A Restaurant Review – Another Trip to Crave!

I told you that my girlfriends and I went to Crave for dinner on Saturday night to celebrate my bachelorette party, but I didn’t say much else about the meal. Ready for the details?

We started by ordering some wine – a bottle of red and a bottle of white. We sipped away while studying the menu and snacking on the complimentary warm bread and butter.

After much indecisiveness on everyone’s part, we were ready to order. I ultimately decided to order the Spinach and Tomato Grilled Cheese ($9) as an appetizer for the table to share. I knew I HAD to have it one way or another, but most of the girls were ordering some of the more expensive entrees. I felt like I should get something a little fancier too, but didn’t want to give up the grilled cheese. This was a perfect compromise. I could have a few bites of my grilled cheese and also get a fancier dish as my main meal.

grilled cheese
It was just as good as I remembered and it was gone in no time. Everyone quickly knew why I love this sandwich so much. 
Now, if I thought I was in love with the grilled cheese, I fell even more in love with the Sea Scallops ($25) I ordered for my entree. The seared scallops were served with green beans and the most amazing lobster risotto in the world.
scallops
Actually, I don’t think I can honestly say I’ve ever had any other lobster risotto, so technically I don’t have authority to declare it the best in the world, BUT I promise you…It was heavenly. Everything about my dish was above and beyond my expectations. 
I also sampled a few bites of my sister’s fish tacos and my mom’s black bean salad. Oh yeah. Maybe a few bites of the award winning mac and cheese too. 
I was overwhelmed with pure goodness for most of the meal. So many delicious things coming from all directions!
Although we were just about stuffed by then end of dinner, I couldn’t pass up dessert. Our waitress recommended the Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake ($8) so we decided to get a slice to split. Thankfully my dear friends let me have more than my fair share of bites, or maybe I was just a little agressive with my fork and forced the others away. 
caramel cake
This cake is one of their several gluten free menu items, in case that is of interest to you. I didn’t even realize that until we had just about finished the piece, but you would never know the difference. It tasted like any other gluten-filled cake I’ve ever had. 
If you can’t tell, I love this place. It’s a Charleston MUST for locals or visitors alike. 
They have plenty of options to suit any palate or dietary need, so there’s really no excuse not to give it a try. 
Crave on Urbanspoon

Warm Seafood Salad

This past Friday was date night for Greg and me. With Restaurant Week going on all around us, I’m not too sure why we chose Carrabba’s, but by the end of the meal I didn’t feel like I missed out on much. Between the bread and olive oil, antipasti plate, and seafood salad, I was perfectly happy without true “Charleston” food. 

My main entree was the Insalata Johnny Rocco, which has quickly become one of my favorite salads. It’s filled with shrimp, scallops, roasted red peppers, olives and ricotta salata (for those of you like me who didn’t know what this meant, it’s a type of ricotta that has been “pressed, salted and dried.”) So good!!
What’s not so good are leftover salad greens that have already been coated in dressing and the juices from the  vegetable toppings. Soggy and gross. No thanks.

So when I started getting pretty full about half way through my salad (bread and an appetizer will do that to you!), I realized I needed to strategize. I focused on only eating the greens and other veggies from the bowl. I ended up saving about half of the shrimp and scallops to bring home. 
Fast-forward to lunchtime on Saturday and the leftovers were calling my name. The seafood amped up my usual sauteed veggie plate in this warm seafood salad. I used completely different vegetables than what the seafood was originally served with at Carrabba’s, so it had a completely different taste. 
It filled me up almost just as much as the salad at dinner the night before, but I still a room for one or two – ok, two and a half – of my Snickerdoodle Bars.
Warm Seafood Salad
Makes 1 serving
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter or margarine 

Assorted shrimp and scallops, about 8 pieces total or 1/2 a cup
1/2 of a whole zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1/3 cup onion, sliced
1/2 medium green bell pepper
3 cups raw spinach 
Salt and pepper to taste 
Directions:
1. Melt butter on a medium skillet over medium-low heat. 
2. Add shrimp and scallops. Cook for about 3 minutes, flipping occasionally. Add zucchini, onion and beller pepper. Cook another 4-5 minutes, or until vegetables become tender and just begin to turn brown. 
3. Turn heat down to low. Add spinach and stir everything together. Cook about 1-2 minutes, or until spinach leaves begin to wilt. Season with salt and pepper and stir one final time. Serve immediately.