here.
For dessert, I have had the Banana Foster ice cream ($8), sorbet selection, and coconut cream cake. They were fine, but nothing special or great, considering the price. Coconut cake was fine, but the torched coconut flakes tasted funny. Banana foster sauce was good, but the presentation and ice cream selection can be better. Sorbet tasted too sweet and the texture was a bit coarse. As a person with a serious sweet tooth, I wish Liam’s had a bit more creative or diverse selection of desserts.. !
Atmosphere: It’s not a haute-cuisine type place to experience modern techniques or impeccable plating. Nor it is a place for super-chic servers and shiny chandeliers. It’s a family run business that serves food made with good ingredients in a simple way, but with good care. Overall a bit dark, with beautiful photographs and dark-wood tables and shelves. It gets really noisy during dinner time, which is my least favorite thing about this place. But I am willing to let go of the loudness at Liam’s and at Kool Beanz.
Service: Things can get slow sometimes, but the servers are professional and friendly.
Address/Phone#: 113 East Jackson Street, Thomasville, GA 31792/ 229.226.9944 (Reservation for dinner is a must!)
Hours: Another strange operation hours.
CLOSED Sunday and Monday; Tuesday and Wednesday, LUNCH ONLY from 11am-2pm
Thursday – Friday, lunch from 11am to 2pm AND dinner from 5:30-closing; Saturday, brunch from 9am to 1pm AND dinner from 5:30- closing.
In Tallahassee, Kool Beanz comes close to Liam’s, but Liam’s is a bit more sophisticated. (and a little less noisy and less casual) Mozaik tries to be modern, creative and chic, but sometimes their food comes across strangely unbalanced. Cypress was OK, but somehow I never wanted to go back.. so I will probably drive 30-4o minutes to Liam’s as much as I can whenever I long for a fine dining experience.