Restaurant Week SC – August 2021 Review
Hello hello, Foodie Friends! 🙂 Hope you’ve had a fantastic weekend! For this edition of Foodie Adventures, we’re showcasing four of some of the local Upstate SC restaurants we visited for Restaurant Week this year. Read on for our reviews, from seafood to Thai food and more! 😋
One of our favorite weeks of the year is Restaurant Week! We were super excited after the last great Restaurant Week we wrote about at the beginning of this year (see the link here for all those good restaurant reviews too). Each time this event comes around, we make sure to try restaurants, cuisines, or new places we haven’t been to before. We were also lucky enough this year to give away a gift card to one of our Instagram followers to Stella’s Southern Brasserie in partnership with SC Restaurant Week and Dine Out Upstate:
Check out our four restaurant reviews from this time around below and let us know where you went or your favorites in the comments below!
Chef 21 Sushi Burger
I was really excited to check out this restaurant week menu as Chef 21 sushi Burger was one of the new restaurants that opened in the last six months that was on our ever-growing local list to try out. We got to speak to the owner while we were there, who let us know that this was part of a group of 21 restaurant concepts that were being launched by the restaurant group and it was the first of many to come!
There were two options for your restaurant week menu choices. One option for your menu choice was based entirely around sushi options for the main course, and a second menu choice featured their infamous sushi burger, with appetizers and desserts for both.
Our friend Jonathan came with us who lives locally in Simpsonville for this first dinner. Our appetizers consisted of Crab Rangoon’s, pan fried pork Gyoza , and Avocado Grenade, which is deep fried avocado topped with spicy crab meat, and a spicy honey sauce. We shared the appetizers family style and the avocado grenade was our favorite bite definitely! It was crispy, sweet and spicy, really unique.
Jonathan chose the chose the sushi for his entrée and Jamie, our new friend Emil, and I opted for their sushi burgers. What is a sushi Burger you ask?
Imagine if you took the rice that usually makes up the outside of a sushi roll but you flattened it into a patty or hash brown consistency, fried it, and placed the remaining sushi roll ingredients on the inside for the “burger” in between the two rice patty “buns”.
I got the Spicy tuna sushi burger (pictured above), which consisted of pickled jalapeños, big chunks of fresh tuna, a spicy Sriracha mayo, spicy mango, seaweed salad, and an avocado seaweed salad on the side. Jamie got the “Spiderberg” sushi burger (below, left), which had a fried softshell crab in between two rice patties with spicy crab meat, lettuce, spicy mango, and eel sauce on a toasted brioche bun.
Emil got the Chef 21 Shrimp Madness burger (right, above), with grilled jumbo shrimp with shredded Oaxaca cheese, topped with red onion, mango salsa, and chipotle aioli on the toasted buns.
This was such a unique concept and it definitely reminded me of some restaurants around town that I’ve seen offering sushi burritos and things like that, but I loved seeing it in burger form and it tasted fantastic. I would absolutely go back for this again, and you could tell the fish was super high-quality and they cared a lot about plating, presentation, and the décor in the restaurant was gorgeous as well. Lots of natural light! Would definitely check it out if you haven’t been already.
Downtown Greenville, SC
Fun fact, I’ve never been to Thai food around Greenville before! I’ve had Pad Thai in the past but that was before I knew that I was allergic to peanuts. So we ended up having to traverse the menu very carefully this go around, as every other menu item at Basil Thai had peanuts in it. Jamie and I ended up sitting at the bar and our bartender Nikki was super great about asking for allergies and what I couldn’t have. They were very sweet at being able to make different dipping sauces for me, excluding peanuts, which I very much appreciated.
For appetizers here we started out with their basil rolls, which were rice paper wrappers with glass vermicelli noodles, Thai basil leaves, shrimp, and bean sprouts. This was rolled into egg roll size and served with 2 sauces. One with peanut sauce and one especially for me with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sambal ( this is a Thai chili paste). These rolls were tasty but were meant to be eaten with the dipping sauces as they were noodle heavy. Our second appetizer, Larb, had ground beef spiced with onions, mint, scallions, cilantro, chili powder, lemon juice, and fish sauce, and was served with cabbage leaves. To eat it, we spooned the mixture onto the leaves and chowed down!
For our main course, we chose the “Basil” dish, made with chicken, Thai basil, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and Thai chili sauce over Thai jasmine Rice. It was really good, but we added in a little sambal to our plate to give it a little extra kick. It was overall a warm and comforting dish.
Dessert was this delicious Coconut Passion fruit cheesecake, which tasted amazing, even though I could only have a couple of bites. It was basically a great coconut cake on the top and the passionfruit cheesecake on the bottom, which was both tangy and sweet.
I would definitely go back and Nikki took great care of us that night, definitely stop by and sit at the bar and enjoy some great bites next time you go.
Downtown Greenville, SC
The next restaurant on our Restaurant Week Bucket List was The Lazy Goat. A lovely Downtown Greenville Mediterranean spot that we haven’t been to yet but is definitely a classic Greenville staple.
