Monday, March 9, 2015

Slightly North of Broad



It's birthday weekend in our lives! My dad's birthday is March 7th and mine is March 10th. Since our birthdays were falling around a weekend this year, we decided to take a little trip to Charleston, SC to celebrate jointly.  There are tons of great restaurants to choose from in Charlestong, but we had no doubt about where we wanted to go--  Slightly North of Broad (affectionately known as "SNOB"), of course!

My mom and I had a wonderful dining experience at SNOB a couple of years ago with some special friends who treated us to the chef's table. That occasion was incredible and we have been dying to take my dad there ever since.  So what better occasion than a birthday? I'm going to tell you now, they did not disappoint!  Every bite of food was amazing. So just keep that word in mind when you start reading below and your mouth starts watering--AH-MAZE-ING!!!

SNOB is run by renowned Chef Frank Lee .  He takes pride in using fresh, local ingredients. And boy, you can definitely taste the freshness.  Everything is beyond exceptional!  SNOB is definitely one of my top 5 favorite restaurants! If you go, call ahead and ask to sit at the chef's table.  If you are a foodie like me, you will love having a great view of the kitchen and seeing first hand the great care the staff takes in preparing your meal.  They literally have nothing to hide!  And sitting at the chef's table may just get you a few surprises from the chef, like I got!



Before we get into the the actual dishes, I want to give a massive shout-out to our server, Ashley. She was incredibly attentive and treated us so well! She made sure we had everthing we needed/wanted and just overall went above and beyond the call of duty to make our evening the best experience possible.


In front of the kitchen with Ashley.  :)

To start, Ashley offered me a specialty "mocktail," custom made just for moi.  It was a mojito with mint, lime and ginger. Very delicious and refreshing! <3


Next, our amuse bouche was a country ham fritter topped with a sweet and sour sauce. It's hard to explain the taste, but it was scrumptious! The sauce worked well with the fritter and was truly sweet and sour, which worked extemely well to balance out the saltiness of country ham.  One fritter was just the right amount to tease the palette.  Although, admittedly, I would not be opposed to consuming an entire basket of them. ;)







For one appetizer, we enjoyed the Mepkin Abbey oyster gratin with leeks and mushrooms.  It was served with grilled baguette slices. Oh yes! Warm, melty, cheesey goodness to spread on crusty bread. Le sigh! I die! 



Our other equally yummy appetizer was tuna tartare served with microgreens and heirloom tomatoes. I love tuna and I also adore sesame oil, so this app was the delightful blend of two favorites for me.  The salad also had just the right amount of acidity in the oil and vinegar dressing to balance out the richness of the tuna flavor.  Also, I give the chef an A+ for texture! Mmmm.



For entrees, we gave the kitchen creative license to surprise us and we were not disappointed! They presented us with three delicous main courses. The first was a pan seared flounder with Charleston Gold brown rice, butternut squash, fennel and a cider brown butter. The flounder was local and very fresh.  It was pan seared to a perfect crispness.  The fluffy rice and veggies made great companions for the flounder.  


We were also served one of SNOB's signature dishes, Maverick shrimp & grits with house sausage, country ham, fresh tomatoes, green onions, garlic and Geechie Boy grits. OMG! Those grits. Y'all! Of course, the fresh shrimp and sausage were incredible. But, grits.  This southern girl was in heaven.  Yummmmm!


Last, but not least...and my personal favorite, grilled Beeler Farm pork chop with a sorghum molasses and whole grain mustard glaze, crispy confit potatoes, cabbage and caramelized onions. This glaze made a crust on the juicy pork chop that was both sweet and savory.  Wow!  So, so delicioso!


Our side items were a savory bread pudding with thyme and bleu cheese.  I know that sounds like a strange combination, but the flavors paired beautifully, especially with the house made relish served on the side.  Love, love, love!


And talk about tasty, caramelized brussel sprouts and onions. If you think you don't like brussel sprouts, then you haven't tried these brussel sprouts!  They're awesome.  Trust me.  That is all.


And it wouldn't be a complete celebration dinner without coffee and dessert, right?  Naturally, I had to get a cappuccino, because that's just what I do. So yeah, it was bold and creamy and wonderful! :P 


Dessert, you ask?  I ordered the Chocolate Pot de Creme.  Oh yes I did! And to make it even more special, Ashely added a candle for my birthday! Aww, how sweet!


This dish was similar to a decadent choclate mousse topped with a creamy, rich ganache.  It was garnished with Bulls Bay sea salt and strawberries. I know, right!?



 And finally we were treated to a complementary dish of cookies and truffles. These beauties had to come back home with us in a box.  We were too stuffed at this point to enjoy these goodies, but don't worry, they will have their moment very soon!

In closing, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the staff at SNOB for making our birthday celebration so wonderful and memorable. It wasn't just a meal.  It was an EXPERIENCE!

If you're planning a visit to Charleston go there!  If you're not planning a trip, this is good enough reason to start.  Why?  Yes, because you need to eat SNOB, of course!  Both of my visits have been phenomonal and I'm sure you will be delighted too.  Check out the SNOB website here: 

http://www.mavericksouthernkitchens.com/slightlynorthofbroad/

Until next time...