Beaufort SC reviews from a novice
Spent the weekend in Beaufort. Arrived at Parris Island 10 am Saturday to cheer for my friend competing in the Triathlon. She raced well - and the Marine base is beautiful.
We had a very late lunch at Panini's. They were serving a limited afternoon menu, so our choices were few. We both opted for small pizzas and neither of us was disappointed. She got a Mediterranian. I built my own with mushrooms, fresh basil and prosciutto. Service was good.
Strolled up to Wine and Gourmet. What a nice shop. They serve lunch and dinner (closed Sundays) but we were there for the wines. A sign on the wall warned, "Friends don't let friends drink white Zinfendel." Curious since I had never tried red Zinfendel (no I don't drink the other) a very helpful employee poured a tasting glass. Yummy: Four Vines. I purchased a bottle, which I'm saving to share on a special occasion. They had a nice selection of cheeses too.
8:00 dinner at Emily's. We had reservations - I'd suggest not skipping this step. Place was full. I began with a cup of she crab soup. Very rich and thicker than most, it had a peppery finish. Made me happy. Tapas course: I had Oysters Rockefeller - excellent - and she chose emu steaks, which she liked very much. My entree was grilled beef medallions with mushrooms and a burgandy cream sauce. No expert, but to my taste it was delightful. She had rack of lamb with mint sauce and also had no complaints. My meal, with one scotch and one glass of house Cabernet, after tax and tip, came to just under $60.
Now for the downside. With entrees they served a green salad garnished with baby shrimp. Not inedible, but the shrimp were overdone to the point of being mealy, and the creamy Italian dressing was overpowering. Also, I found the "Perfect Vegetables" side to be overcooked and blah. Rather mundane medly of cauliflour, broccoli, carrots. A nice serving of crisp asparagus would have been much better. Companion agreed.
Service was noticably slow and slightly inattentive. When we placed our orders for the tapas course the waiter removed our menus. We had to remind him later that we wanted entrees too. Also, he forgot to bring out second drink orders; we had to ask a second time, and he didn't offer any suggestions at all, other than to try to tempt us into chocolate layer cake after the dinner. Very young fellow. For those prices I expect better. He got a 15% tip from me; I normally add 20% or more.
We had ridden to and from Emily's with White Cab service. The driver, a Los Angeles escapee named Robert, was very helpful with restaurant suggestions for Sunday brunch. Extolled Kathleen's. We arrived there Sunday morning at 9:00 to find the doors locked. Ducked down a nearby alleyway to a coffee shop (Something "Grounds") facing the bay. We enjoyed Lattes and Cappucinos with bagels and coffee cake out on the porch. Perfect weather, meal and views. Fine morning.
FYI, Plums is recovering from a recent kitchen fire and wasn't open. If you go I'd suggest phoning first.
By the way, I had researched Beaufort's dining scene here at Chowhound before going. Thank you very much to all who had contributed!
Ellen of SC, while I am very happy that you enjoyed you meal at Wine and Gourmet (I work there) I am very disappointed that you had an unfavorable experience at Emily's (I work there also, and, in fact, was your waiter). This may have been due to the fact that I had just finished working my morning shift at Wine and Gourmet and immediately came to Emily's for my night shift, or it may have something to do with the fact that I had just recently started working at Emily's, that night being my third shift and my first Saturday. I started working there because my other job at the time, Plums, was closed due to a fire and I needed another source of income. I remember you and your friend very well, and eventhough disappointed you showed no outward signs of rudeness or agitation. I am very sorry for the poor dinner you had, and hopefully my inattentiveness will not hinder you from further visiting our restaurant. It really is one of the best restaurants in Beaufort SC. Hopefully your dining experience was not thoroughly ruined. And you really should have tried the triple layer cake, it is fantastic.
Your humble waiter.
Thanks for your reply. Please re-read my post: I didn't have a meal at Wine and Gourmet, but very much enjoyed the shopping experience there.
The dinner wasn't at all "poor" at Emily's. It was quite good, which I tried to express above. To quote, "I began with a cup of she crab soup. Very rich and thicker than most, it had a peppery finish. Made me happy. Tapas course: I had Oysters Rockefeller - excellent - and she chose emu steaks, which she liked very much. My entree was grilled beef medallions with mushrooms and a burgandy cream sauce. No expert, but to my taste it was delightful. She had rack of lamb with mint sauce and also had no complaints."
As I am not one who regularly spends $60 for dinner, my complaints were that the side course of stemed veggies was not up to par with the meal, and that service wasn't top drawer. From your reply I can certainly understand it was an off night for you; I hope you've regained your stride!
Believe me, I would dine again at Emily's and would heartily recommend it to others. I'm sorry I left any impression to the contrary. My friend and I both agree Beaufort would be one of our top choices if either of us ever wanted to relocate. Charming town!
The best to you. Ellen