Hey a bunch of phone photos. My iPhone 5 will have to suffice while I replace my camera which was stolen in what was surely a case of blogger espionage.
We ventured out to Decatur for an evening of revelry and tried out The Pinewood Tippling Room, in the old Cakes & Ale space. They are in the process of changing the menu, and while this night they were offering a tasting menu, we were only there for a drink and a snack. We had fried okra and a salad and a po’boy that was so memorable I can’t remember if it was fried shrimp or oysters or what. There was bacon on it though. The new menu is totally different. My gin cocktail “Mayhew Tart” was nice, as was the service.
We moved on to No 246 where we both had half portions of pasta, including the spaghetti with GA shrimp, bread crumbs, and chiles which has been on the menu since opening. It was fine. The shrimp are great and the pasta is cooked properly, but it was all floating in so much oil. I expect more finesse and inspiration.
Goat cheese ravioli. Crazy.
Chipotle just opened near me, just a block away from Willy’s. Willy’s has held a special place in my digestive system since college, and I much prefer to support a local chain. The meat at Chipotle may best Willy’s (the steak was great), but everything else about it sucks. Be specific? The cheese, the salsa, the price, and the lack of chips/salsa.
Neapolitan pizza at Vesuvius. Perhaps I should have ordered off the NY style section of the menu, but this was as good as it looks.
Joystick Gamebar! They have a bunch of old school video games, but not really any food any more. I’m told that being a bar, no one was ordering food from the Mark Nanna (FLIP Westside opening chef/Blais buddy) created menu. There are a couple of snacks you can order – cheesy poofs, a sweet potato empanada, and ice cream sandwiches if you need sustenance between doling out Mortal Kombat finishing moves.
The Oak Table opened in Columbia, SC. It’s the same company that owns a few restaurants in Charleston, including The Macintosh which has earned some solid accolades. It’s not cheap, but they are doing some things that are new for Columbia. Though,the menu is somewhat unoriginal, being an amalgam of Oak Steakhouse and The Macintosh. The cocktail menu is even broken down based on which Charleston restaurant from which it originates. They utilize some local farmers like City Roots but it takes more than that to be a local restaurant. (Note – putting pimento cheese on the burger won’t get you there either, so I’ll go ahead and quash that idea for you.)
The ricotto gnudi with lobster was right tasty, albeit the buttery pool of liquid in which it all sits is very salty.
The burger is worthy. The chances of getting a proper medium-rare burger in this world seems to be about 10%, but it had a uber beefy flavor and hand formed texture that made up for it. A real burger.
Fries were fine, but I was more interested in the side dish of mushrooms. The Oak Table offers four different kinds of roasted shrooms as a side dish, which I think is fairly badass. I cajoled a mix of beech and hen of the woods, which I’m told come from a local farmer. I can’t think of anywhere that I’ve seen such an offering of simply prepared, high quality fungi.