Saluda’s has been on our list of restaurants to try for awhile now, and on the eve eve of the famed St. Patty’s Day Five Points Festival, we finally made it up the carpeted wooden staircase to this second-story fine dining Columbia, SC establishment.
At our table on the front balcony, we had a great view of Five Points and beyond. The Five Points fountain was dyed green and visions of “Irish Car Bombs” had been dancing in our heads for days, but Saluda’s calls for a little more refinement, so we opted to start our evening with a glass of chardonnay instead of the festive mixture of Guinness, Baileys, and Jameson. Every now and then our nostrils would flare as plates of food passed our table. Anticipation was certainly in the air, and it smelled amazing!
We were attended by a very courteous and knowledgable waiter, who was able to rattle off an abundance of specials with delicious descriptions and made great recommendations for our meal. Having heard our waiters speil, we started with The Oyster BLT, a unique take on a Southern classic.
Fried oysters over a bed of greens, topped with crispy slices of bacon and some sort of remoulade or aioli (Pictures were a bit difficult, given the lighting). With the delicious flavors of the crisp oyster and cuts of fatty pork fading on our taste buds, we took on the always difficult decision of deciding on an entrée. Wait, you said BLT! The remoulade made have had some tomato-ey elements to it. But did it really matter? We had our bacon. What else can you ask for in an appetizer? It was remarkable.
Pan-Seared Scallops over Sweet Potatoes. Two ears of fried potato supported by several large scallop medallions, all on an island of mashed sweet potato swimming in broth. Pleasantly rich. The sweet potatoes combined with the broth to form a delicious thick sauce that coated the scallops. The presentation is unique and fun, and if you want, you can even pretend it’s a rabbit!
Fish Du Jour. The Chef’s daily special of freshly caught seafood. In this case, it was a enticing cut of salmon. Cooked to perfection. The Chef’s specialty is seafood, and he really put his talents on display with our meal. The sear on the salmon and scallops was perfect, giving the outside the right amount of texture and flavor and while retaining the juices. We paired our entrées with a glass of The Dreaming Tree 2009 “Crush” , a bottle of wine produced in part by Dave Matthews. So of course it was some of the Best of What’s Around (where are the crackers, cause that joke was cheeeeee-sy).
For dessert we had a slice of a blueberry cobbler cheesecake. This. Was. Awesome. Just look at that artful presentation and the layer of sweet blueberry cobbler crust. And with the last forkful of the cobbler, our meal was (very unfortunately) at an end.
Saluda’s creates an intimate and relaxing atmosphere. The lighting is warm and the dining room spacious, and the chef certainly knows how prepare his seafood. They boast an abundance of daily specials, including a happy hour from 4-8; $3 for a glass of house wine, liquor, and draft beer. Come on into this fine dining Columbia, SC restaurant for a relaxing night of drinks and eats.
Saludas, Columbia SC