Friday, February 21, 2014


At the risk of being trite, The Lot has a lot to offer...for anyone who enjoys an expertly prepared meal, genial atmosphere and skilled waitstaff.  
Located at 1977 Maybank Hwy, James Island, next to the Pour House, and directly across from the best little movie theater in SC, The Terrace.  Could you choose a better location?  
I think not.
Our group arrived at 6:30 on a Wednesday night, and had our choice of tables.  By the time our meal arrived, every table was full of animated diners.  It was an eclectic mix, one that added to the festive mood.
The Lot is a sustainable restaurant, with each item utilized fully, snout to tail; consequently, the menu changes daily. 
Our server described each menu offering in detail- one chicken dish, one beef, two pork, one fish, and so on.  Our starter choices were varied- Pickled Vegetables (slightly crisp, thin sliced radishes were my favorite among the green beans and farro- also quite good), New England Clam Chowder, Chicken Pate' (Which, I'm sure, went hand in hand the the other parts of the chicken we would order for our meal.)and a lovely Pork Trotter Cake served beneath a creamy-yolked local fried egg.
The table favorite was the pate', served with grilled bread.  Our server was kind enough to bring us extra bread, so that not a dab of pate' was wasted.
Two of us chose the smoked Keegan Fillion Farms chicken for our main course.  Served over a bed of my favorite Geechie Boy grits, surrounded by crispy edged, braised kale, the meat was moist and full of smoky flavor- Delicious.
The other choices served at our table were Pork Croquette and Gnocchi in Bolognese meat sauce.  The first, prepared with flaky pork, was amazingly light and the second, the Bolognese Gnocchi, was quite rich.  All of our meals were prepared with a minimum of interference with their natural flavors and textures.
We finished with two perfectly portioned desserts- Toasted Hazelnut Pots de Creme and a tart and tangy Lemon Curd Pudding cup, served with a delectably buttery shortbread cookie.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the drink menu, which offers a wide variety of beer, wine, cocktails and non-alchoholic choices.  My spouse's favorite craft beer brand, Frothy Beard, a locally made and hard to find variety, was happily available.  The Palmetto Espresso Porter was also tried and enjoyed, as was a lovely, bubbly Italian Prosecco wine.  I was tickled pink to find Goya's Ginger Beer on the menu, which had a sharp bite of ginger...just the way I liked and remembered it from my youth, many years ago.
All in all, The Lot offers lots of culinary treats, tied up in a local package.  
We WILL be back.

Monday, February 17, 2014


I recently revisited The Grocery for a celebration dinner, and what a feast it was.  Located at 4 Cannon St.,  The Grocery prides itself in house-made pickled vegetables, local produce and meats.  This restaurant is one of my favorites on the peninsula.  
At The Grocery, you enjoy expertly prepared, delicious food, and great  service from their friendly staff.  Our waiter, Zachary, assisted us with menu choices, answered questions about each dish and chatted with us like an old friend.
The hi-lite of our meal was the incorporation of winter vegetables into each dish.  The Salad of Wood Roasted Carrots was a delicious mixture of flavors and textures.  The roasted and glazed carrots were served over Greek yogurt and sprinkled with pistachio crumbles, feta cheese, and dates.  
The vegetable side dishes here are large enough to share with the table, or enjoy with dinner and take home in a "doggie" bag.  We ordered roasted cauliflower, brussells sprouts simmered in vinegar and creamy farro, as additions to our meals.  Our favorite was the farro, which had a pleasant, nutty taste and the consistency of risotto.  
All of the main course choices were delicious, and have been reviewed by me in the past, so I will move on to the desserts.  Our server found it amusing that I ordered ice-cream during an ice storm, but I couldn't resist their Coconut Lime Ice Cream, with graham cracker crumbles- creamy and crunchy, with a nice coconut flavor and lime scent.  We also tried the Banana Pudding Parfait.  Layered with thin slices of banana, the pudding was light and tasted of both banana and vanilla.  The average sized portion was just right, as this dessert tends to be quite filling.  
Another wonderful meal at The Grocery, where local ingredients rule.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Acclaimed restaurant Tristan is closed.  Located on the ground floor of the French Quarter Inn,  Tristan backers have let their lease expire.   The good news is that chef Nate Whiting is still involved with Tristan Catering and is developing a new restaurant at 492 King St.  The new restaurant will benefit from Chef Whiting's input in both menu selection and dining/kitchen arrangement.  I have high hopes that the new venue will reflect the talent and attention to detail that those of us who frequented Tristan's have come to expect and enjoy.  A fall 2014 opening is expected.