One of the best Holy City events, Charleston Restaurant Week, is coming to a close tomorrow (Sunday). I hope you were able to visit at least one of our many great restaurants during the past week. I was lucky enough to eat at two establishments, neither of which I had been to before.
My first stop was at the fairly new Lowcountry Bistro on Market Street. The location is easy to miss amongst the bustling Market, but it is not to be ignored. The location and food were both impressive. It's housed in a typical downtown-styled building, which means plenty of bricks, a patio, and it's very slim. There is upstairs seating, which helps add some extra seats to the skinny building.
The restaurant was clean and pleasant to sit in and the food was very good. For the most part Lowcountry Bistro offers standard, Southern fare. Everyone in my party enjoyed the food and left only saying good things.
She Crab Soup - The folks at 82 Queen have a hand in the Lowcountry Bistro and that was quite evident when I ate this dish. The She Crab Soup here tasted identical to the one offered at 82 Queen, which is a great thing. It's mixed with sherry and is darn good.
Pesto Encrusted Mahi-Mahi - This dish was also quite good. The Mahi-Mahi was cooked well and the pesto didn't dominate the fish. It came with white cheddar and country ham grits, roasted corn, tomato salad, and champagne & chive butter. Although the mahi-mahi was the focus, the highlight was the grits. The addition of cheddar and country ham was perfect.
Key Lime Pie - Although still not better than the real thing, their Key Lime Pie was very tasty. Not too sweet, which is usually a problem with this dessert.
All-in-all I was happy with my visit to the Lowcountry Bistro. Nothing blew me away, but the food was good. If you around the Market and looking for something new, check it out.
My second visit was Al Di La in Avondale (West Ashley). The restaurant has a nice patio area out front, but there's nothing special about the inside. This isn't a terrible thing, there just isn't any ambiance.
The food however was delicious. While we waited most people in my party ordered some wine, but I opted for a bottle of Peroni. The Italian beer is similar to Heineken and I definitely recommend it. We were also given some bread with oil and pepper to hold us over.
My meal at Al Di La:
Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Gorgonzola - Pretty tasty. Tasted like a sweet jam mixed with gorgonzola cheese and then wrapped by bacon. Surprisingly, this worked very well together. Sadly, the cheese and prosciutto dominated the taste of the figs, which I was really looking forward to. I also tasted Ms. Holy City Sinner's tomato soup with basil and I really enjoyed that. I highly recommend either of these appetizers.
Tagliatelle with Duck Confit, Porcini Mushrooms and Truffle Oil - This was delicious. Easily the best thing I ate at either restaurant. I'm not entirely sure what exactly truffle oil is but it made this dish so darn good. The past was cooked well and the duck was great. I'm not a huge mushroom fan, so thankfully they didn't take over this dish. This was all about the flavor of the oil and/or whatever else was mixed with it. I liked it a lot.
Chocolate Tiramisu with Toasted Hazelnuts - This was also very good. A nice finish to a very good meal. There was a nice mix of flavors with this dessert.
Everyone in my party was very pleased with their meals as well. Their choices ranged from ricotta and mascarpone gnocchi with shrimp to swordfish.
By most accounts it has been another successful restaurant week. Did you miss out? Or left wanting more? Don't worry! Avondale Restaurant Week starts Monday!