Searching for a nice, less expensive restaurant for Valentine’s Day dinner was not difficult after I saw Chef Teri Youngblood profiled on local WYFF. She is one of four chefs in South Carolina chose to be a state culinary ambassador, by the governor. She’ll spend 2016, touring the Southeast at various culinary events, giving cooking demonstrations and educational seminars.
Quaint but comfortable, this French bistro setting offers guest the choice of dining inside or a veranda that is heated and enclosed during the cooler weather. The restaurant sits at the start of Liberty Bridge in Falls Park. Interior is fresh with French artwork and eastern European style furniture. One bathroom serves all guest, which could be slightly inconvenient on those busiest of evenings or weekends. The restaurant offers a moderate selection of French wines and the standard bar mixed drink choices.
One of Chef Youngblood’s signature dishes is her Mussels Passerelle. which stars Prince Edward Island mussels that have been proclaimed by diners to be the best in the upstate. The saffron cream sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the white wine broth the mussels are quickly cooked in. Another white wine and cream sauce accompanies her helix snails, Escargot. Amazingly tender and delectable, I would truly recommend these to all her guest. The Chicken Paillard is a sautéed, crispy chicken breast, served over beautiful egg pappardelle pasta, with a light cream sauce, capers and arugula salad. Although these dishes sound simple, flavor was the hypnotic factor, which was especially evident in the finale, French Crème Brulee. The vanilla bean and caramelized sugar was “burnt” just to perfection, with a rich, creamy egg yolk custard that even a Crème Brulee hater would love.
Initially searching for a Valentine’s Day dinner getaway, I would love to return and try a few entrees from the Saturday and Sunday brunch menu. Reservation are not mandatory, but highly recommended.