Fancy Feasting

7 Oct

Since Mondoo covered fair fare from the weekend, I thought I’d cover the other side of the spectrum in this post.  Last Friday we had dinner at a real fancypants restaurant that just opened called South Hills Market.  Like Mondoo, I love food, all kinds of it.  Fancy, cheesy, sweet, savory, fresh, saucy, fatty, fried, breaded.  So let me tell you about this restaurant.  First of all, it being in Charleston, I wasn’t at all obligated to wear a dress, I wore one because sometimes it’s fun to dress up.  The fashion police don’t bother with our town, and if they did they’d have bigger emergencies than what I decide to wear out to a nice restaurant.  They would be busy calling in the Fashion National Guard just to reinforce Applebees. 

Before anything, the waitress brought us a tiny plate of d’amuse bouche—which loosely translate into “mouth fun” in French.  It had a cute little wedge of blue cheese, a wee nutty square of bread, and a baby nugget of gingery jello.  Adorable!

Then, we got a basket of bread with a plate of lemon butter, spicy olive oil, and coarse sea salt, which is just salt, by the way.  There’s no more reason to dump coarse sea salt all over your bread than there is to pour table salt on it.  Unless the salt is flavored with something, or unless you’re me and salt is your favorite condiment.  Two times now I have happily received salt as a gift from close friends, once in the form of chunky salt and a sleek grinder, and once in the form of flavored salt.  

Next, the menu was full of words I didn’t know.  Fun French words that just taste good when you say them.  I love that, and as long as the waiter doesn’t mind explaining each and every one to me, I’ve got all the time in the world.  I  try to eat something I’ve never had before when I can.  This time I had a dish called beef tournedos.  I first ordered beef “tornados” because I’m all for trying to pronounce things.  There are some things I simply will not say though, and they are usually items on less reputable menus.  For instance, I will not say anything that rhymes with chicken when I am ordering chicken (kickin’, finger lickin’, rib stickin’, etc.).  I will also not say things that are more than four words long to order one dish (grilled shrimp on the barbie, crispy sweet chili glazed crispers, big Al’s loaded baked tater skinz). 

The beef tournedos were delicious, but not something I hadn’t had before.  Little round pieces of seared beef on a cheesy potato cake with sautéed teeny carrots and asparagus.  I guess that was my only hang-up with the meal—if I’m going to be adventurous and order something I’ve never had, I want it to taste like something I’ve never had.  But the food was very tasty and the atmosphere quite nice, dim and friendly with a front-row view of the pastry counter.  Sadly, we did not get to dessert because we were too full and nothing on the dessert menu looked fabulous enough to squeeze in.  I’m sure it was all wonderful but there wasn’t anything that didn’t have fruit in it and, as we know, that’s not my scene.

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