Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Charleston Restaurant: Dinner for a Really Special Anniversary

Chris and I, upon the recommendation of Mike and Nicole, decided to do something really special for our anniversary dinner. Something even a bit over the top for us. We decided to eat at restaurant which earned four of five number 1's in the current Zagat rating--Charleston.

We had a 6:30pm reservation, which is early, but it allowed us to enjoy an unhurried evening which did not end until after 9:00pm at the restaurant.

The restaurant is fabulous and opulent. We were greeted by the valet to park our car and there the experience began. Everything was top notch and first class. We enjoyed some time together in the bar, sipping some champagne to begin our unhurried dining experience. A high point that happened right there, in the bar, was that the staff recognized that Chris was cold and they offered her a wrap to improve her enjoyment of the evening.

From there, we were ushered to our table. There were apologies that our table request could not be accommodated due to a small function in that room, but the table offered in the wine room was more than adequate--and perhaps even better given our early hour.

We chose the "The Season" from the menu and the wine pairings. We were just too overwhelmed on our first visit to try to develop our own unique menu for the evening. What we had provided a good sampling of the menu items. And in our case this was a seafood themed meal which was very well paired with some excellent wines.

The meal--served in courses consisted of:

Rich Lobster Soup with Curry accompanied by Amontillado Viejo, Byass "Del Duque"

Local Heirloom Tomato Salad, Warm Goat’s Cheese Medallion, served with Sportoletti Rosé, Mas de La Dame (Les Baux de Provence) 2009

Jumbo Lump Crabcake, English Peas, Roasted Sweet Corn, Mustard Cream Chardonnay, accompanied by Dehlinger "Un-Filtered" (Russian River Valley) 2006

Pan-Roasted Halibut, Grilled Local Baby Squash, Creole Sauce Valtellina Superiore, wi
th Conti Sertoli Salis "Sassella" (Lombardia) 2006

Stilton – cow’s milk, blue, creamy, rich, mildly spicy (Nottinghamshire, UK) and topped off by being served with Heitz Cellars Port "Ink Grade" (Napa Valley) NV

Local Blackberries & Madeira Sabayon

Fabulous. Each course was perfectly cooked and expertly served in gourmet style. The portions were just the right size--not too much and not too little. The wine pours were also perfectly matched to the course.

They also added a small pastry platter for dessert and a melon starter that I never really understood exactly what it was composed of--but suffice it to say, it too was awesome.

In the end, I did not want for more--except more of the atmosphere and the ambiance which in the wine room was absolutely perfect. The wait staff led by the Captain, Ryan, were spectacular and attended to our needs before we even realized we had them.

Cost? Well, it is not for the faint of heart. It is well worth it, but I have had complete meals for four for less than what I left as a tip.

Will I return? You bet! I am a definite fan.

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