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“Great new menu daily using locally sourced ingredients”

Motor Supply Co. Bistro
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Ranked #2 of 974 Restaurants in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $18 - $35
Cuisines: American, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Brunch, Dinner, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Park and Lincoln Sts.
Transit: There are several transit stops throughout the vista and downtown area, one of which is located half a block away from us. Taxis are also readily available.
Description: Located in the historic Congaree Vista with a heated patio and free valet parking, Motor Supply has been serving progressive, New World cuisine using classic French culinary techniques for over 20 years. Led by Executive Chef Wesley Fulmer, the kitchen's lunch, dinner and brunch handwritten menus change daily, featuring contemporary New American cuisine, with nods to Creole, Cajun, New Southern, French, Italian and Asian cuisine. We are Columbia's foremost "farm to fork" restaurant, working with local, sustainable farms for produce, meats, SC seafood and more. Seafood is caught off of the Carolina coast, and all of our stocks, sauces and desserts are made on site, including our charcuterie, with house-made sausages, bacon, country pate, and rillettes, all the way down to the pickles and mustard. Our early 19th century, solid-oak bar with marble columns, imported from Europe, serves 180+ fine wines (Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, 2006-12), an extensive list of imported, domestic and local craft beers, as well as an artisan farm-to-shaker cocktail list made from house-infused liquors, handmade bitters, barrel-aged spirits and locally-sourced ingredients and garnishes.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
53 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great new menu daily using locally sourced ingredients”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

If you're dining in downtown Columbia, I highly recommend taking a chance on the Motor Supply Company Bistro. I say "taking a chance" because the chef changes the menu daily I think, depending upon what he can source locally, but regardless of what goes into the meals, they all taste great! So if you're adventurous and aren't afraid of a small menu, check it out!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank PowerLounger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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766 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Irmo, SC
Level Contributor
177 reviews
61 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“An enjoyable night out”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

The unique element of this restaurant is the changing menu - hence the sometimes difficult to read hand written menus. My wife and I have eaten here twice, the food is very good (though they appear to have a tendancy to cook meat toward the rarer side so specify more well done if that is how you like it). This time I had the duck and my wife had the lamb - both were very good and pared well with the other tastes on the plate. The ambiance is just ok - as others noted it is a converted motor supply building and rather industrial feeling - it can get loud and certainy not really romantic but there are other restaurants in columbia that fit that description better. Our server was very attentive and stopped by numerous times during the meal to check up on us. No doubt this place is unique but if you know what your getting into it is a very enjoyable experience.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank seeking_direction
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
223 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Strange Name - Good Food”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I met a friend for lunch at the Motor Supply Company in Columbia. I must admit I wondered about the name and potential menu, but it all turned out just fine. Housed in a converted engine supply building built in the 1800's and now on the National Register of Historic Places, the restaurant is worth a visit just to enjoy its ambiance and charm. The restaurant is located in a block or so of many little restaurants and shops with metered parking along some of the streets. The Motor Supply Restaurant offers valet parking (free) which on this rainy day was a wonderful perk. We were seated quickly by a very pleasant hostess and served by an equally pleasant server. The menu is somewhat eclectic with a variety of items catering to almost every taste and interest. I had the soup of the day which was a chicken and rice soup. It was quite good, though a little on the spicy side for my taste. There were generous amounts of chicken and the rice had texture instead of turning to mush as it tends to do when sitting around in broth too long. I tried the veggie salad with grilled asparagus, yellow squash, zucchini, hard boiled eggs and sliced tomatoes. The vegetables were still nice and crisp drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and pepper vinaigrette. My lunch companion tried the roast beef and cheddar melt sandwich which she enjoyed. The soups and menus are changed daily so this review is obviously quite specific to the day we were there. However the service and interior charm are probably very consistent. There is a nice little gift shop attached to the restaurant with a selection of art, interesting jewelry and other upscale gift shop items. It was fun to browse and an enjoyable way to spend a rainy afternoon. The Motor Supply Restaurant stops serving lunch at 2:30 so keep that in mind when scheduling your time.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Augcruiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spring Hill, Florida
Level Contributor
109 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Filthy Conditions”
Reviewed April 6, 2013

Went for lunch today. Granted, it's just now starting to feel like spring, but come on! The patio has not been cleaned in months. Leaves on the floor, gum and cigarette ashes in the window boxes, and cob webs everywhere. The overhead fans had about 1/4" of dust on their leading edge. We ordered drinks but became too offended by the unsanitary conditions to stay and actually eat food there.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoeS0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockwall, Texas
Level Contributor
170 reviews
135 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Have Got To Read Reviews”
Reviewed April 4, 2013

I should have read the first several reviews instead of just looking at the ranking. This restaurant is overrated. The ambiance is fine and the service was adequate, but the food was not good. I was with a new business partner and my food was way undercooked...so was my partner's and his wife. The waitress assured us that their "new cooking method" made sure our food was done, but this morning my stomach tells me she was wrong. Don't waste a lot of money going to this overpriced and overrated restaurant. You will be disappointed. There are so many good restaurants in Columbia to waste your time or money eating raw food.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank dcseny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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