The vibrant restaurant scene of downtown Charleston makes for a perfect place to take in an evening meal. And after watching the sunset down on the waterfront, I headed up to East Bay Street for dinner at Blossom.
Just as my martini arrived, the chef came out to greet the table. With a keen interest in culinary arts, I always enjoy a chance to meet the masterminds of the menu.
He offered us a special tasting and with no food allergies, I gave Adam (the chef) the green light with a few “suggestions.” I asked for local dishes – not difficult since that is the main focus of the restaurant, and I asked him to keep his selections to items that appear on the menu – he did. I also requested shrimp and grits, the southern specialty. Delicious.
I learned about the dish, shrimp and grits, when touring the Salkehatchie region of the South Carolina earlier in the year. Now I was about to taste it. Fresh shrimp from the coastal waterways coupled with slow southern style cooking seemed destined to make a classic.
In the five course tasting each dish was perfectly paired with wines selected from the sommelier. One seemed better than the next. I started with a spicy chorizo appetizer paired with a sweet Riesling and away we went.
A salad and a sparkling wine was the second course followed by the locally caught Tile fish with a celery cream sauce and a healthy Chardonnay. Then a hearty swordfish with pasta paired with a French red prepared me for the finale – shrimp and grits with a meaty Malbec. The chef saved the best for last (just like it appears on the menu). And this first timer certainly plans to order the Charleston classic again.
Over dinner conversation I also learned the downtown Charleston (East Bay Street) vibrant restaurant scene is relatively new. The pioneers, such as the neighbor and sister restaurant Magnolias, only started roughly twenty years ago. Thankfully they did. Part of the joy in any journey can be always be found on the table. And with restaurants like this, serving delicious southern hospitality to visiting northerners, I am glad it is all in full Blossom.
Tip: Try the Tonic. A sweet homemade recipe might be the perfect mix for your pre-dinner cocktail.
Stay adventurous, Craig
This is the first installment of the Culture Through Cuisine – Restaurant Week Series. This is the second of five on Charleston. Also, a special thanks to Blossom and Leapfrog PR for the invitation to experience such fine dinning and southern charm.