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ART / CULTURE / STYLE / UPCOUNTRY SOUTH CAROLINA

Tried and True

For fine dining with a personal touch, Augusta Grill remains a solid choice


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By M. Linda Lee
FEBRUARY 25, 2013

For fine dining with a personal touch, Augusta Grill remains a solid choice

 

With an old friend, you always know what to expect. Like a friend you’ve known for years, you can count on the Augusta Grill to be welcoming and consistent, in both its food and friendly service.

Augusta Grill, which opened 20 years ago, has the air of a neighborhood tavern where many customers find someone they know in the dining room. Dark-wood wainscoting, low lighting, and chocolate-brown walls create a den-like ambience in a space divided into three rooms: a large and lively bar area; a middle room full of back-to-back upholstered booths; and an adjoining room scattered with bare-wood tables and diminutive chairs.

The menu changes daily, but always includes several starters, a few small plates, and a handful of entrées. This gives diners good choices for mixing and matching, no matter their appetite.

Tonight, the pork and lentil soup yields a satisfying broth filled with tender pork, carrots, celery, lentils, and a little kick of cayenne. The pan-fried lobster and crab cake is a riff on the restaurant’s wildly popular jumbo lump crab cake—a menu feature every Wednesday night. Chunks of lobster and jumbo lump crab are held together with just enough filler to bind them and still allow the shellfish to stand out.

It’s refreshing to find entrée portions that are not too large to finish. My triggerfish comes with two lightly breaded fillets that share the plate with roasted potatoes, garlicky sautéed haricots verts, and a spoonful of squash casserole. The perfectly cooked triggerfish has a wonderful, meaty texture and a mild taste, enhanced by a lemony crabmeat beurre blanc.

A grilled, maple-glazed pork chop comes on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. As good as the triggerfish is, the pork chop escapes the kitchen overcooked. We didn’t mention this to our waiter, but when the owner comes over after our meal, we tell him of our disappointment. He apologizes sincerely and instructs us to always inform the staff immediately if something is not cooked to our liking. In that case, he assures us, they will replace the dish.

Dessert smoothes over any hiccups with a Chocolate Sin Pot, squares of chocolate cake soaked in Chambord and topped with chocolate crème brulee and fresh whipped cream. One bite and we lose ourselves in the dark-chocolate depths of this luscious finale.

By all means, think of Augusta Grill as a neighborhood standout.

Location:
1818 Augusta St, Greenville
(864) 242-0316,
augustagrill.com

Hours:
Tues–Sat, 6–11pm
Closed Sun and Mon

Price of dishes:
Entrées range from $19–$38

Don’t Miss:
Augusta Grill’s menu changes daily, but the stand-out crab cakes fill a spot every Wednesday.

 

© TOWN Greenville 2014