Jul 19, 2012

Family Dinner Night at Crave

Before Grammy went back home to Massachusetts, we had dinner at Crave Kitchen & Cocktails. It’s always sad to see her go, but good food always lightens the mood! As my aunt and uncle hadn’t been to Crave before, I immediately suggested it for the evening.

What I love most about Crave is that their menu appeals to everyone. They take typical dinner entrees, amp them up with flavor and creativity, and voila! A menu that is sure to satisfy any type of eater. They also cater to those with special diets needs; they offer gluten-free, paleo, and Crossfit diet options. Should you be vegetarian or vegan, Chef Ganstrom is happy to serve something that is right for you. That said, no one of my family has any dietary restrictions, so we ordered straight off the regular menu.

Typically a man who enjoys his steak, my Uncle Johnny opted for the Chicken Marsala - Pan seared chicken breasts with wild forest mushrooms in a Marsala wine sauce, served over a bed of fettuccini. I think he mainly chose this entrée to see how it compared to what he creates at home. Luckily, he liked it just as much! Even Grammy who cooked for an Italian man for years said it rivaled hers.DSC00329

Grammy was very pleased with her Filet Mignon – 8 oz center cut prime filet grilled, served with a potato croquette and grilled asparagus, accompanied with a mushroom and onion demi glaze. The filet was juicy and tender, the asparagus was crisp, and the croquettes were piping hot pillows of rice. DSC00326

Gabrielle, my 11 year old cousin, excitedly ordered off the adult menu: Northern Italian Beef & Pork Bolognaise – House Ground Beef Tenderloin and Pork, stewed with tomatoes, served on a bed of Fettuccine. We all agreed this was one of our favorite dishes. Along with the herbed flavor in the meat, there was a touch of sweetness. I wish I knew the secret ingredient!DSC00327

Kelly and I opted for seafood, but don’t we always? It’s hard to say no to deliveries right from the Charleston waters. She went with the Sea Scallops – large sea scallops seared until golden brown, then served on top of a bed of rich lobster risotto and garlic pan fried green beans. You know, cooking scallops isn’t easy. One minute too long and you’ve got yourself a chewy mess. These were cooked perfectly and the risotto they were placed upon was creamy with chunks of lobster.DSC00328

I often tell Carmela, the sweet waitress who I always request, to tell Landen to “just make something delicious” or whatever it is that my body is craving. I am never disappointed. That evening I had a macadamia nut and coconut crusted filet of sea bass served atop asparagus, spinach, and sliced beets. Ahhhhh-mazing.DSC00325

When I said my family didn’t have any dietary restrictions, I wasn’t kidding. Chocolate is something that is never restricted from the table. I mean, why would we punish ourselves like that? ;) We ordered three desserts to share. My little cousin Zachary wanted the Baked Alaska – Mint chocolate chip ice cream, topped with flaming meringue, served over chocolate cake and fresh fruit with mojito syrup. The dessert actually comes out on fire. Zach got a kick out of that, but as soon as the flame disappeared, his fork was ready. This, so far, has been my favorite dessert at crave. You just can’t go wrong with the mint and chocolate combination. DSC00331

Grammy, the chocolate-obsessed member of our family requested Double fudge cake – Double layered French chocolate fudge cake with macaron almonds, topped with chocolate ganache and an almond twill cookie. This was very rich and definitely reminded me that I need to get some cavities filled. Worth it.DSC00333

Some wise person at the table (I actually think it was Johnny) ordered a fruit-based dessert: Baked Apple Crisp – Chef’s special oatmeal maple crisp topping, baked with North Carolina cinnamon apples served with vanilla bean ice cream and cinnamon reduction. I love this dessert, but I recommend it more in the fall when the weather is cooler. It gives you those warm, fuzzy feelings you have around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or Hanukkah. Or Kwanzaa. Or any Winter day really, let’s be honest.DSC00334

I was happy that everyone was so pleased with their meals. The other night when Kelly and I were chatting she told me, “Johnny and I have been craving Crave. Pun intended.” I think we’ll be back next week!

Do you have a special dietary need or restriction?

What do you typically order for dinner? I almost always choose a seafood entrée and rarely order pasta.

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