OK, I didn't just make up for the calories I spent running 13 miles, I gained weight. Here's how:
La Forchette: Very nice. Cozy romantic space, perfect after a stressful week and a fast drive from G'ville in the dark. We shared, the cheese plate, a salad w/ three kinds of duck: confit, pate, smoked. Smoked was best. Leeks and beets salad. Moules. Buckwheet crepe w/ more duck confit, cheese and roasted peppers. Every thing was quite good, nothing was abslolutely divine. This restaurant is now on my short list, but it's not going to be some place I dream about.
Cru Cafe: We shared: a Shirmp BLT which was fantastic and a fruity-glazed piece of talapia on a salad which was also very good. I hestated to order talapia because I think of it as bland, but it was very nice, and cooked perfectly. Moist, with a nicely seared crust. I suck at cooking fish, and really enjoy getting a fish presentation in a restuarant that underscores how well it COULD be done.
Modica Gelato. I love that pisatachio gelato. L-O-V-E it.
Al di La: Good as always. I'm in a bit of a rut because I always seem to go there before a race and have to monitor my fast consumption and get a lot of pasta. Otherwise I would have tried one of the rabbit dishes that were specials. We had a bottle of Amarone for $59 that was fantastic. Recommended. MAJOR PROPS to the restaurant because I called them THREE times, increasing the size of my party from 8 to 10 to 12, and then showed up with only 7. They were decent about it...they should have shot me on the spot...as I was thinking about shooting my friends who left G'ville late afternoon and were surprised not to get to dinner at 6:00.
FIG: GREAT!!! I had been once before and like it overall, but there were a few mis-steps. Sat. night it was fantastic. I had Triggerfish on white beans in ham stock w/ lemon oil. The table shared collards, rapini, and cauliflower, all fantastic, and the sauvingon blanc-vigonier blend the waitress suggested (she really didn't like the idea of the Idaho Roussanne I was about to order) was very nice. I tasted my friend's short ribs..also fantastic. FIG found 2 tables to seat 11 of us on a Sat night w/out reservations...kudos to them as well (yes, the people who can't show up when you HAVE a reservation are all there when you don't...Murphy's law)
Charleston Cafe (Formerly Bookstore Cafe) : Very nice brunch. We shared gingerbread pancakes w/ peppermint whipped cream as a "breakfast appetizer" . I had the "southern benedict" which was friend green tomatos on biscuit halves, with bacon and an egg on top. I'm never that much of a fgt fan...I don't usually like fried things all that much, but these were the best fgt's I've ever had. Cut at least a half inch thick. The eggs were cooked harder than I asked for, regardless...it was a very tasty dish. I ordered both a buttermilk and a sweet potato biscuit. The buttermilk was pretty good, not hot, and not divine, but good. My friend who suggested the restaurant said they used to have homemade jam , so we were disappointed to find smuckers..but that's better than some places. The sweet potato biscuit bad, IMO, I left all but the first bite on the plate. Heavy, not sweet, and LOADED w/ nutmeg. Another friend got chocolate chip pancakes..i would like to know how to make a 3/4 inch pancake that tastes like cake, but has that crisp exterior. FANTASTIC pancake. The service was friendly, but we had some trouble getting everything we ordered. So...it's a good enough place for brunch...we only waited 15 minutes for a table for 6 on a Sunday morning at 10 oclock...but it's still not the brunch of my dreams.
So, you see why I trained for 3 damn months...so I could go to Charleston w/ friends and eat like a fiend. It was worth it...and temps in the 70's that allowed us to get in the ocean up to our shorts...sometimes you get lucky.