From the 3 for 30 offerings found on Charleston Restaurant Week's list of participating restaurants, I narrowed my choices down to two restaurants-downtown dining establishments I had on my cuisine radar since the last event and both located on eclectic and bustling King Street. It wasn't easy arriving at the definitive decision-both have good reputations reinforced by good reviews. The tipping point was the deliciously descriptive menu offerings of Sermet's Corner.
Now, finding a convenient parking spot was the next decision. The traffic goes in only one direction on this part of historic King Street. Something you have to keep in mind when traveling to this part of Charleston. A missed opportunity could mean circling back for another pass or a longer walk. I can happily report, a convenient one was successfully acquired.
Sermet's Corner is appropriately named, seeing it is located at the corner of King and Wentworth Streets. Two large, wood-glass doors marked its entrance. Large windows on each side of the doors were adorned by dark-colored, plush looking awnings. Inside, a newly renovated dining area with a well balanced mixture of brick and wood welcomed you. The space was small, but surprisingly uncluttered. White pillars and table appointments lent to a clean, bright atmosphere-red roses on the tables gave the settings a splash of color. Paintings were hung between the windows that lined the exterior walls.
We were seated at a table in the front corner with an panoramic view of King Street. As it turned out, an excellent place to people watch while sipping on opening drinks after menu selections were addressed-a menu consisting of a choice between two starters, three entrees, and a desert offering of tiramisu and tiramisu(A full, elegant looking menu was available if you didn't want to be limited to the 3 for 30 offerings).
For a starter, I chose the Roasted Tomato and Mushroom Soup topped with Parmesan. It was drizzled with olive oil and I will simply say it was fantastic. My friend chose the House made mozzarella and pesto with sliced tomatoes over mixed baby greens drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Afterwards, my friend said the amount of balsamic vinegar used was ideal, not too much and not too little.
From the entrees I selected the Pan Seared Scallops over Lobster Ravioli in a Saffron-Vanilla Sauce topped with shaved Fennel and Orange and my friend chose the Chicken sauteed with Smoked Bacon, Mushrooms and Granny Smith Apples in a Marsala Parmesan Cream Sauce over Butternut Squash Ravioli-doesn't the entree descriptions just make your mouth water. My only complaint, and it is minor in comparison to my complete satisfaction in the scallops and sauce, the Lobster Ravioli could have been a tad warmer. As for the chicken sauteed with smoked bacon, it is a popular choice among Sermet's customers.
The generous portion of tiramisu was a sweet conclusion to the affair. It oozed with Drambuie. It was like consuming a dish of happiness.
Finally, our server was exceptional. He was attentive to our requests and kept the sweet tea and wine glasses full-I love sweet tea. He kept the table clean and delivered the food in an orderly fashion. He was also patient enough to take the time to answer the barrage of questions I am famous for. I give Paul top marks for the evening.
To be honest, I am not a professional food critic or connoisseur, and I do not generally eat so elegantly. My everyday tastes are quite simple. That being said, it is also why all of this is so great from my perspective. For an evening, I self indulge in cultural decadence and unrestrained gratification. I, for the brief moment , live the life of a Charlestonian.
Thank you Sermet's for a very gratifying dining experience.
276 King Street, Charleston, SC