Louis Osteen returns to Pawleys
- Cpt Wafer Mar 6, 2012 10:24 AM
I haven't been but I guess I'll go the next time I'm over that way...
Anyone have any firsthand knowledge..?
Link to a story:
To Cpt Wafer ... my first time to visit this site. Saw a comment by you from several years back (2007, I believe) re: a restaurant named Speranza - owner Tom Goldman - expressing thought that he might have passed away a few years back. He is very much alive and well - 82 years old. He is my grandmother's cousin and although I've never met him in person, we correspond online. Just thought you might like to know that. :)
I can only say that I hope the service is better than what I experienced the one time I went to Louis's restaurant in Charleston many years ago. The food was fine and the general service / waiter was fine too but the hostess and other gentleman making the rounds (who I am not sure but I believe was Louis) were about the rudest folks I've ever encountered in a restaurant and I have no idea what we did wrong other than we were not a local / regular. It was bizarre to say the least but I'm not sure how unusual as the restaurant had few customers that night and I think closed fairly soon afterwards.
We went to Louis's at Sanford's two weeks ago (Friday 9 March.) and had been to Sanford's pre-Louis about five times over the past two years (actually went shortly after it opened.) Overall, we liked the earlier version better for the food, the ambiance, and the prices. The wonderful happy hour food specials have vanished -- used to be able to get a ton of chicken wings, chips, and celery for $5 happy hour. Now the chips are gone and there is no happy hour pricing. there is still a beer discount and the bar area is still very pleasant..
The house was packed Friday night at 7:00pm and the noise level was shocking, the phenomenon where the volume increases as people try to talk over the noise was demonstrated clearly. Louis was making the rounds but didn't stop by our table. We (party of four) ordered a stuffed trout dish, the chicken liver appetizer (as an entree), the chicken fried duck breast, and smoked trout tacos and deviled eggs/w salmon. I was very excited about the chicken fried duck but it was disappointing -- not a very crisp crust, not particularly tender (like any chicken fried meat I would expect it to be pounded, it wasn't), and the sauce (a kumquat reduction) was good enough,but not really special. I had the duck breast salad the next night at Chive Blossom and the cooking (i.e. tenderness), combination of ingredients, and quantity were all better than the duck at Sanford's. The duck at Chive Blossom was $3 less ($15 v. $18!) The chicken livers were a hearty portion with excellent caramelized onions and my mom pronounced then excellent. The stuffed trout was very good according to my dad, but he couldn't really detect much flavor from/in the stuffing. My partner's deviled eggs were a big disappointment in terms of seasoning and quantity of salmon, the trout tacos were also lacking in flavor and fish. The service was fine, but pretty informal, and not in the attentive informal way it can be at Frank's.
Overall a mixed review -- but for the price point, the lack of (pleasant) ambiance, and the incredible noise we will probably not go back for dinner. Also disappointing is the lack of focus on the smokehouse aspect of the restaurant, which was its original raison d'etre. So, happy hour yes (though Quigley's Pint and Plate for snacks) but dinner at Chive Blossom.
As a final comment, when having a few beers at another Litchfield bar we stumbled into some locals complaining about the changes at Sanford's both in terms of food but more in terms of beer selection. They said they felt less welcome and would not be returning. For what it's worth.