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Greenville, SC upated recs?

  • c

I'm a San Francisco hound heading into Greenville for business next week and am looking for upscale restaurant recommendations. A brief search reveals that more than a handful of board members haven't found much to rave about for the fine dining options in Greenville. I'll be willing to drive 15-20 miles (I'll be staying at the Hilton) for good eats. So far Restaurant O and Sobys seem to be the only contenders, although I haven't seen any recent updates on Deveraux. Any others?

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  1. I personally don't think that much of O and Sobys. I found Devereaux to be much better.

    Recent additions are Lazy Goat (part of the Soby's family) and American Grocery (which would be my choice). Both very new and I have not made it to either yet. Wine Cafe gets good reviews from co-workers, haven't made it there either.

    33 Liberty is very good upscale southern comfort food and you can look at their menu on line at www.33liberty.com If you're from SF, this might be more interesting to you than some of the places that are trying to copy big city tasting-menu type restaurants.

    If you want to drive, West First is a great pizza and pasta restaurant in Hendersonville. It's more upscale than a pizza joint, but is not a white table cloth type place. The drive itself might be worth it for you as you would go up the Blue Ridge Escarpment on the way and the mountains are beautiful. It's maybe a 45 min drive from Greenville.

    1 Reply
    1. re: danna

      I'm going to update myself here...

      ...I tried Lazy Goat, it's decent, some things were good, some things were bad, overall not godd enough that I've been back. About what I expected from teh Soby's group.

      ...Recently tried Wine Cafe for dinner and lunch. Pretty darn good. Not cutting edge, but everything tasty, cooked correctly, good service. Seems we always eat at weird times, but Wine Cafe is open both on Monday night and Saturday lunch until 3:30. They were very nice about it when I called and told them I would probalby arrive right at closing last Saturday for lunch and encouraged me to come. I appreciate that.

    2. American Grocery - www.americangr.com - new, chefs are focusing on local ingredients.
      During the week, you may not need a reservation, but it's small with minimal bar.

      Agree with 33 Liberty - especially coming from San Fran. Same local concept as American Grocery but not downtown (and in a weird neighborhood). Make a reservation though - only 8 or so tables and no bar seats. Decent wine list.

      Devereux's is a good option - under no circumstance should you attempt to sit at the bar and have dinner. Horrific service. Decent wine list.

      Skip Soby's unless you are looking for a really good homemade biscuit to snack on.

      O has a chef that has been there under a year and I think he's doing really great things. O is also one of the only restaurants in Gville that you can find New England oysters flown in fresh. Good service. Good steak.

      I would also skip the Lazy Goat - bar food, sterile atmosphere.

      If you want to drive - La Bastide at the Cliffs might be worth it. French bistro cuisine.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ap65065

        ooh, thanks for the warning on Lazy Goat. Have you been to La Bastide? If so , please report!

        1. re: danna

          when are we ever going to find someone who's been to La Bastide and can give us a review????

          1. re: leahinsc

            I've been to La Bastide and really enjoyed it! It has a great menu and a cozy atmosphere. A bit pricey, but worth it for a special meal and a nice drive. The Inn there is great too, but hard to get reservations in, as they book up quick. La Bastide has also made perfect gift certificates in the past for my folks- who are equally picky!

          2. re: danna

            We went to the Lazy Goat the fifth day it was open and waited 45 minutes for our table (free drinks offered). It was EXTREMELY loud. The food was small portions like tapas. Sterile atmosphere is a good description. It was OK , but I won't be returning because of the noise level.

        2. Thanks for the recs everyone. I'll be four nights, so I'll have time to try some of the places mentioned as well as some casual places I found on the board. Does 33Liberty have the full menu at the bar (if there is one) or is solo diner friendly?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cary

            I think I vaguely recall that they were going to take the bar out at 33 Liberty to make more seating. It's very small. Not sure if that has happened yet. The chef/owner and his wife are so nice...i can't imagine them being UNfriendly to anyone...but since it IS so limited in seating, I think you should call to reserve, and then you could bail if you get any sensation of frostiness when you say "just one"...

            I'm never shy about fine dining when I'm on business alone, and I'm almost always treated well. I did Charlie Trotter alone years ago. Only once can I remember being steered VERY strongly toward dining at the bar. And that night the bartender asked to take me out to dinner on his night off....so I guess the place was solo-diner-friendly after all! ;-) (although since then, I refuse the bar if I'm alone. apparently it still carries certain connotations.)

            I hope you enjoy your trip...I'll also point out that except for 33 Liberty, most of the better restaurants are downtown. If you wanted to be able to walk to and fro, + enjoy the extremely pleasant park complete with waterfall and cool suspension bridge, you would be better served to change your hotel to either the Westin, the Hyatt, or the Hampton Inn downtown.

          2. I'm headed to The Lazy Goat just after Labor Day so can't give any review of it.

            I'm not a big fan of Soby's. I like David, but.. long story. I will give them that the food is of good quality with some interesting menu options. Haven't been to Restaurant O.

