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Annual Charleston Dining report-post Kiawah race

danna | Dec 12, 201608:21 AM

First, the repeats: Raw 167 is still great, the halibut ceviche is fantastic. Grilled fish taco special just average, delicious sparkling rose. I need to see if I can find out what that is from their online menu. Outdoor patio is wonderful and heated and we were able to sit without waiting at 12:30 for lunch. And park directly in front. Good omen for the start of the weekend I suppose.

Cru was delicious as always, of course I only know about the truffle fries and shrimp blt, 'cause that's what I always get.

FIG was also spectacular. Two of us ate at the community table sans reservation on Thursday night and got the last 2 seats just before 6 oclock. I didn't order the spinach salad because...blah...but my friend did and it was anything but blah. Amazingly good, amazing dark wrinkly spinach and beautifully assembled. A reminder of how important the right ingredient sourcing is no matter how simple the dish. Bartolli (sp?) beans also unique for a starter, and a very nice grouper dish.

(This paragraph is long and boring. REad only if you're interested in reservation travails} Our group was quite disappointed that for our 11th year coming to Charleston/Kiawah for the Marathon/Half, we were unable to dine at Fig on Saturday night. I had called slightly more than 30 days in advance to get a table and a friend was going to reserve another table for the rest of us...because FIG doesn't allow tables greater than 6 and we were 8. But when I called, the reservationist said that due to my dining history, they would accommodate us like they had the year before (they made an exception the prior year and put our two parties together...same story...dining history) so I only reserved one table and called back a few days later as instructed (when I knew the exact number). An ugly surprise awaited me....the next person I talked to had no interest in "accommodating us" and told me there were no other separate tables to book and no way they could enlarge our table as before. Although everyone was very polite and I got a call later from Adam about putting us on a wait list, nothing ever materialized. Interestingly, I was told there was a big table booked whose space we could have if they canceled. How did THEY get a table for more than 6 in the first place? Anyhow, I and all my friends were greatly disappointed to miss our tradition.

Le Farfalle was new to us for Friday night pre race pasta. It's a beautiful space and the courtyard would have been nice in warmer weather. The vegetable sides were all delicious and we mostly ordered those in place of appetizers/salads. I had the $50 truffle pasta made tableside in a giant hollowed-out wheel of parmesan. It was very nice, although a rather mild truffle flavor. For those of you who order truffles more than I...are they of varying flavor intensity? Or perhaps 3 oz was not enough? The focaccia was wonderful, and the gnudi , chicken piccata, and sea urchin cavetelli I tasted from my friends were all very good. I'm eager to return.

Saturday in place of FIG we went to McCrady's Tavern. We were thrilled to be able to all sit together, but the meal was the low light of the weekend. Not bad, mind you, but not great. The shrimp in my pasta was undersalted and underwhelming (even after I "salted" it by applying some of my friend's seriously OVER salted dish). I was impressed with the amusing service of the mignonette (I can never spell that) in an atomizer with my oysters. The sparkling wine special was very nice and seemed reasonable at $65 , especially compared to many of the other things on the list. The service ranged from OK to poor, depending on which version of our server showed up at different stages of the meal. It was another of those occasions where I was tempted to undertip, but wound up tipping standard 20% just because I fear that the stereotype of women tipping poorly may have led to the attitude in the first place.

Finally, a couple of us went to Harold's Cabin on Sunday morning. I really liked it. Creative coffee drinks, fun presentations, delicious biscuit, lots of veggies on the menu (needed after this weekend). The hostess was a bit disorganized for seating, but we were lucky and only waited about 10 minutes at around 11 am.

Oh, and i'll just shamelessly mention I was in the age group awards for the first time in 11 years of running the Kiawah half. Thank you ;-)

167 Raw,
Cru Cafe,
Le Farfalle,
McCrady's Tavern,
Harold's Cabin
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