SNOB - Charleston, SC

Slightly North of Broad (aka SNOB) is one of Charleston's best restaurants according to the local paper. It's been around for a while as part of the Maverick Restaurant Group, who also owns High Cotton, but I never felt the desire to go to SNOB. I felt it might be like a James Cameron film.... so much hype that I would walk away feeling a little disappointed. My mom went this January and said her meal was great. Then I was to have dinner with a group this spring and the hostess recommended it. I had to think, maybe there is more than hype, so I said yes, let's go. I was crossing my fingers praying for great.

Our scheduled dinner started out with angst. You see, we had a 9:30 reservation. The kitchen closed at 10. This is foreshadowing... 

The group I with was at the Family Circle Cup and we had to attend that evening match - all of it. Chip Wade from HGTV was with us and doing the coin toss for the second match, so we had to stay. I swear to you, that first match was the longest tennis match ever. 8:45 pm comes up and we haven't gotten to the third set. At 9, some people go to hold the table. At 9:20 I get a text checking status. At 9:40, a more anxious text says we have to place our order by 10. At 9:55, I text in a fish (gluten-free), fish, beef request. Since I had no menu, my hostess had to make a judgement call for my straggling group of 3. Finally at 10 pm, we run out of the stadium and high-tail it to SNOB. And here is where I truly begin my review. 

Our meals had not been ordered. The kitchen, hearing that we were en-route, waited for us. Yes, it was late. Yes, they wanted to go home. But they waited. The waitress was so kind as she got us settled in. She maid us feel at home and relaxed after our chaotic evening and frantic, Hollywood-style car chase to the restaurant. This was gracious Southern hospitality at it's best, and far from the behavior the name suggests!

To start was a fabulous abundance of appetizers: a cheese plate, charcuterie, carpaccio, gnocchi, and a goat cheese and beet salad that had me flip my lid. Yes they had the low-country prerequisite, shrimp and grits, but they had so many other gluten-free choices that I didn't have to go there! Since I was able to order my own food, I switched from fish to the duck with Muscadine glaze. It was soooo good.  Accompanied by a butternut squash souffle, I was worried it might have flour, but was so happy to learn this light and fluffy presentation of veggies was SAFE! 

Janay had the fish, I believe it was halibut I believe, served with a few fried oysters and mashed sweet potatoes. 

Chip had the beef tenderloin with crab cake. This must be surf and turf low-country style. It looked amazing. Another dish that took props was a BBQ tuna steak. But the best thing, seriously, in my memory, was the banana creme pie I had for dessert. Phenomenal! And no, I didn't take a picture because I just couldn't put my fork down. 

So my review is this... There is absolutely nothing snobbish about SNOB. I find the name humorous now! SNOB's food is really great - a terrific interpretation on low-country fare. I can see why it has gotten high remarks. More importantly, it the most gracious meal I've ever had. The chefs and staff at this restaurant went so far out of their way to ensure we had a fantastic dinner and I couldn't be more appreciative. As I left - full, happy, and charmed - I stopped by the open kitchen to thank each person packing up their knives. In that truly Charleston way, they all said "your welcome", "no problem" and "have a good evening". 

Thanks SNOB for turning on your charm!

Slightly North of Broad on Urbanspoon

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  • 6/20/2010 8:40 AM Lindsey wrote:
    Hi everyone. I am adding an update. I had dinner at SNOB the other night in June, which is high season. I have to tell you, it wasn't great.

    Our dishes were lackluster and preparation conveyed little attention to detail. I had amberjack that was slightly overcooked and the veggies were uninspired. My friend's veggie plate was haphazard, like all the sides had just been jumbled on a plate without thought to presentation. My mother, not terribly difficult to please, ended up getting soup and salad as there were no lighter summer choices on the menu. I felt so bad for her because she had come in January and LOVED it. Even my beloved banana cream pie was found lacking. Lastly, the staff seemed busy and forgetful of the extras, like bringing a glass of wine ordered to accompany the meal or asking if anyone wanted fresh ground pepper.

    So here is my opinion... take it for what you will. SNOB off-season is great. They have the time and energy to be thoughtful in preparation and menu planning. The staff isn't harried then and your meal is more relaxed. SNOB in high season is, well, a bit snobby. It seems to me that they rely on their reputation to bring in a crowd, but just can't quite deliver the goods.

    As my momma would say, "something's missing". At SNOB during the rush of June tourism, that something is the details which takes a good restaurant to great.

    Reply to this
    1. 8/7/2010 8:33 AM K. Argo wrote:
      My mom, brother, and I went to "SNOB" twice during the first week of August, 2010 --- we were celebrating my mom's 67th birthday in Charleston with a three night trip. SNOB was our first restaurant of the trip and while it was very busy, we had a tremendous meal and experience... so I disagree with the review that SNOB is more of an off-season restaurant. Our waitress (Tonya) was incredible! She was knowledgeable, attentive, and spot-on with her recommendations. Even though it was quite busy, she definitely personalized our experience and we never felt rushed. I had the Beef Tenderloin/Lump Crab - which was fantastic. My brother had the shrimp and grits - which was incredible and my mom wanted to eat light and therefore had the peach salad (a seasonal offering) which she is still bragging about. We also had two desserts - the sour cream apple pie and the blueberry bread pudding (which has the surprise of white chocolate in the middle. Both were very delicious.

      We were so impressed with dinner - we decided to stop at SNOB on the way out of town for lunch on our last day. It was once again, very good and very busy. We requested the same waitress, but there were no available tables in her area. However, the waitress we had was very friendly - I'd give her an 8/10 whereas our first waitress would be 10/10. The manager stopped by our table and chatted at least 5 minutes and our waitress from night one recognized us and stopped by our table twice... our waitress we had at lunch was also very engaging. All three had us feeling like locals that knew them personally by the time we left - so it was a wonderful, open and friendly atmosphere for us. My family and I are pretty much wide open and love to chat and laugh, so maybe projecting those positive vibes helped to inspire them as well.

      I would highly recommend this restaurant no matter what the season. It was a wonderful experience and we will be back in the fall!!!
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      1. 8/7/2010 9:01 AM Lindsey Ann Waldrep wrote:
        Thanks so much for telling us about your recent experience at SNOB. I am so glad you had a wonderful birthday celebration for your mother, and the meal sounds fantastic! Should I go again, I will be sure to ask for Tonya as my server.

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