            If you're staying at the Hilton on Haywood, you might try The Peppermill. Family owned, part of a group of restaurants under the Stax name. It's located just across Haywood from your hotel, same plaza as TJMaxx but in the opposite corner. If you go on a Friday or Saturday, see if you'll need a reservation. Ask Temma for the best seat in the house - Table 12. 864-288-9320.

            Do NOT go to Charlie's Steakhouse. We'd heard for *years* that it was the best steak in town. Finally tried it. It was the worst meal I've ever eaten on any continent.

            Hope you have a good visit with us.

            1. I always enjoy Smoke on the Water or Soby's

              1. We've eaten at La Bastide. Lovely setting - food not bad but very pricey. If you're going to drive that far north you should head on up to Hendersonville to Highland Lake for their Sunday Brunch. We haven't been there for a year or so bur for years it was THE restaurant by which we judged all others and we've done a LOT of traveling and eaten some amazing food in the US and out of the country.

                Latest Greenville SC restaurant for fancy dining - High Cotton.

                Sassafras downtown - not bad at all.

                Indian cuisine - we like India Palace on Pleasantburg drive near McAlister Square and Sassafras on Woodruff road. India Palace has recently opened a second restaurant on Woodruff also.

                Korean food - Woodruff rd behind the Red Robin gas station across from Garlington Rd. Very good.

                Vietnamese - Pho '99 on Wade Hampton Blvd toward town on the left past Bob Jones University. There are two other Vietnamese restaurants in town name Pho but they are not as good as this one.

                Rosalinda's on Pleasantburg Dr. near the intersection of East North St. is excellent real Mexican - Mole sauce etc.

                Charlie's Barbecue at the intersection of Woodruff and Batesburg is bare bones but excellent.

                Rock's on May's Bridge Road north of Greenville is one of the best "meat'n three" in the area.

                Never on Sunday is an amazing REAL GREEK restaurant. Home made, home grown, owner cooked. Down town on Coffee St.

                TR Oriental is an outstanding tiny Chinese, Malaysian restaurant north of Greenville in Traveler's Rest on Highway 276.

                Dave's is another REAL southern style meat'n three in Berea. Check the phone book if you're in the area. Well worth the drive out there.

                The cafe in Garner's natural Food store next door to McAlister Square on Pleasantburg Drive is excellent.

                El Rancho Grande - two restaurants - very good Mexican.

                Sunday Brunch at the Mariott hotel at the Pelham exit off I85 is very good.

                Verde's Embassy Suites not only has excellent food but it's gorgeous. An indoor stream with fish, trees, tiny lights - a great place to take someone when you want atmosphere.

                We also ate at 33liberty. So so.

                Pita House - middle eastern - on Pleasantburg Drive. Very good food and very fast service.

                Saskatoon is interesting. on Haywood Rd.

                NY pizza on Pleasantburg Dr. across from Big Lots. Tiny but really good Italian.

                Jarrard's and one just around the corner from Jarrard's are good - a bit pricey but fine for a special occasion.

                The Thai restaurant on Pelham Road is very good.

                The Poinsett Hotel has supposedly revamped their restaurant. We'll try them again. We were disappointed in the last one. Poinsett used to have an amazing restaurant years ago.

                A real bargain with truly good fast food and interesting specials is The Thai and I near North Greenville College. The co owner passed away recently but her husband has continued the tiny restaurant and I think her sister is coming in to cook their asian specialties on Sat. night. Their burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, chili, chicken salad and everything else is really outstanding. Their stir fries are really delicious but just not available during the week.

                Zesto's is a new small but very nice restaurant that has opened in Travelers rest in the center with George Coleman Ford Dealership on Highway 25 near Furman University. Everything we've had has been reasonable in price, excellent in taste and texture, beautifully presented and fresh. One of the co owners is a trained chef but also has the love and gift that makes a great chef.
                Greenville has an amazing variety of restaurants - a new Peruvian has opened recently, Oh - forgot to mention Cositas Ricas,a Colombian restaurant in the Berea area. Really good with daily specials. Be sure to try the pan de bono (a roll with cheese bake in it). World class!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: warthawgs

                  I know this is a late reply, but for future people checking out Greenville, I have to recommend Sassafras Bistro downtown. *Excellent* service, great atmosphere, and all at my table were thrilled with their meals. I'm a southern girl transplanted up north, so I was completely taken with the menu. Only place I've ever been that has Pimiento Cheese Fondue. I was cautious at first but MAN it was good. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. If I'm ever in Greenville again, I'll definitely be eating at Sassafras.


                2. Smoke on the Water, for an excellent atmosphere and outdoor dining. Got to love greasy. Upscale BBQ.

                  Larkins on the River. Great location again, wine list, a la carte dining. Good apps, try sitting at the bar and ordering a few on an easy night out.