Old Village Post House Executive Chef, Frank Lee, is a rock star in the culinary South. It’s like playing Six Degrees of Frank Lee when it comes to his influence among South Carolina’s most notable chefs. He was sustainable and locally sourcing food before they were marketing catchphrases for restaurants. Bottom line? He knows food.
I saw him at Euphoria Greenville
this year and was totally wide eyed…one of those people I just couldn’t walk up to. So I pointed and whispered to my husband, “OMG! That’s Frank Lee!” And snapped away like I was the paparazzi. I must have been shaking like a leaf because my pictures were blurry as heck!
Okay, I’ll quit doting and get to the meat of things (a very long post):
Last weekend, I took seven members of my family to Old Village Post House
, for a sampling of the Lee magic. The restaurant is located in the Old Village area of Mt. Pleasant, just a few doors away from an old time pharmacy complete with soda fountain and a boutique shop called Out of Hand, which I absolutely love. (Dining hint? Go early to avoid the crowd, get good restaurant pics, and to get maximum attention from staff.)
After you’re in the door, you have no idea that you aren’t in a restaurant in downtown Charleston. It totally has the white table cloth, jazzy music, downtown vibe (without the traffic and parking headache). We settled into our table in the beautiful upstairs dining room and dug into the menu.
I ordered the creamy and delicious, Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup and a few others ordered beautiful starter salads, the Poached Pear Salad and a Roasted S.C. Apple Salad with baby spinach, crispy country ham, toasted hazelnuts, and blueberry basil vinaigrette from the specials menu. Warm bread slices are also delivered to the table in a Charleston Sweetgrass Basket.
Also landing on our table, was a bite size cucumber and apple salad with mint and basil… an amuse-bouche.
What is an amuse-bouche? Get ready for today’s lesson, folks!
An amuse-bouche or amuse-gueule is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons, but, when served, are done so free and according to the chef’s selection alone. Wikipedia
(As a side note, they aren’t always edible! We were served an amuse at The Owl that we were supposed to just smell. The waiter delivered it to the table and said, “Please do not eat the amuse.”)
Onward. For our main courses, my husband ordered the restaurant’s signature Pan Roasted Grouper with truffle celery root custard, okra, micro greens, and roasted mushroom vinaigrette. The grouper was silky and delicious, but I wasn’t a fan of the vinegary bite. I did however, enjoy my perfectly cooked Cast Iron Duck Breast, with broccoli raab, butternut squash farro (heaven!), muscadine gastrique and roasted grapes. A few others at the table ordered burgers, and my mother-in-law ordered the Shrimp and Grits. Judging by the empty plates, they were also delicious.
The wine and cocktail menu was very nice. I ordered a rich Washington State Cab from Hyatt Vineyards
to go with my duck. I can’t wait to get to the wine store and snag another bottle! My husband ordered the Barn Raiser made with local honey infused Maverick Bourbon, Blenheim’s ginger ale, and orange bitters with an orange twist. We love Blenheim’s and liked that they use the South Carolina made ginger ale in several of their signature drinks.
And if you’ve got children in tow, don’t worry! They have a perfect, child approved menu and were really accommodating to the two young picky eaters at our table.
Dessert. We were all stuffed, but being that we were grazing the entire menu, we had to check out their sweet stuff skills!
My husband and I shared the Post House Chocolate Pie with house made salted caramel and Chantilly cream. We paired it with the suggested Fonseca Ruby Port. It was a perfect way to end my rich and delicious meal. I also dug my spoon into the Post House Ice Cream Sundae my daughter and her friend were sharing. I was on a mission to get more of that Salted Caramel!
Overall, it was a really great experience for us all. The only problem we had was that the kitchen was a bit heavy handed with the salt. The people at our table with crushed potatoes couldn’t eat them because they were WAY over salted. I tried them out of the to-go box when we got home and totally agreed. But I feel confident if we had said something, the plates would have been whisked away and the problem would have been remedied. This is not the kind of place that lets minor problems get in your way of enjoying the food.
The next time you’re in the Charleston area, definitely give the Post House a try. It’s the kind of place you’ll keep coming back to.