Apr 21, 2012

7 Course Tasting at Iacofano’s Italian Bistro & Bar

Last weekend, I was invited by Chef John Iacofano to come to his restaurant, Iacofano's, for a 7 course tasting dinner. I happily obliged, and brought my friend Rachel along with me. One of our coworkers is a long-time fan of Iacofano’s and he and his wife dine there at least 5 times per month. We’ve heard him tell us about his wonderful experiences there many times, so we were eager to see just how good their Italian food was.

The first thing you will notice about the restaurant is its décor. Although it’s in a strip mall, once inside the restaurant, you’re warmed by red painted walls filled with family photos. The staff is quiet, but friendly, and you will be greeted immediately. It’s always nice to walk in a restaurant and feel that the owners and staff appreciate your business.

Once seated, we were offered a glass of champagne. Way to start off the night! As we sipped our bubbly, our server brought Course 1: LOCAL STRAWBERRY SALAD: with baby lettuces, hazelnuts, goat cheese &
hibiscus vinaigrette:

The strawberries were from Boone Hall Farms – yay, local! The flavors complemented each other well. Our only gripe was that the vinaigrette was much too vinegary. I loved having hazelnuts instead of walnuts or almonds, which you typically see with strawberries & goat cheese.

Soon after, we were presented with Course 2: HOUSE PULLED MOZZARELLA
over roasted plum tomatoes, pesto, fresh cracked pepper & grilled Focaccia:DSC_0083

While eating this course, I probably said “Omg, this pesto” like five times. It was SO good. The tomatoes, also from a local farm, tasted like they had been plucked from the vine that afternoon. But seriously, that pesto…can I have it bottled?

Course 3: GRILLED CALAMARI - Chilled & marinated with pickled cherry peppers, Sicilian Oregano, Extra Virgin Olive Oil & lemon with chickpeas & sweet chili threads:DSC_0085

Before this dish, neither Rachel nor I had ever had grilled calamari. This dish was complex with a bit of heat from the peppers and chili threads. I loved the addition of lemon and chickpeas.

Course 4: SWEET CORN BISQUE with tarragon and fennel:DSC_0086

Oh, I liked this a lot. I usually stray away from fennel, but it wasn’t overpowering at all. You could tell the corn was fresh, as it had that nice crunch to it.

Course 5: PAN SEARED DIVER SCALLOPS -over green pea risotto, sweet corn broth & topped with fennel pollen:hThough I immediately dove into the pea risotto, the scallop ended up stealing my heart. This was, by far, one of the best tasting scallops I’ve had. It was cooked perfectly! I would never refuse another one of these scallops, no matter how full I was. Ahhh.

Course 6: RAVIOLI CARBONARA - parmesan cream filled ravioli with peas, bacon, and roasted mushrooms:DSC_0090

I thought this would be a heavier dish due to the parmesan, cream, and bacon, but the ravioli so light and tender.

And then came my dessert! Course 7 : CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TORTE and APPLE CAKE with cream cheese frosting, salted caramel sauce and strawberries.DSC_0094

Rachel and I just stopped talking and started mmmming at this point. As a chocolate cake lover, she enjoyed the chocolate torte. The apple cake was right up my alley, especially along side the salted caramel sauce. After the cake was gone, I used my fork to scrape up the rest of the caramel. I mean, wouldn’t you?

We really enjoyed our evening. Not only was the food divine, but we were constantly entertained by Chef John and our server. They were happy to tell us about the different ingredients, proudly noting that they were sourced from local farms. What I noticed  about all of the dishes was the freshness and effort put into each of them. The staff seems to be genuinely proud of the restaurant and its food, and I appreciate that.

Next time you find yourself craving Italian food while in Mount Pleasant, check out Iacofano’s. They also have affordable happy hour specials with excellent wine choices. Many of my friend Trish’s wines from Vidalco are on the wine list! TRY THE EL HUIQUE CABERNET SAUVIGNON. Do not leave the restaurant without having a glass. It’s incredible.

For more information on Iacofano’s, check out their

Tell John I sent you and ENJOY your dinner!

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