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Columbia South Carolina graduation dinner

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Looking for very nice Italian restaurant or steak/seafood place in Columbia to celebrate son's graduation from USC. What's the word on Al's Upstairs, Ristorante Divino, Garibaldi's, Diane's? Any other recs.? Thanks.

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  1. I've recently heard ho-hum reviews of Diane's and Al's. Ristorante Divino or Garibaldi's may be better choices in light of that. Garibaldi's can be noisy if that's a factor for you.

    1. Hennessey's is solid. Hampton Street Vineyard or Motor Supply, both good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ellen of SC

        I ditto both of Ellen's suggestions. Definitely not Dianes.

      2. I'd have to go with Divino (which is exactly what we did when our daughter graduated Carolina). The chef/owner is from Italy and IMO has the best Italian food in town and the room is nice, too. Call for a reservation as it can get booked up. I've enjoyed Garibaldi's as well. Skip Al's and Diane's.


        1. Thank you all for your input.

          1. It isn't right downtown, but the food is good and the wine list is robust. Travinia's is in the Northeast area of town off Clemson Road - easily accessible from I-20.

            Travinia Italian Kitchen
            101-A Sparkleberry Crossing
            Columbia, SC 29229
            Phone: (803) 419-9313

            1. I strongly also recommend skipping Dianne's on Devine. Hampton Street or Gervais and Vine are really nice selections. Even Hennessey's is a nice alternative. I'd hate for you to fall into the same trap as I by selecting Dianne's due to it's price-point or "buzz factor" and then be sadly disappointed at the lack of care that goes into the food or the atmosphere. The service also needs some tweaking.
              FWIW: The crab-stuffed filet there is the worst idea I've ever heard of. Stuffing canned crab meat into a thick filet and expecting either the beef or the crab to come out both cooked as desired is proposterous. This place is in need of a real chef.