I've decided that I want to maximize the variety in which I have my first restaurant meal in the US after living in Central Asia for six months.....thus I'm asking for recommendations of places that have chef's tasting menus with paired wine. Oh, do I miss good wine!
I'm primarily interested in the food/wine. Service can also be an issue for me: I am uncomfortable with places that are very formal, and feel anxious if my server is in the weeds. Things like can ruin the meal for me (though a dirty martini has been known to take the edge off).
I did the tasting/wine menu at Abacrombie and loved every bite. The ambiance and atmosphere were perfect for my taste: smooth service without being overly formal. Alas, they are no more. Do any places come close to this ideal?
I've done the tasting menu/wine at Timothy Dean's and enjoyed the food tremendously. The ambiance there, however, was a bit off for me. Maybe the noise from the bar was too loud or the TV was on too loud, but I remember feeling less googly there than at Abacrombie.
I think I ordered a la carte at Petit Louis, but know that they have a tasting menu. That atmosphere will be a bit overwhelming for me for my first night back.
Will Cinghale's service be smoothed out enough by mid-December for me to try a new place? Is Charleston a little too "hoity toity" for me to be comfortable in? Are there are other places that do this that I don't know about?
Your recommendations would be greatly appreciated.