Not really, but that's what happened anyways.
High Cotton in Greenville, SC, is wonderful. REALLY wonderful. We've been there several times for different occasions, and I don't think we've EVER had anything we don't like.
The atmosphere of High Cotton is warm and inviting, with a large open bar area and seating on two levels. It's right downtown, and the table we got at this particular meal was a window table overlooking the park and the river - definitely a bonus!
I'm not usually a cocktail drinker, but on this night we decided it'd be fun to have a drink before we ordered our dinner. I got a dirty martini, and YUM. Local blue cheese stuffed olives and Grey Goose FOR THE WIN. Incidentally, High Cotton has a great happy hour, so if you ever are in the mood for drinks and appetizers without breaking the bank this is a great place for that!
Instead of ordering entrees, Jay and I split several appetizer and salad selections. We had a seafood salad with an Asian-style vinaigrette with sesame oil that was wonderful. I always have a problem with seafood salads because they're sort of....lettuce and shrimp...and lot of the time, which this definitely was, but the inclusion of crab and the very sexy dressing made us love it. Still, though, I'm not sure I'll pay $13 again for a small salad with mainly shrimp and lettuce, no matter how great the dressing is. That's just how I roll - I'd rather spend eating out dollars on things I can't make easily and for ⅓ of the cost at home.
Our favorite thing of the whole night was the Oyster Gratin. We weren't sure what to expect, but Jay loves oysters in all forms, so we went for it. WHOA. These cuties were packaged with spinach and smoky cheese in their shell, then broiled and served over rock salt, whole anise, and peppercorns. The presentation was great, but the taste was AMAZING. We almost ordered a second order, seriously. They were super rich, as all gratins tend to be, but well worth every calorie. I can't remember an appetizer we've eaten out in recent months that has come close to comparing to this.
In addition to the seafood salad and the oysters, we ordered a cheese plate and pasta special with wine sauce and beef. The pasta was DELICIOUS, and we love that High Cotton uses local ingredients on their cheese plate.
Our server, Jason (?) was really wonderful. He gave us champagne and dessert since we were celebrating our engagement, and offered us a taste of another appetizer we wanted to try, the Hand Cut Steak Tartare. WHOA. Raw beef, kids. It's as good as raw fish. You knew that, right? This in particular, even though we only had a bite, was wonderfully flavorful and presented with pomegranate arils, which was a nice touch and a great burst of sweetness with the rich beef.
The dessert that we had was coconut rice pudding, and, again, WHOA. So delicious and different - Asian-inspired but still comforting as you'd expect Southern-Fusion food to be!
Of course, if you want great food and great service you're going to pay for it. This is NOT where we go when we want a fast, cheap meal, but for special nights out it's one of our favorites in Greenville. We keep it somewhat reasonable by ordering appetizers and salads instead of entrees, but drinks are always our downfall financially when eating out. Even though the cost is prohibitive for us sometimes at High Cotton, we love that it's right here in Greenville and always look forward to having an excuse (and the budget) to go there. Anyone wanna take us there? Anyone?
Go here, folks. You'll love it!