That’s more or less what the Shop Tart told her sister before she talked her into heading to Solstice for a spectacular birthday dinner. (She also offered to pay for said dinner, so it isn’t all about her, see?) Also? She got there first, so she got to pick the wine. She promptly sent a message to Sam Suaudom of Baan Sawan — and promises to pay him a visit soon — because he is her official oenotherapist. He never steers her wrong.
The Avinyó cava reserva was lovely.
The Shop Tart had just started sipping when the rest of the party arrived. No one complained about the wine.
They also didn’t complain about the appetizer special she had ordered, ginger-lime seared scallops with sweet curry-peach chutney, black bean sauce, bok choy slaw, cilantro and lime. This, folks, is how you sear a scallop. Divine.
Then a treat arrived. Just a little taste of chilled peach and ginger soup with cilantro. Y’all. Total summer jam. Think we could get the recipe? Pretty please?
The Shop Tart’s sis — aka The Birthday Girl aka TBG — ordered cornmeal fried green tomatoes with smoked cheddar pimento cheese, sweet corn relish and petit mixed green salad. Don’t you love being southern?
This local celeb arrived and ordered a White Russian. ‘Cause, why not? He let the Shop Tart try it, at which point she remembered how very much she loves a White Russian.
Speaking of White Russians…no spilling!
Following the arrival of the celebrity guest, a little taste of Maison Nicolas ’06 Sauternes arrived…
…to go with the coriander-ginger seared Hudson Valley foie gras with mango-sweet chile jam, orange-ginger soy syrup, wasabi pickled onion and almond cookie. Please, please — if you are even remotely inclined — do go try this sometime very, very soon.
Another treat arrived! (Have you noticed? We haven’t even gotten to the entrees yet. In fact, they haven’t even been ordered. What has been ordered is a second bottle of wine, same as the first, per TBG’s request.) Tempura fried yellowfin tuna with sweet curry-mango chutney, black bean sauce and City Roots sunflower sprouts. Yes, please!
Enfin! It was time for dinner. Mr. Shop Tart had one of the evening’s specials, blackened Carolina Mahi Mahi with Cajun crawfish remoulade, citrus-green onion beurre blanc, a fried yellow grit cake and tomato-bacon braised black-eye peas.
TBG had the same thing, but asked for spinach instead of the black-eye peas. Hooray for accommodating chefs! Both dishes were delish.
The Shop Tart, her other sister and another table mate had the other fish special: coriander-pepper seared Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon with sweet-curry peach chutney, orange-ginger soy syrup, wasabi pickled onions, citrus-almond jasmine rice and sesame veggie stir fry. Since she is trying to eat more vegetables, the Shop Tart asked for the dish minus rice, plus extra veggies. So, so good, y’all. She used her leftovers the next morning in a breakfast quesadilla with sauteed spinach. (Shop Tart Tip: Always take home leftovers. You will love your breakfast!)
The steak selection at Solstice is really impressive. The sixth man at the table chose skillet seared flat iron steak with sherry vinegar reduction, foie gras butter, house-cut shoestring fries, roasted tomato ketchup and sautéed spinach. A smart guy, he asked for the chef to prepare it to whatever temperature he though was best. Always a good call. This one was medium rare-ish and positively delicious.
Also on the menu, a grilled 6-ounce filet mignon with spinach-Gorgonzola “fondue”, braised spring leeks, portobello fries, horseradish-pepper cream and buttermilk mashed potatoes. And…one of the specials for the evening was a Low Country grilled 14-ounce Angus ribeye with smoked cheddar pimento cheese, creole mustard jus, roasted new potatoes “fra diavolo” and sautéed asparagus. The next time the Shop Tart wants steak, she is so going to Solstice. She has a feeling this will be very, very soon.
At some point — maybe midway through the eating of the entree — more wine was ordered. This time, the table chose one from the menu of specials, a lovely dry rosé, Chateau du Donjon Minervois. Summer!
Birthdays must be acknowledged with dessert. You know what else must be acknowledged? An excellent cocktail menu. TBG took one for the team and ordered a cucumber-lavender martini, a summertastic blend of cucumber infused vodka and house-made agave-lavender simple syrup. Everyone who tasted it agreed: Hellz yeah.
But back to those desserts. The choice was not easy.
Mmmm…banana-kopita. As an aside, the Shop Tart hates bananas uless they are cooked or in banana pudding. Otherwise, the texture is just weird. This, on the other hand, was delightful.
Why go with just one? The pineapple-mango spring rolls were also worthy.
After dinner, TBG headed out to Woodcreek. What is Woodcreek? Well, it’s in Blythewood, possibly Elgin. Internet maps have yielded the knowledge that the pond is not called Woodcreek, that’s just the street. The pond, at least according to maps on the internet, is called F Coopers Pond. Who knew? The Shop Tart’s parents share a very, very rugged place there with a number of other families. Conveniently, it’s located just one exit past Solstice. Though the Shop Tart was chicken to spend the night, she did go the next day and it was heavenly. TBG, in all her glory…
Saturday night, the lovely Carlie made dinner at the pond, grilled salmon and corn on the cob. The Shop Tart contributed various South Carolina grown berries from Rosewood Market. There were also potato chips and green beans. And dry white wine. It was a lovely beginning to what’s sure the be the best summer ever.
By the way, Solstice is closed today — sorry! — but they are hosting a spectacular dinner on Wednesday night. From Chef Rocky’s recent email:
Wednesday, May 30th at 6:30 is our much anticipated MEAT LOVERS WINE DINNER with BIG MOON FARMS of Leesville! We are very excited to welcome John & Catherine Oxner of Big Moon Farms for this very special meat-centric wine dinner, and here are the details…
-Cost is $55 per person. tax included, gratuity not-included.
**All Reservations must be made by calling us at 788-6966.
-No on-line reservations are permitted.
**A credit card is required to reserve your reservation and there is a $25 per-person charge for day-of cancellations and no-shows.
**Minor substitutions due to allergies only can be made if mentioned at the time you make your reservation.
So, you read the fine print, now for the important stuff…the food!
first, reception style
Select Big Moon Farms Sausages & Bratwurst with carraway mustard, sweet onion confit, bagna cauda grilled veggies and texas toast
-La Marca Prosecco, Italy-
Chile Rubbed Pork Shoulder with sweet corn relish, City Roots arugula, bbq peach vinaigrette
-Adelsheim PInot Gris, Willamette Valley-
Balsamic-Rosemary Grilled Beef Sirloin K-bob with SC peach relish, worcestershire-orange steak sauce, sweet potato chips
-Meiomi Pinot Noir, California-
Mustard-Thyme Grilled Boneless Pork Chop with truffle-blue cheese cream sauce, garlic butter grilled broccoli, Joe’s roasted potatoes
-Evolution Red blend of Syrah/Grenache, California-
Alan’s Peanut Butter-Chocolate Ice Cream, Oreo brownie, chocolate sauce
-have some more of your favorite wine or enjoy a cup of coffee!-
Yum! Who’s in?
In today’s post…
- Solstice, 841-4 Sparkleberry Lane, 788-6966
Happy Shopping and don’t forget to tell them you read it on the Shop Tart!