Thursday, October 30, 2008

Overview of Charleston's Food Scene

High Cotton
Great food, helpful staff, prompt service.
Prices are high, but menu selection and quality of the food reflects the price. Not really any reasonably priced bottles of wine, you'd be better off ordering by the glass. The mixed drinks were not worth the high price, except for the Caipirina (pronounced Cap-a-ree-na) which is a brazilian drink made with cachaca. The Caipirina may have been the best one I'd had in the States, and it is rare that bars stock cachaca. The Mojitos were not very good. The Espresso Martini was not tasty at all, yet they touted it as one of their favorite martinis. The deserts were delicious, small portions and high prices, though. High Cotton makes its own pickles, sausage, and sauces that are delicious! They also have coffee made exclusively for their restaurant that is available for purchase. Several of the food products are from local farms and ranches.
They serve several menu items that are different, like chile rubbed Texas venison, duck hash and stuffed rabbit dishes. The rabbit was very good, but my favorite was the Bourbon Glazed Eden Farms Pork Chops. I got the shrimp stuffed Carolna Trout, and it was very good, but dissapointing after I tried the rabbit and pork chop dishes.
We went to the Sunday brunch there also. They had several different flavors of mimosas which were great. The brunch was not a buffet, but they several different menu items. My favorite was the eggs Benedict atop crab cakes and fried green tomatoes. The prices were very, very reasonable. Once again the atmosphere and service were great.

Blossoms was advertised as a mid range restaurant, but the prices were only a little less than High Cotton. They did have some lower priced items like pizza. The food was of premium quality, but smaller portions. We all left feeling adequately full, too full for desserts. The wine was reasonable, but there were not that many choices. It was a very enjoyable experience. Great, prompt service and the staff was attentive. The decor was very cool! I ordered a salad and a pasta dish, and the goat cheese on the salad was very, very smooth. Both dishes were delicious. The pasta was homemade.

Fleet Landing Seafood Restaurant
Great service! I can't say enough about the excellent service! It is a casual restaurant on the waterfront, and the prices are a step below High Cotton and Magnolias. The food was great also. The pimento and cheese appetizer tasted almost like my mom's, so it tasted fresh and homemade, but it just wasn't quite as good. The crab brushetta appetizer was a little bland, but again, fresh tasting. The flounder was excellent, as was the she crab soup - best she crab soup we had in Charleston. Charleston is known for it's she crab soup, so you HAVE to get it while you are there, and I'd suggest getting it here. If you like fried fish, don't pass up the flounder! The fried oysters were good - I'd say excellent, but some oysters tasted better than others. The ones that were good, however, were very good. The shrimp and grits were awesome. The grilled swordfish over polenta was good, the fish was cooked just right and had a good flavor, but the polenta was bland. We had a great time at this restaurant, great casual atmosphere and best service at any restaurant.

Kamenskis is THE place for dessert and coffee. The coffee was excellent and the variety and quality of the desserts were great. I split the ice cream brownie with my twin sister, and we wolfed it down. I could have had another dessert if it weren't for the sugar high. They have a selection of mousses, and my mom, having an affinity for mousse said was a good, smooth and creamy mousse. My sister got one of their cakes that she said was moist and flavorful. Had we been in Charlston longer, we would have come here again!

Mediterranean Deli by Tristan's on S. Market - I do not know the name of this place. It is a great choice for a quick lunch. If you are shopping at the marketplace, you can take a quick break but not get tired of things taking too long. You order at the counter and they cook from scratch. The Mediterranean plate was very good and authentic. The hummus, however, could have stood a little more garlic, the baba ganoush had a spice in it that I am not used to, and the tabbouli could have used a little more twang with lemon juice. All that to say, I would definitely order it again given the opportunity! The chicken salad sandwich with cranberries and pecans was excellent! The chicken pesto sandwich was also a good choice. Chicken breasts sandwiches can be bland no matter where you go, but this one had enough variety in it to hold my attention. The service was great here, also. I highly recommend this place!

East Bay Crab ShackWe went to the East Bay Crab Shack right next to the hotel (Lodge Alley Inn) on East Bay and it was great for the price. After the high quality food we had been getting, you could tell the quality difference, but the amount of food and the price were great. Decent service, too. They have posted their recipes on their web site, and there are coupons there, also.

East Bay Coffee Shop has a good atmosphere, and cool decor. They draw fun leaves on the foam on top of some of the coffees (Au Lait) so make sure you look for it! One day the coffee was much better than the other day, and the baked goods were not worth mentioning. I'd rather Kamenskis, but this was a few doors down from the hotel and the feel was much more modern.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Charleston was the best!! I can honestly say if you are connisseur of food this is a great place to be!