Nathan Conkle has opened the new Gathering Cafe in West Ashley at 1124 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., bringing a nourishing option to the neighborhood. The Culinary Institute of Charleston grad has worked in kitchens around town, including Magnolias, but most recently, he managed the prepared foods section of Whole Foods in Mt. Pleasant, a lesson in wholesome, healthy fare.
Described as "comfort food with a healthy touch," Gathering Café's menu showcases seasonal dishes with a focus on local, fresh ingredients. Right now, you can get a wintry arugula salad with celery, portabello mushroom, toasted walnuts, parmesan, and citrus vinaigrette. Sandwiches (available at lunch only) feature roasted pork and turkey, smoked salmon, grilled sausage, and a vegetarian option too. For the side you'll find lighter options like potato salad, orzo pasta salad, or tabouli.
The entrées range from tandoori half rotisserie chicken next to American classics like meatloaf. The bolognese main gets a healthy makeover, substituting turkey for beef. Seasonal sides include roasted brussels sprouts, ancient grains, and an acorn squash with sea salt and honey. You can still appease that craving for heavier dishes with items like the braised buffalo short ribs served over cheese grits. Desserts rotate daily.
Gathering Cafe is open for lunch and dinner Tues. through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday dinner is served 4:30-9 p.m. Sunday brunch is served between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.