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Restaurants & Bars

Charleston dining : Waiting for Gaston

danna | Aug 30, 200410:45 AM

Just back (a little sooner than I meant to be) from the Charleston trip. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions.

Sermet's Corner (dinner): This place is really good and a bargain. The grilled calamari appetizer is superb. The pomegranite dressing on my salad was notable. the Lavendar pork loin was delicious (normally I wouldn't be ordering pork in Charleston) my husbands shrimp & penne was very good. They had an reasonably interesting selection of wines, most available by the glass, and reasonalby priced. The space is very nice although not formal, and the chef/owner was there and cooking. His original paintings line the walls ( no really...that's a good thing). We fed 8 for $179.

The Tomato Shed: We were really excited about this place and drove 17 miles to go there. It closed about this time last year. I guess that's a lesson about finding stuff on the net. Sure the Charleston Post and Courier picked it as one of Chas's top 20. How many years ago? I should have looked. We ate at a restaurant suggested by folks at the Stono farmers market where Tomnato Shed used to be called St. John's Cafe. It was horrible and the staff ranged from smart-ass to just stupid.

Danna's cooking: Picked up a cheese selection and olive bread from Whole Foods- good. Bought shrimp and wahoo from Crosby's seafood. Made BBQ shrimp (sauteed in spicy butter, clam juice & beer) very good, Danna overcooked the wahoo because the midwestern inlaws won't eat it rare and she's not a good enough fish cook to recognize cooked vs. over-cooked until she tastes it. I think it would have been good cooked correctly.

39 Rue de Jean (lunch): Pretty goood mussels, marineire (sp?) too buttery for my taste. White wine properly served cool, not refrigerated. Pretty good salade nicoise w/ fresh tuna, but my husband said his croque monsuier was disgusting.

Garibaldi's: Same as always, nice atmosphere, loud but pleasant, good service, good heart of palm salad, garlic bread that actually is edible. Crispy Flounder (diamond seared, pan sauteed w/ a apricot/shallot/cilantro/ glaze) was very good as always, fried calamari also very good. Wine selection OK, glasses too small.

Hagen Daaz: there is nothing better in the world than Hagen Daaz dulce de leche and coffee together on a cone. They love each other and I love them. Two bottles of inexpensive, simple, yet completely quaffable pinot noir (see above), of which I had the lion's share, allow complete, uninhibited enjoyment of the perfectly tempered ice cream and no embarrassment in ordering a double scoop when the two extra large ex-football players in the group only had one.

Hominy Grill or Variety Store: I was torn on which one of these to do for breakfast/brunch on Sunday morning. Gaston saved me the decision, because after being awake from about 2 am on from the palm trees scrubbing against the house and the rain slamming into the windows when the big gusts came, and then hearing at 6 am that the bridge off IOP had closed, we decided get the hell off Folly Beach before we were stuck there and people missed their flights the next morning. Maybe next time.

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