Restaurants & Bars

Greenville, SC: The Bohemian&Wine Cafe

danna | Jan 22, 200804:48 AM

I can't decide if my experiences at these two restaurants recently are good or bad. Both were pleasant dining experiences, both are near the top of the heap in Greenville. Both I would recommend to friends or visitors. So, good, right?. Or....you could say, this is the best G'ville has to offer, yet there's no excitement, no exclamation marks, no serious deliciousness. So is it bad?

Bohemian: I've had lunch a time or two at Bohemian and found it averagely good. Strangely, the last two weeks my husband and I ate Sunday brunch at the Bohemian. They have been busy both times, with a short wait and a lively, good looking crowd. The place is festive w/ Champagne on ice for mimosas and a Bloody Mary Bar.

On my first visit, I had the burger, because they grind their own meat, thus allowing them to serve me a rare burger. It was very good, and the homemade chips were also good. My husband had an omlette which he pronounced "fair". Our waiter was very competent and brought multiple, unasked-for, free OJ's for the husband. On our second visit, husband had the again tasty burger, but the chips were cold and not salted enough. I had the "trucker's special" minus sausage gravy (gross). The hashbrowns were good, the bacon was medium-poor quality and insufficiently cooked. The biscuit was medum-bad. The jelly was a cheap packet, and our really bad server brought me one.

Even though our second experience was not as good as the first, I'd go back, because it appears they do some things well, and I think once you learned what to avoid, you could have a consistently nice brunch at the Bohemian.

Wine Cafe: Went last night for the first time. Really, I can't believe it took me that long to get around to trying the place. It's pretty damn expensive for a Monday night. I had the fresh mozzerella salad, it was fine. Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, bocconcini. Fine, nothing to write home about. The cold, unremarkable bread came with unsalted butter, but salt was provided when I asked, as was more bread (I'm picky, but also piggy).

My husband had two apps for his meal, the baked mussels, which were very good, although more bacon than mussel...NTTAWWT. His other dish, lightly fried seafood in a spicy/sweet asian sauce was DAMN good, probably not health food, but something I'll eat again when I go back. I had grilled quail over ..polenta I guess...in a plum sauce. I love quail, and this was good, much better than Lazy Goat. Asparagus and haricot vert were served alongside, undersalted, but cooked correctly (crisp) and not drowned in fat, although there was a certain sheen.

My wine, an Italian white blend (Chard,Pinot Grigio,two others) had a nice aroma, but was flabby ...I guess I should have known. The pour is a little slight. 1 entree, 2 apps, 1 salad, 1 wine, $68. Not awful, but as you see we ordered very lightly, and my quail - shockingly for me- was the among the least expensive entrees at $22. Most things were $30 and over. If we had been in Saturday night ordering mode , the bill would have been probably twice that.

So Wine Cafe is good, as I had heard, and one of the better places in Greenville. I would go back. It didn't knock my socks off with creativity, but it's solid.

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