We started with two appetizers, one-off the regular menu called the Dipping Trio, which consisted of Tomato Bacon Jam, Harissa Almond Hummus, Smoked Salmon Mousse, and Fried Pita. This was fantastic! All the dips were super, the jam and hummus were my personal favorites.
The other appetizer on the Restaurant Week menu was Sicilian Grilled artichoke which came topped with panko, arugula, a citrus aioli, and a little bit of Parmesan cheese. This was a really balanced appetizer. The creamy, citrus, and bitter notes that were included from the other elements on the plate really helped elevate the artichoke as the star of the dish.
The entrée we picked was a North Carolina Trout Provençale, laying on a Smoked Tomato Sauce, Olives, Garlic, Squash, Grilled Artichoke, and Georgia Olive Oil.
This was an absolutely delicious entree and probably one of our favorite bites of the week, as it was super simple, yet you could taste each one of the flavor notes that were listed on the menu in the dish. I think that’s always the mark of a really great chef and talent when you can really convey to someone individual flavor notes so well especially with really strong competing flavors like olives or artichokes or fish. The smokiness in the tomato sauce also gave such a really subtle but silky depth to it that we ended up taking the pita bread we had leftover from the appetizer and dipping it into the leftover tomato sauce, it was that good.
To end the evening, for dessert we picked “GoatCello”, which was a Peach Sorbet, goat shaped sugar cookie, and fresh summer blueberries on top. We were definitely happy with our whole meal and would a hundred percent go back again. They were also very good about having non-dairy options or things that had goat cheese in them for me, being lactose or dairy-free friendly which I thought was great as well, so definitely happy with this restaurant choice.
Downtown Greenville, SC
Last but certainly not least was Soby’s, a Greenville institution across from the M. Judson’s bookstore and the Westin Hotel downtown. I went once for appetizers with co-workers but I have never been for an actual sit-down dinner, so was very excited to check out the menu and brought friends along this time as well. Most of the time, when we go places for the blog, we don’t tell them that we’re coming in advance, as we typically like to experience the restaurant as it is for a regular dining person’s experience. However, I was going to test out new camera equipment and flashes and wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be disturbing people, so I mentioned that we were coming to write about the restaurant for the blog in my reservation.
They were so sweet and rolled out the red carpet for us. The general manager came to speak with us, along with their new bartender, Sam, who had recently won the best drink for Greenville Fashion Week, which was going on at the same time as Greenville Restaurant Week. We got to sample her award-winning cocktail, which was absolutely delicious, called “Down the rum- way”. It had Scarlet Abyss rum and Diplomatico Reserva Rum, poppy seed, pomegranate, apricots, candied apricot as a garnish (sprinkled sugar on top and torched). She actually started with the garnish and worked backward to come up with the idea for the drink! Other restaurants in the competition included, Jianna, Society, Rick Erwins, Limoncello, Juniper, and Soby’s, and Soby’s came out on top. I loved the citrus notes in this, and I’m not a rum fan at all, but you really don’t taste the rum in this, it was really really good.
I also asked the GM on the topic of apricots, being an underutilized fruit, and I love the flavor, if they had thought about putting it in desserts as well? He mentioned that they had a new pastry chef starting soon and that she might be able to start utilizing some new seasonal fruits in her desserts.
For appetizers, we started with the Roasted Bone Marrow with aligot potatoes (fondue mashed potatoes), lemon garlic crumble, and served with grilled bread. This was delish as it had been a long time since I had eaten bone marrow and Soby’s executed it really well. Bone marrow can sometimes be kind of gritty or have a weird texture, but theirs’s was really buttery and smooth.
For the Restaurant Week menu, Jamie and Emil went with the she-crab soup and I went with a Caesar salad. They also brought us bonus biscuits!
Jamie had the fried chicken with hot honey, mac and cheese, and green beans. I had the Creole mustard meatloaf with green beans, veal demi-glace, late summer succotash, and two scallops. Emil had grilled Sixty South salmon with steamed rice, green onions, grilled carrots, and roasted pepper relish and a crab cake. We all enjoyed our entrees.
For dessert, Jamie had the Banoffee Pudding Trifle – dulce de leche banana pudding, toffee milk crumb, and chantilly cream. Emil had the Flourless Chocolate Cake, with chocolate ganache and raspberry gel. Unfortunately, all the desserts on their menu were pretty dairy-heavy, but luckily they had some sorbet on hand for me! The mango sorbet they gave me was really silky smooth and delicious.
They also told us about 4-5 new cocktails and 2 new mocktails that were coming to their menu this week starting this week, which is exciting! They’ve added three new mules to their lineup, so definitely excited to go check those out. Soby’s is well known for their brunch, but definitely don’t miss out on their dinner and drinks either!
So how was your weekend, Foodie Friends? What were your favorite spots that we didn’t include this year? Sound out in the comments below to let us know your suggestions of places we should visit next or what dishes to make for our recipe rosters. As always, feel free to like, comment, & share 🤗