I've been so excited to try Stars Grill since it opened well over a month ago. Watching a new restaurant go up in Charleston is so fun, especially when it's a massive place with a rooftop bar. Construction has been ongoing for several months, and they finally opened to eager diners early this fall. They've had some kinks to work out, but business has been booming and I've heard nothing but rave reviews about the rooftop bar. The restaurant is absolutely massive, sporting a huge downstairs dining room, a private dining room for 100 of your closest friends, and a giant rooptop bar overlooking King Street.
Ed and I went in kind of early last Monday night, and luckily they weren't busy. This gave us the chance to chat with our waiter, get his take on the dishes, and even meet with the chef, Nathan Thurston, for a few minutes. They brought us a few of their favorite things to try: one was the Oysters Bulls Bay, with spinach, asiago cheese, brandy, and garlic. Neither I nor my husband are huge oyster fans, but we did try these and thought the spinach was a nice touch. I'm anxious to take some family members who happen to be HUGE oyster fans, because any oyster lover worth their salt would love these decadent oysters. They also brought out the Honey Thyme Cured Bacon Mini BLTs with cured tomato, slaw, and spicy mayo. Yeah, it's a mouthful to say and eat. Now, being a vegetarian-slash-wannabe-vegan, I can neither confirm nor deny that I had a bite or two of the mini BLT. It may have been salty and delicious with a tiny kick on that buttery Texas toast... That's the word on the street I mean...
I'd also been eyeing the Dino Kale Salad for at least a month since I'd scoped out the menu online.
I've heard nothing but good things about this salad, with its smoked almonds, shaved ricotta salata, shaved brussel sprouts, and benne seed garlic dressing. Kale can be tough to eat by itself, and especially raw, but this fresh local kale was clearly given some TLC before it made it to the plate. The smoked almonds and Brussel sprouts give you this awesome crunch, and the benne seed and garlic dressing tastes like nothing you've ever had. It's sweet and salty and complements the kale perfectly. Ed had the heirloom apple salad, which had blue cheese and hazelnuts with a cider vinaigrette. It's hard to beat the sweet crunch of an apple with the salty tang of blue cheese.
For the main course Ed decided to order the Chicken Pot Pie.
You may be rolling your eyes or turning up your nose, but we made an educated decision based on the waiter's recommendation and after talking to Chef Thurston, it sounded like a good bit of work had gone into this hearty dish. Its flaky crust is topped with truffled sea salt that makes you want to take a nose dive into the hot dish. I may have also taken a bite or two here. Forgive me PETA, I was intoxicated by the truffles.
I got the fresh pasta with charred baby beets, walnuts and arugula pesto.
Can I just say here, that this dish was only $10.50? THIS IS A STEAL. Topped with just a tiny bit of goat cheese to occasionally melt into the homemade wide noodles, this is one of the best pasta dishes I've had in a long time. These flavors were so perfect for fall, and it was just enough food. They also brought out the Autumn Squash dish, with red quinoa, swiss chard, a little bit of parmesan and a vinaigrette on top. It was great as well, but it was going to be hard to top the fresh pasta for me.
Just when Ed and I thought we'd have to roll each other out the door our waiter laughed and says "Oh, you're not done yet". Oh gosh. Is that a threat? What's about to happen? And the thin-as-a-rail pastry chef saunters over, placing two beauties right in front of us. And there it was... the Smoked Chocolate Smores Pie.
I'd been lusting all day, and now here it was right in front of me, next to a Lime Semifreddo (a lime mousee, covered in Italian merengue and accompanied by some molecular gastronomy tequila creation). Oh, skip the lime, you may be thinking. Just go straight to the chocolate, you're saying. No, no my friends. You need both of these. You need both of these beauties in your life. The lime semifreddo is just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. It's like key lime pie, gelato and souffle had a baby. And the baby is sinful and delicious. Now, don't forget about the Smores Pie, because it's not your typical super heavy chocolate thing with chocolate dumped on chocolate. It's like a souffle on top, with a thin layer of smoked chocolatey delicious, and the best crust you have ever had.
OK dessert was my favorite. I've said too much. Moving on.
We had a great experience at Stars, and have already told friends and family about it... great meal!