For what it’s worth, I wanted to share my experience at La Bastide. Parents were visiting from Ohio and sister from Florida last weekend, and I wanted to do something extra-special for my mom’s birthday. La Bastide, the French Country inn tucked in the foothills just north of Greenville, seemed to fit the bill.
I settled for a 6pm reservation (called only 4 days before the dinner) but it turned out to be a perfect time to arrive. The restaurant was still relatively empty, so we had our pick of tables. We took a quiet table right next to the window in the garden alcove, with a fantastic view. Why come to this picturesque restaurant in the dark when you can't enjoy the view? During our 3-hour visit, the restaurant did fill up, but no one ever sat at the other table in our alcove.
Since our very nice waiter wasn’t busy when we sat down, he indulged us in a little wine tasting so we could pick out a bottle. While taking our order, he said he'd normally recommend the tomato & mozzarella salad, as they have their own garden, but alas, the tomatoes just ran out. An amuse bouche arrived after we ordered, venison carpaccio. Funny side note: the server girl thought venison was beer because that’s what she heard, instead of deer, when the chef described the dish to the staff.
Butternut squash soup with a lobster potsticker was delicious, the organic salad was good, but I wished the diced tomatoes were grape tomatoes. My entrée, pan-seared flouder, was very fresh, but could have used a sauce besides the bed of fresh creamed corn on the plate. Lump crabmeat, grape tomatoes, and porcini(?) mushrooms accompanied the fish. Everyone else at the table really enjoyed their meals: day boat scallops and a tenderloin grilled over a smoky wood fire. A molten chocolate cake baked in a cast iron skillet and served with raw honey ice cream was too tempting to pass by (even though we had birthday apple pie waiting at home.)
Overall, La Bastide delivered. In addition to the satisfying meals, the wine-country-like atmosphere and high-class, but unpretentious, service, made this special occasion even more special.
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