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Comment Archives: Locations: Restaurants: Fusion + Eclectic: 3 Stars

Re: “Eurasia Café and Wine Bar

To be honest with you if I had not seen Eurasia recently popping up on a few food and blog sites I would not have known it was there. I am in the Whole Foods Plaza in Mt. Pleasant quite frequently and I think I once looked over to the area where it’s located and thought it was a Chinese restaurant.

We entered the restaurant on a sleepy spring evening. At the time there were only three tables and three people at the bar. More patrons would arrive, but it was never very busy during our stay.

Our server was very knowledgeable and I asked him a few questions about the restaurant. He said that the owners have two other locations, one in Richmond, VA and one in Virginia Beach, VA. He mentioned that they have been in business together for about 10 years and that this Eurasia opened about four months ago.
The name doesn’t fit the décor of the restaurant. It’s a bit contemporary and somewhat stark. A nice outdoor patio with colorful umbrellas and a babbling fountain that seats about twenty looked inviting. It was tempting, but it was a tad cool that evening, so we passed. When we asked about the name of the name of the restaurant, our server said, “The whole thing is a bit confusing. It’s not European, it’s not Asian. A restaurant owner came in today and thought it was a Sushi place. We get that all the time.”

Eurasia is a comfortable place with moderately priced, tasty food. The menu is a varied, seasonal offering of soups, appetizers, sandwiches, salads, entrees and desserts. The wine and microbrew options are extensive. They take great pride in utilizing products from regional & local purveyors. So much for their website info, now let me tell you about our dining experience.

We started with the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio that was served with truffled egg salad, baby arugula and balsamic mustard vinaigrette and the Chinese Vegetable Spring Rolls served with ponzu, (a ginger/teriyaki combo) and spicy mustard. Beef Carpaccio in general is one of my husband’s favorite dishes. In fact, when we went on one of our first dates I asked him (as funny as this may seem), “What would you chose to be your last meal?” He mentioned a few things, one of which was Beef Carpaccio from a restaurant then located outside of Washington, DC named Boneratti’s.

I was surprised to hear that his Carpaccio, “hands down” was better than Boneratti’s. The presentation was exquisite and he said that the truffled egg salad was unbelievable. The presentation of my Chinese Vegetable Spring Rolls was also very eye appealing and was served with four large spring rolls, actually, enough for two to split. Both of the side sauces, the Ponzu and the spicy mustard were awesome. The mustard made my eyes water it was so spicy! Although the spring rolls could have been warmer in temperature, we thought we were off to a great start.

Although you can argue that a “salad” might not be considered an entrée (someone at the table did), I ordered the “Tangled Up in Bleu” Salad. Our other entrée was the Ginger Snap Crusted Pork Loin and “Mac & Cheese” with raspberry ale aged cheddar - quite a mouthful to say and eat.

Although the menu item was listed with “ginger snaps,” I didn’t really put two and two together and in fact the pork was topped with ginger snap cookies, a nice, sweet combination to the flavor of the pork. It sat high on a mound of Mac & Cheese and broccolini. My husband found the pork tough to cut into but very tender and flavorful. The Mac & Cheese was a tad overpowering though, and the flavor of the broccolini took somewhat of a back seat. He still gave the dish very high marks.

The “Tangled Up In Bleu” was a very large mound of arugula. Very large is an understatement. To one side of the plate sat a perfectly cut hardboiled egg and fried onions adorned the top of the salad. In the spirit of the upcoming Easter Holiday, finding anything else in the salad was an Easter Egg hunt. There were two cherry tomato halves, different colored halves, but one total cherry tomato. The cherrywood bacon and crumbled blue cheese dotted the salad like a few flowers on a hillside. Although the dressing was good, all ‘n all it was a large mound of arugula – and many pieces of brown arugula at that. Again I ask, didn’t someone see the brown pieces when they were making the salad or prepping?

In a nutshell, the service was good, other than the salad; the other menu items were very nice. But the restaurant has such the potential to be 5’s in all categories. It missed the mark on our visit. Brown lettuce? Really?

