Monday, March 31, 2008


Dear Friends,

You cannot imagine my disappointment to discover the restaurant in which I had so hoped to dine with my Husband just back from the war, was closed last night. Carolina's, where one should celebrate all quiet but momentous occasions, sadly was closed on our one evening in Charleston.

Consequently, we moved on to SNOB (Slightly North of Broad) another restaurant of note in these pages which did not fail to charm us. Go, if you can, and have the Warm Duck Salad maybe, which bounced with shaved radish, smoked almonds, and goat cheese all swathed in key lime vinaigrette (stay tuned for a recreation of that dazzling affair). Then (!), I had the Shrimp and Grits as I am known to whenever placed in a fine southern kitchen and longing for real low country flavor. I was a proponent of Carolina's Shrimp and Grits as you know, however, SNOB is, to my palate, a better moment in the sun for a dish far too underrated. SNOB's dish just sang with real live tomatoes, not canned, not hot house, actual diced tomatoes from an actual vine somewhere. And the spice just snuck around a corner in the dish. Just lovely.

My Husband had a dish called Grilled Wahoo, Couscous, Pea Shoots, and Something Citrus. My, it was wonderful. And it had the added attraction of causing me to exclaim, "he'll have the fish -WA-HOOOOOOOOOOO!" To he and I, of course, not to the server, certainly.

Now finally, someone needs to address with our friend Dan, sommelier and manager of that fine establishment that it may be beneficial to consider one or two wines in the $50 range. Because while the wine list is remarkably thoughtful and diverse, it is also remarkably costly, both in comparative mark-on and in comparison to the food. This is not, dare I say it, The Peninsula Grill at the Planter's Inn and one would do well to keep that in mind.

So long, sweet Charleston.

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