Making up for calories burned during the Kiawah Half
OK, I didn't just make up for the calories I spent running 13 miles, I gained weight. Here's how:
La Forchette: Very nice. Cozy romantic space, perfect after a stressful week and a fast drive from G'ville in the dark. We shared, the cheese plate, a salad w/ three kinds of duck: confit, pate, smoked. Smoked was best. Leeks and beets salad. Moules. Buckwheet crepe w/ more duck confit, cheese and roasted peppers. Every thing was quite good, nothing was abslolutely divine. This restaurant is now on my short list, but it's not going to be some place I dream about.
Cru Cafe: We shared: a Shirmp BLT which was fantastic and a fruity-glazed piece of talapia on a salad which was also very good. I hestated to order talapia because I think of it as bland, but it was very nice, and cooked perfectly. Moist, with a nicely seared crust. I suck at cooking fish, and really enjoy getting a fish presentation in a restuarant that underscores how well it COULD be done.
Modica Gelato. I love that pisatachio gelato. L-O-V-E it.
Al di La: Good as always. I'm in a bit of a rut because I always seem to go there before a race and have to monitor my fast consumption and get a lot of pasta. Otherwise I would have tried one of the rabbit dishes that were specials. We had a bottle of Amarone for $59 that was fantastic. Recommended. MAJOR PROPS to the restaurant because I called them THREE times, increasing the size of my party from 8 to 10 to 12, and then showed up with only 7. They were decent about it...they should have shot me on the spot...as I was thinking about shooting my friends who left G'ville late afternoon and were surprised not to get to dinner at 6:00.
FIG: GREAT!!! I had been once before and like it overall, but there were a few mis-steps. Sat. night it was fantastic. I had Triggerfish on white beans in ham stock w/ lemon oil. The table shared collards, rapini, and cauliflower, all fantastic, and the sauvingon blanc-vigonier blend the waitress suggested (she really didn't like the idea of the Idaho Roussanne I was about to order) was very nice. I tasted my friend's short ribs..also fantastic. FIG found 2 tables to seat 11 of us on a Sat night w/out reservations...kudos to them as well (yes, the people who can't show up when you HAVE a reservation are all there when you don't...Murphy's law)
Charleston Cafe (Formerly Bookstore Cafe) : Very nice brunch. We shared gingerbread pancakes w/ peppermint whipped cream as a "breakfast appetizer" . I had the "southern benedict" which was friend green tomatos on biscuit halves, with bacon and an egg on top. I'm never that much of a fgt fan...I don't usually like fried things all that much, but these were the best fgt's I've ever had. Cut at least a half inch thick. The eggs were cooked harder than I asked for, regardless...it was a very tasty dish. I ordered both a buttermilk and a sweet potato biscuit. The buttermilk was pretty good, not hot, and not divine, but good. My friend who suggested the restaurant said they used to have homemade jam , so we were disappointed to find smuckers..but that's better than some places. The sweet potato biscuit bad, IMO, I left all but the first bite on the plate. Heavy, not sweet, and LOADED w/ nutmeg. Another friend got chocolate chip pancakes..i would like to know how to make a 3/4 inch pancake that tastes like cake, but has that crisp exterior. FANTASTIC pancake. The service was friendly, but we had some trouble getting everything we ordered. So...it's a good enough place for brunch...we only waited 15 minutes for a table for 6 on a Sunday morning at 10 oclock...but it's still not the brunch of my dreams.
So, you see why I trained for 3 damn months...so I could go to Charleston w/ friends and eat like a fiend. It was worth it...and temps in the 70's that allowed us to get in the ocean up to our shorts...sometimes you get lucky.
Thanks for posting, it sounds like you had a great weekend. Good weather, good friends and good food is always a great combination.
I haven't made it to La Fourchette as of yet, but it is on my list. Glad to see you finally made it to Cru, you know I'm a big fan. I'm coming around to FIG after a bad experience a few years ago. It's the food that makes me want to go back, they do short ribs very well. Al di La just changed hands so it's good to hear that they haven't slipped yet. They are my favorite Italian in town, and whenever I stray I always get burned...my latest burn was Lana. I have only been to Charleston Cafe once, when it was in its former location and called Bookstore Cafe, and I didn't get what all the fuss was about. I love pancakes so maybe it's time for a return trip.
yes, thanks for the Cru recommendation. Although we just had a light lunch and we were in a hurry at that, they did not make one wrong step. The wines were good, the bread was good, and the service was great. We were running very tight on time for our spa appointments (yes...it was a VERY good weekend) and they did not take offense at being told we were in a hurry, we were seated immediately, a server showed up immediately, and she brought out check right after she brought the food. It's not that they weren't busy, either. There was a 15 minute wait for a table on the inside.
One of the cooks who was at La Fourchette in the begining is going back. Everything is still run by the owner/chef but, I have seen this other guy cook and doubt that anything will change for the worse.
I have only had one bad experience at Lana. It was a poorly thought out and executed lunch special. It was a peice of grilled fish on a bed of iceberg with some fruit thrown in. Not so good. Every other time I have been there it has been wonderful though.
We used to go to Bookstore Cafe in College to get the giant potato things with eggs on top. I forget what they were called but they were the perfect hangover medicine. We stoped going because the owner was so consitently rude to us. It was always a little over priced but we could deal with that if it were not for the abuse. Maybe it has changed. Maybe I'll try it again.
You know, my friend had such a bad experience at lunch it kept us from going back until a couple of weeks ago. The first time we were there we had both great food and great service, last time we had great service. If memory serves me correct, previously I ordered a pasta dish w/ wild mushrooms and a light cream sauce over a ribbon pasta. My boyfriend ordered the latest incarnation of the dish, gnocchi w/ wild mush & a light sage cream sauce. It was like Thanksgiving stuffing, but pasta. Mine was the risotto of the day, it had lamb spinach and herbs. It was overcooked and/or it had been sitting around until my bf's was done. The risotto was a gluey mess, not that far off from wallpaper paste. I'm not in a hurry to return.
There are a lot of places in town that do brunch that either I haven't been to or I haven't made it back yet. Obviously Bookstore falls into the latter, but since the list is long I think it may be awhile. I do know what potato dish you are talking about, and I remember thinking at the time where these were when I was in school.
Tee, I hope you and your wife are both able to eat like little piggies in Charleston this spring!
CharlestonChow - One funny thing...when we told our waitress we were missing lots of things, she replied " don't blame me, I'm not the one who brought it out." Interesting theory. I can't remember what the dish was called with the potatoes on the bottom and eggs, etc. on top, but the things underneath were called "chippers". My friend described them as crispy and soggy at the same time. I passed.