I enjoy the happy meeting of very fresh ingredients, prepared with a light touch that either complements or brings out the essence of the star of the show. That is what I got with tonight's meal...my salad featured a hearty portion of arugula with just the right amount of radicchio to spike the peppery greens with a mildly bitter punch, which was nicely offset by a smattering of sweetness - pomegranate seeds, a dice of marcona almonds and roasted grapes -- dressed in a tasty pomegranate vinaigrette barely but evenly coating the crisp greens. My main course was a pork chop with a peach glaze, served with creamed corn and fried basil. The pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender, plump and tasty as only fresh, high quality meat can be, seared with a thin crust of caramelized peachiness. It took all my self-control not to suck what was left of the meat on the bone, (actually, I did get in one mouthful, and then one of my servers cleared my plate!) The restaurant is quite elegant, and I was treated like a V.I.P. even though I was dining solo and didn't know a soul. When I "signed" in, I was offered magazines for reading material, and the hostess made sure she had the right pronunciation of my name. Every person who took care of me afterwards personally addressed me. My only disappointment was a small cheese plate with blackberry puree - there was the slightest trace of puree on the plate, and the cheese, which I had been told was like a camembert or a brie, and I think was probably a local cheese - had more the texture of a gouda and a flavor that I just didn't like (that's how it can be with cheese, right?) I ate very little of it and just mentioned that I didn't care for it - I was given apologies, it was taken off the bill, and I was provided with a lovely little plate of delectable sweets (a praline, chocolates, a galette, and a luscious round of crystallized ginger).
I did not discern any disappointment on the part of the staff for not ordering any alcohol, despite both the extensive wine list that I imagine the restaurant takes pride in and of course what that adds to the bill. Live music was provided by a guitarist and violinist, which was very enjoyable.
The menu is laid out in an unusual manner, with dishes listed under "Pure," "Lavish," "French"
(or something like that) and "Southern." - you are assured that you can mix and match, which is what I did (the salad was under "Pure" and the pork, "Southern."
This was my farewell dinner to Charleston after a wonderful 5 days here, and I am more than satisfied that I indulged my foodie sensibilities extremely well.
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