Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stars – Live Fire Wood Grill, Charleston, SC

Upper King Super Star - 5 Stars
Jumping on the band wagon of upper King Street restaurant energy is “Stars – Live Fire Wood Grill”.  The restaurant’s décor is cool, casual and contemporary and the menu, very creative. We were lucky to be dining with good friends who love “sampling” each other’s dishes which gave us an opportunity to experience more of the menu than usual.

The Executive Chef, Nathan Thurston, (most recently at The Sanctuary in Kiawah), does not disappoint.  We decided to start with a variety of things and were amazed at the flavor and the unique offerings.

The Sautéed Mussels with Garlic and Herb Pistou, Lemon Wood-Grilled Bread was crazy good.  My husband, who is not a big seafood fan, and has rarely eaten a mussel, could not stop sampling and talking about them.  I have to agree, but they were just one of four great appetizers.

Sautéed Mussels
The Rare Seared Tuna, was very well received, we all agreed that we were on an appetizer roll.
Rare Seared Tuna
Although these two appetizers were very good, the next two were incredible.  The Wood-Grilled Mushroom Bruschetta with greens, Goat Feta, on Grilled Bread with Truffle Vinaigrette was to die for. Even those at the table that weren’t mushroom lovers quickly joined in the mushroom party.
Wood-Grilled Mushroom Bruschetta
And then the appetizer king-pin was sampled.  The Fresh Pasta with Charred Baby Beets, Walnuts and Arugula Pesto was an item that we all actually fought over.  This was beyond a great sampling of a variety of beets and homemade, small pasta sheets. We could hardly wait to order dinner.

Fresh Pasta with Charred Baby Beets, Walnuts and Arugula Pesto
The dinner selections varied between “Shore & Stream” and “Farm & Field”.  Collectively we ordered a few of each.

I ordered the Appalachian Trout/Presented Whole with Baby Potatoes, Mountain Apples, Bacon and Mustard Greens.  Not a big fan of a fish eye staring back at me while I eat, I asked to have the head removed. The trout was melt in you mouth goodness.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a fish entre that was this delicate and well balanced.  Everyone at the table agreed. 
Appalachian Trout/Presented Whole
The Charleston swordfish, ginger-carrot puree, hearth-roasted baby carrots, lemon vinaigrette was another hit.  Dish by dish we were thrilled with the quality and flavor.
Charleston Swordfish
The Black Garlic Braised Short Rib with “Made to Order” Smashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables and Kale Gremolata was a tasty, tender delight.  Again, sampled by the group and declared a winner.
Black Garlic Braised Short Rib
Perhaps though, one of the “sleepers” of the evening was then Truffled Chicken Pot Pie that was served with a Local Green and Herb Salad.  The oversized, golden brown phylo-topped, chopped chicken bowl of love was just spectacular. 

Truffled Chicken Pot Pie

After dinner we ventured up to the roof deck cocktail lounge.  The evening we went it was a bit chilly and not too busy but the view is incredible. I am certain that this will be a huge spring and fall season hot spot.  With flavors this big and bolt I highly recommend you add this to your list of restaurants to try.  

We gave Stars a perfect 5 out of a possible 5 plates.

Stars Restaurant - Rooftop & Grill Room on Urbanspoon


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