My friends and I agreed to go to restaurants that we don't usually frequent in 2012. Charleston has so many great choices, and many times we go to the ones we like the most. Tristan has been on my list for a while, so we went on Monday night.
Tristan is located in the French Quarter Inn. It is a beautiful modern space with comfortable banquets. The glass and metal art in the hallway is stunning. The sink in the ladies' room is a must see.
The RW menu offered wine pairings with each course for $15 more. We decided that was a deal and gave us the opportunity to try new wines for a great price.
The Chef's amuse was a little cup of cranberry curd with candied ginger and almonds. I could have licked the bowl, but I didn't want to embarrass my friend.
For my starter I chose Truffled Popcorn Sformantino. Don't bother googling it: I tried with little luck. It was little squares of a custard that, when I first took a bite, seemed to have little flavor. But then, of course , it "popped". There was nice lump crab and ginger grapefruit foam on top. Delicious. It was followed by a little grapefruit champagne sorbet. Those touches really made it all special.
For main courses I got the sausage with lentils and teeny onions. It was fine, but I now wished I'd gotten the flounder. I tasted my friend's and it was flaky, buttery and perfect. Maybe it's because I just returned from Germany and had enough sausage and schnitzel to last my lifetime. I missed fish dishes, and local flounder is so special.
It wasn't hard to decide on dessert: RC Cola cake with candied pecans and vanilla marscapone. My friend had the pear tart and it too was fabulous. It was followed by a cute little chocolate cup full of salty caramel.
Tristan is a great choice for people who may want local food that's not traditional lowcountry stuff. Our server, like the one at McCrady's, was fully versed in how each dish was prepared, and was able to help us make choices. I'll go back for their regular chef's tasting menu as soon as I recover from my adventure.
Here's the link to the RW menu: