Our dinner at SNOB started somewhat inauspiciously. I was so obsessed with being able to find Unity Alley (dinner the next night), that I plugged that and not East Bay Street into the directions. Good thing it’s only a few blocks from McCrady’s.
SNOB, which stands for “slightly north of Broad,” is dimly lit and cozy, lots of exposed brick, high ceilings, as if it had been a warehouse or factory maybe, with a brightly lit open kitchen. With oddly enough, several bins of produce in front of the main counter. Not sure how else to describe that display …
The menu is interesting, with essentially three different sized plates, small, medium and large, so you’re able to do a starter and main or a starter and medium or share a medium and a get your own main … you get the idea. It’s a nice concept, especially in Charleston where you are unlikely to go hungry.
G and I shared a medium sized dish, the steamed local clams. Secretly, I was hoping he’d want to share the sautéed gnocchi with mustard greens, but just the word “mustard” sends him scrambling for cover … The clams were outstanding. Terrific broth and flavors. Unusual (to me) in the serving of clams in the tomato and fennel broth. That was our favorite part of dinner.
We decided on white wine – no need to pile red wine on top of a whole mess of bourbon from Husk bar. The wine list – actually lists – were interesting. There was a reserve wine list where everything was over $100 and then the everyday where things were much more palatable, around $50, with some up to $90 and other choices down in the $30 range. However, I hardly recognized any wines. Not that that’s good or bad. I just wasn’t familiar with the sommelier’s choices. The sancerre we picked was good and went well with the clams and with my main dish, at least.
My scallops were a success, seared on a 700 degree (or more) surface and still chewy and succulent inside. The scallops were topped off with slightly wilted bitter greens that tasted almost like arugula, in a slightly lemon-y broth.
Sadly, G did not enjoy his triggerfish. We can’t quite decide if that’s because he was expecting something different, he doesn’t like triggerfish or it just wasn’t good. Or if his taste buds were still impaired by bourbon.
In truth, we were tired from our travels, upset by our experience at the hotel (more later) and either still drunk or beginning to be hungover from our Husk bar experience. In other words, don’t throw the towel in on SNOB, it was probably us …
If brunch at their sister restaurant High Cotton (what a name!) the next morning was any indication, SNOB deserves another chance.