Need a romantic, elegant dinner spot for a special night, Rick Erwin’s Clemson location fits the bill. Opened in October 2014, the Patrick Square location is an upscale dining option for the nearby residents, a casual pizzeria is across the street. Plenty of free parking is available. Surrounded by single family homes, town homes and upscale business offices, the restaurant is a good option for after work drinks or a quiet anniversary dinner for two.
Upon entering the foyer, the bar is to the left and the dining room is to the right. Rick Erwin’s offers a beautiful, modern bar area with over 300 wine selections. The perfect spot to wind down after a busy day.
White linen tablecloths adorn the earth-toned dining room. Calmly lit but very intimate, the dining room can accommodate 140 patrons. Beautifully designed, the dining room reminds me of a wine cellar. Oak, wood and earthy tones make the space comfortable and imbued with sentimental overtones.
The mahogany bar area seats approximately 20 with a few high-top tables. The bar opens at 4 PM, which allows time for a cocktail prior to the dining room opening, which is at 5 PM. With prompt service, the well versed bar staff are familiar with all classic cocktails.
Time for dinner
Doug and I had just finished a business meeting in Patrick Square. We were in business casual clothing and did not want pizza. We waited until Rick Erwin Clemson opended and decided to give it a try. We have not ate at his other locations, which are all in Greenville County.
Between us, we ordered a Manhattan and a Jack -n- Coke. Both were excellent, not too strong. We decided to eat at the bar.
We ordered appetizers, including a half dozen of East Coast Oysters described as being served on the half shell with cucumber mignonette, horseradish, cocktail sauce, saltines. The oysters were large, fresh and delicious. The mignonette, which can be frequently overpowering on oysters, was crisp and light. A mignonette is a condiment, traditionally served with oysters, is a sauce always made with shallots, cracked pepper and some type of vinegar.
I ordered the tempura broccoli, half portion. I could not believe the size of this portion. It was enough for two to enjoy as a meal.
The tempura batter was a nice twist, however, the spicy, hoisin type sauce was too much. I could barely finish 3-4 pieces. The sauce was sweet and sticky, but did not resemble a barbecue sauce. I was confused by this combination.
Entrees at Rick Erwin Clemson
Doug ordered the 14 ounce, Kansas City New York Strip, medium. Cooked perfectly, with a beautiful presentation, his steak had a deep beef flavor. The menu indicated “dry-aged” but the server was unable to tell us how long the steak had been dry-aged.
[jbutton color=”red” rounded=”yes” size=”large”]Dry-aging beef is an expensive process, as the beef must be refrigerated for an extended amount of time, in near freezing conditions. Usually only butcher shops or high end steak restaurants can afford these accommodations. The process dries the surface of the meat and moisture evaporates from the muscle of the beef, forming a greater concentration of beef flavor. Also, the beef’s natural enzymes breakdown the connective tissue in the muscle, resulting in a much more tender cut of beef.[/jbutton]
I ordered the half portion of Pappardelle Pasta. The pasta was tender and good, however, it did not hold the sauce very well. It had a slightly doughy texture, which made the dish slightly dry. The pork was delicious and accompanied the greens very well. Overall, the dish was elegant and pleasing; however it is no longer on the Eastside location menu.