aka "the one with the food and a cocktail". and note I am writing this post on Friday afternoon, to be sure it lands in your feed reader at just the right time 😉.
As I shared last week, our dining routine has been fine-tuned over many years. We did add in two new meals this year and we're planning to repeat them:
First, Thursday night - I picked up a ready-to-heat pasta/spinach/sausage casserole and a caesar salad from Costco (before we left). It was nice to settle into the house, visit with Charlie and not have to think about going out. Also, the meal was delicious!
Second, Friday's lunch at Lowcountry Produce. I'm not quite sure how we managed to miss this one for so many years - except that there are lots of great restaurants and we only have a few meals there! We all shared the housemade chips with blue cheese and bacon to start
and then Lydia and I shared a slice of tomato pie and the pimiento cheese trio.
This is hands-down the best tomato pie I've ever had. Of course lunch out with four foodies (three of whom actually cook ... um yep, all but me!) means trying to deconstruct the recipe and all I can say for sure is that it was chock full of tomatoes and cheddar cheese and maybe no mayonnaise. It might be next year before I get to have it again since all my recipe searches have yet to turn up anything that looks close. If any of y'all have a suggestion, please share!
...the rest of the weekend followed in the steps of previous years...
Friday night's dinner is Emily's. for tapas. Here's our first course - oysters, bruschetta, smoked salmon and tuna tartare
it was followed by two more, with lots fewer dishes ... and sadly no photos, but I think we all have very fond memories of the single plate of soft-shelled crab that was the most perfect "dessert".
Saturday's lunch is Wren's. because of the big round table in the back, I think. This year I had the fried green tomato stack - the tomatoes are layered with goat cheese and that's bacon onion jam drizzled (?!) over the top. This is a recipe I would never even try to make at home!
Saturday's dinner is Old Bull Tavern. because lamb shanks, which are my mom's favorite. We started with cocktails (see below) and smoked mullet dip. Then Lydia and I shared this delicious gnocchi with shrimp and a pizza (they have a huge brick oven and the pizzas are A-mazing).
and somehow, we all managed a few forkfuls of tiramisu for dessert.
Sunday's brunch is takeout from Blackstone's. because crab cakes benedict. Only on Sundays, they make crab cakes and the crab cake benedict is (for those in my family who love eggs) the best. Charlie told us that the original owner had retired and sold the restaurant, but we certainly couldn't tell from the food or the service. We did arrive a little later than normal this year to place our to-go order and they'd just run out of crab cakes! Still, I had a tuna salad (not pictured). Lydia had Saturday night's leftovers (also not pictured). The rest of the crew had good reports about Eggs Benedict (without crab cakes - also not pictured). I do however, have a photo of my mimosa and knitting.
Sunday's dinner is Saltus River Grill. Charlie is friends with the restaurant's owner and we are most jealous he gets to dine here more than once a year! The menu is a seemingly odd mix of sushi and low country dishes; I guess it all works because it's fresh and predominately seafood. We shared a round of specialty cocktails
and two sushi rolls to start.
We were midway through that first course when we learned the kitchen had run out of shrimp (?!?) Lydia, Karen and I had all planned to order shrimp and grits so we had to re-group. We landed on the crab cake, with a side of grits. It was a great choice.
Beaufort is not a big town, but it's a very popular destination. If you go - and I hope you do! - be sure to make dinner reservations. We saw folks turned away all three nights. Lunch isn't quite as necessary - unless you have a special table and/or time in mind!
And now the cocktail. Saturday night, I ordered "Snoop Juice" from Old Bull Tavern's specialty cocktail menu. It listed grapefruit juice, gin, cocchi american rosso and rhubarb bitters as ingredients and of course it had me at grapefruit juice and gin. It was delicious; I had two (and then of course thought "I can make this"). I got home and googled "snoop juice" hah! (clearly not in my comfort zone). But I have the four listed ingredients in my liquor cabinet and with my sister's help, I present
(inspired by Old Bull Tavern)
1-1/2 oz gin
1 oz amaro
3 oz grapefruit juice
Fill a double rocks glass with ice. Add the gin, amaro and juice and stir well. Top with two dashes of bitters and a squeeze of orange peel.
Cheers and Happy Friday!