Greenville, SC upated recs?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.