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!