A few weeks ago, during Charleston Restaurant Week, I found myself experiencing a flutter of emotions that usually are reserved for first dates -- excitement, with a little trepidation and nerves mixed in. That's how Restaurant Week usually starts for me. I love poring over menus and imagining what dishes are going to taste like. I get all sorts of worked up.
Unfortunately, it's usually not long before jaded disillusionment sets in -- you know, the kind that descends upon you when you've discovered your date considers denim shorts to be "business casual." Sometimes what starts out as high hopes turns into crushing disappointment when we realized we've been duped into a meal that is one of hundreds of plates the restaurant has set under heat lamps to appease the masses who are coming into their restaurant for a cheap meal.
Luckily, among the ashes of gluey she-crab soup, cold fish tacos and other hardly worth mentioning dishes we ate during Restaurant Week, a glittering phoenix arose -- Red Drum Gastropub. Part Lowcountry and part Tex-Mex, we loved all of the unique touches to the dishes we tried -- habanero salt on a salmon crudo, the extra al dente, homemade texture in a short rib tagliatelle, and an oh-my-gosh-that-is-so-amazingly-juicy wood fire grilled chicken.
The best part was that the dessert course wasn't a throwaway, either -- a rich, caramel-y toffee cake that was sweet without being cloying and just slightly warm. I also loved the size of it -- sometimes desserts are so enormous these days that you're wondering who, if anyone, could possibly ever want to eat that much sweetness after a good meal. I like to have a little something to finish the meal and then to be left wanting more.
And that's what we'll be doing very soon -- more Red Drum Gastropub.
Red Drum Gastropub | 803 Coleman Boulevard | Mount Pleasant, South Carolina