You can see the brown pieces here http://www.diningaroundcharleston.com/2011…

Posted by susieg on April 19, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Re: “Rice Market

Low Country Dining Shouldn't Mean Low Flavor Dining. The Rice Market is a place that you want to see be successful. A beautiful renovation, a great location, and local restauranteurs all could be a recipe for tremendous success. Not so much on the night we were there.

First, let me say that the restaurant is beautiful – elegant, yet warm, and very pretty. They have also added an expansive patio area, which in the spring, I would imagine, could be a lot of fun.

We found the staff on shift that evening attentive and very personable. One of the waitresses was even kind enough to open the door and welcome us in. The restaurant however, was very slow so we chose to sit at the bar versus at a table in the empty dining room.

Shawn our bartender was delightful. As you know one of my pet peeves is when a server doesn't introduce themselves. Shawn went beyond the intro and inquired as to whom we were, how long we've lived here, etc. He was very engaging. And now on to the menu…

We started with the Lettuce Wraps that featured basil and cilantro diced chicken, rice noodle crisps, cashews, carrots and a lime peanut sauce. Unfortunately, this was not a winner. The portion was small, the chicken was dry and the sauce was very bland. A flavor profile that we would come to see in all of our food that evening.

Although the menu is not small, it still feels limited. I asked Shawn what he liked on the menu. One of the things that he suggested was the Bacon Wrapped Wood Grilled Crispy Pork Tenderloin. It sound very interesting but it was served with marinated cucumbers. I asked Shawn if I could substitute something else for the cucumbers. To my amazement he said that, “The kitchen was getting used to the menu, and no substitutions were allowed.” Counting the two of us there were 10 people in the restaurant – how tough could this be?

Another suggestion was the Rice Market Fried Chicken served with Hoppin’ John, Seasonal Vegetables and Red Eye Gravy. Shawn explained that the Red Eye Gravy was made with veal stock, coffee, tomatoes and spices. I asked Shawn what Hoppin’ John was and he struggled with an answer. Luckily, there was a manager perched at the end of the bar doing paperwork. When Shawn tried to ask him what was in Hoppin’ John the manager mumbled “black eyed peas” and walked away. At a time when there were so few customers, you would think he’d want to win some of us over.

We also ordered the Wood Grilled Moroccan BBQ Lamb Chops with Moroccan style rice, and house made Harrisa (a hot chilli paste typically found in North African cooking). We waited anxiously for our dishes to arrive.

Not surprisingly our meals were served by a food runner in no time. They were hot and looked great. You know, another one of my pet peeves is when the food served is not hot. Hot food served fast usually wins me over.

However, this was some of the blandest meals I’ve eaten in a while. Shawn mentioned that he was taking suggestions for the chef, etc., and before I could even say anything, he said, “We have been getting a lot of comments that things are bland.” Even the Red Eye Gravy tasted bland. Zero, I mean zero flavor.

As for the lamb chops..... They served 3 , 2 of which were fine both in size and the temperature. But the third little chop was about the size of a quarter and way over done. I mean beyond well done. Getting three of the same size chops shouldn't be that hard either.

One of the owners has been quoted as saying that the design of the restaurant was important and, “We want people to go to the space for the space.” I get that, and the restaurant looks and feels great. Now how about going to the space for the food, which as of right now, is a big disappointment. For more of our reviews see http://diningaroundcharleston.com

Posted by susieg on January 7, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Re: “Cork Neighborhood Bistro

I would love to give Cork 5 stars for their food. However, due to the poor service I have to give them 3. Every time we have eaten there for lunch the service has been terrible. The servers are very friendly when they actually serve you. I know that restaurants can sometimes be short-handed, but 3 out of 3 times for lunch the service has been ridiculously slow. I really want to love Cork because their food is outstanding. I just wish that they would get it together as far as the service goes...

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by NotSure on October 22, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Re: “Cru Cafe

I love the food at Cru, it's a great place for a lunch date before going to work. However, last week we went in at 11:45 and there was only one other table. It took an hour and ten minutes to get out of there. Other people came and went while we waited. i understand things happen but it should at least be acknowledged by the staff. I think they lost our ticket or something...

Posted by devilsadvocate on February 6, 2010 at 1:09 AM
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