Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Laura Alberts Tasteful Options, Daniel Island, SC

A Quaint Restaurant With Tasteful Choices

As I thought about the word or words to describe Laura Alberts Tasteful Options the only one that really came to me was “quaint”.

Nestled just a stone’s throw from the Tennis Stadium on Daniel Island lies a hidden gem of the Low County.  Laura Alberts (named after family members) Tasteful Options was a pleasant surprise.  It’s a restaurant that also offers a few gifts, a very large wine and craft beer selection and some very interesting menu options.

They are open for lunch Monday – Saturday and also offer brunch on Saturday.  Dinner is served on Wednesday only from 5:00 – 9:00.  The menu is not only creative it’s also very large. I found it interesting that a small place like this (it probably seats 50+) has such an aggressive menu.  It is a fresh, local menu serving certified South Carolina grown products. It ranges from Appetizers (7) to Soups & Salads (7 – with the additional option of 7 toppings), Specialties (9), Warm Sandwiches (9) Cold Sandwiches (8) and side dishes (9).

Wall Of Crafted Beer
Each page of the menu also offers “Beer or Wine” Complements from their extensive hard-to-find craft beer and large wine selection.  This is the first menu in SC that we’ve seen that suggests beer or wine with their menu items. It was tough to make a decision. PLUS… they offer a daily specials page of about 6 items.  Phew, I was exhausted.

We settled on a Chipotle Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with melted provolone cheese, a side of “mojo” dressing, and a choice of a side. We chose blue cheese cole slaw as the side.  We also ordered the “catch of the day” which was penne pasta tossed with shrimp, asparagus, grape tomatoes, parmesan cheese in a lemon butter white wine sauce.  We couldn’t wait for lunch to arrive.

Chipotle Pork Tenderloin
I must admit though that pet peeve #7 (being called "honey") was hard at play here. The server whose name we did not catch continually addressed me as “hon” or “honey”, which I felt was very inappropriate.  We have found the folks in the Lowcountry to be incredibly respectful, polite and kind, but this was not endearing. The server doesn’t know me, I’m not her friend, and I’m definitely not “honey”. Enough said.

Lunch arrived quickly and my pasta was piping hot. The Chipotle Pork Tenderloin Sandwich was tender and when topped with the “mojo” dressing, it gave it a nice spice and a little heat. The blue cheese cole slaw was fabulous, some of the best we’ve tasted.  But alas, I did it again, I ordered the wrong thing. From such a large menu I had a world of possibilities, but apparently, didn’t pick the right dish.

Shrimp Penne Special
Yes, the dish was piping hot. Yes, the shrimp was cooked to perfection and the plate dotted with halved grape tomatoes and bite-sized pieces of crisp asparagus.  But the flavors that I thought it would have – lemon, for one, was completely lost. The dish was swimming in white wine.  Not tossed, but swimming as in the deep end. The flavor of the white wine was so overpowering that the dish was really not great at all.
“Why didn’t you say something to the server?” You ask? Other that when I flagged her down to ask for some additional shredded parmesan cheese, we didn’t see her again, so she couldn’t have asked us how our lunch was.

At $36.00 for lunch and two diet cokes, the place is a tad steep.  Not that I wouldn’t give it another try, since the menu looks like it has some great selections. Just not the one I chose. And don’t call me hon.  

We gave Laura Alberts Tasteful Options 3 out of a possible 5 plates.



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