Thursday, September 9, 2010

Atlanticville, Sullivan’s Island, SC

File Under… We should have quit while we were ahead.
Like many in the Low Country we decided to take advantage of Charleston’s Restaurant Week. The week, is actually 11 days, running from September 8th to the 19th. During this time restaurants are offering an appetizer, entrée and dessert for either $20.00 or $30.00. The menu selection may be small, but you can always order from the regular menu too. We decided to put our toe in the water on this adventure at Atlanticville on Sullivan’s Island.

The main drag in Sullivan’s Island is Middle Street. There you will find about a half dozen restaurants and a few shops.  Further down the street is Atlanticville in what appears to be previously a home. Although the building is two stories, the entrance is upstairs. You can elect to sit in a very large screened in outside dining area, or inside, which is a two small rooms with about 25-30 tables. We chose to sit inside.

Upon entering we were asked if it was our first time to the restaurant, (it was), and why we chose to come here. We mentioned Restaurant Week and were quickly ushered to our table.  Although we did look over the regular menu we chose to make selections from their special menu selections specified for Restaurant Week.  We had the choice of three appetizers, three entrees and two desserts. Usually when I write about what we’ve ordered I briefly describe it. But at Atlanticville the listing of the menu items were so detailed that I thought I’d show what they were.

For appetizers we chose the Flash Fried Tuna Rolls with Pickled Ginger and Kim Chee and the Fried Oysters with House Made Sausage, Spinach and Onions, and Roasted Garlic Aioli – that’s a mouthful. Our waiter, #20 (we never got his name), did not appear to be thrilled that we were ordering off of the cheaper menu. I get that. But perhaps if he thought a little longer term – this promo might drive traffic later… he’d be better off. Instead through his body language Waiter #20 made no bones about it, this Week was not blowing his dress up.  But I digress.

The restaurant is very small and nondescript.  There is very little décor and the piped in music included George Michael and Wham! and Michael Bolton, to name a few. As we waited for our entrees to come I started coughing.  There was a light smoke that was coming from the kitchen.  The kitchen is open air and you are seated right in front of it.  It was either the hoods that needed cleaning or grease from the sauté station. Either way it was not pleasant and our clothes smelled of it as we left.

The appetizers were out of this world. We thought we were going to have our first “Five Plate Rating”.  Because these were from a special menu I really thought that the portions would be smaller, but they weren’t.  The Tuna Rolls were beautiful and delicious – accompanied by the pickled ginger which had just the right amount of spice and a little heat.  The Fried Oysters were light, not oily, and their accompaniments were to die for. We thought, “We should leave while we’re ahead,” and we were right.

The entrees we ordered, Mojo Crillo Marinated Chicken Breast and Rice, Sweet Potato Guacamole, Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream (yes, that was only one entrée), and the Whole Fried Flounder over Charleston Red Rice, Stewed Collards, Green Tomato Chutney and Old Bay Shrimp Tartar Sauce (I’m exhausted just saying that…) were just ok.  The chicken was very small and looked more like a squab than a chicken leg, and it was very dry.  The side dishes were nice, but we had forgotten that the menu listed Sweet Potato Guacamole and we thought it was some type of cheese. The Flounder was piping hot and the collard greens had a great zip to them, but the rice was just barely warm and to be honest, the entire dish was disappointing.

We were quite full and we asked if we could take our dessert, Decadent Chocolate Fudge Brownie A la Mode with Raspberry Coulis, and the waiter was happy to oblige. With tip our meal was $92.00.

I also should mention that the restaurant has a very impressive wine list. Not wanting a bottle of wine, I asked for a glass of Merlot. To my surprise, after seeing such a large list, I wasn’t given an option; there was only one house Merlot poured.  Not bad, but I had expected more.

Driving home we decided that we would return to try the regular menu.  The appetizers were what swayed us.  Also with the prix fixe menus the options are limited. I would rarely if ever order fried fish, but the other option was scallops, which I don’t care for, so to the restaurant’s credit, I don’t know if I gave it a fair shake overall. So perhaps Waiter #20 would be happy after all. 

At the end of the day we gave Atlanticville 3 out of 5 plates.

Atlanticville on Urbanspoon


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