Thursday, May 17, 2012

Charleston Edition: Soho's Italian Restaurant

I saw Soho's when I went to the Capitol Market last year, but I didn't have a chance to go in. Basically at the end of this long building full of farmers' market meats, cheeses and other goodies (as well as many produce items outside), is this Italian restaurant. It strikes me as a lunch place, so we did just that on a Saturday afternoon.

A hostess greeted us then walked us back toward a table. In the middle, however, she stopped at another table to drop off some silverware and napkins. Note: It is entirely awkward to be standing next to a table of strangers, looking at you, while the hostess is dropping something off. It could've waited til the next trip. Regardless, we were seated, and our waiter came for our drinks.

This guy had been doing this for years, obviously. Jovial, joking and happy, our waiter was having a good time with us. I asked if I could have a water - he says, "I don't know - can you?" with a toothy grin. Usually I'd be annoyed, but his tone was playful.

I was looking for something light, so I skipped to the salad section. I saw a caprese salad, and if you know me, you know I need look no further. As we waited for our order, I looked around. I couldn't get a real feel for the restaurant - it seemed to have a mixed group of people. That made me comfortable.

My salad came out with huge slices of tomato, smaller slices of fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, accompanied by some fresh bread. It was all drenched in extra virgin olive oil and some Italian dressing. It had some cracked pepper on top, and the flavors were kickin'. Tomatoes were huge, bread was fresh, mozzarella could have been more soft and fresh, but it was still good. I ate every last bit of this dish. And I would do it again.

For dessert, we both ordered a bread pudding. If I haven't mentioned it before, my family, on the Nelson side, is known for their bread pudding (and wine-making). So I have pretty high standards for bread pudding. When it came out, it was a huge, huge chunk. It was pretty sweet - complete with white chocolate morsels. You know, it was definitely an "Americanized" version, made for a sweet tooth, but ... guilty as charged. It was warm, fluffy, hearty and yummy for a rainy day outside.

I really enjoyed this place; I'll be back.

Grade: A
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