On Thursday, August 21, 2014 my husband and I celebrated 15 years of marriage!! We knew we wanted to go somewhere special for dinner while in Charleston and everyone we knew recommended Magnolia's as the place to be for fine dining. We booked our vacation about 12 weeks before we went and the week after we booked our hotels, we booked our table here at Magnolia's for our anniversary dinner. We were just a little excited.
We began with some complimentary bread with cream cheese parsley butter. Yumm - I need to figure out how to make that at home! When we arrived at the restaurant, the hostess and our waiter congratulated us on our anniversary and brought us complimentary glasses of champagne.
We shared two small plates...pan fried chicken livers and boiled peanut hummus. The chicken livers were served with country ham, caramelized onions, and a Madeira wine sauce. The dish was nice and salty with a crisp outer coating and a sumptuous inside. If you're a little put-off by the thought of eating liver, try them fried. Anything fried always tastes better and frying them can lessen the iron taste that liver sometimes has. These were delicious.
The boiled peanut hummus definitely had a unique flavor to it. First of all, if you've never had true boiled peanuts, you are missing out. Down in the South, they take peanuts, still in the shell, and boil them in really salty hot water, then dump them in a brown paper bag. They are soft and salty and soooo very good!! The best part is sucking all the salty juice out of the shell! Every time I think of boiled peanuts, I think of my grandfather, whom we called Bo-Dad. I was only a baby when he passed away but I've heard he would call them "bald peanuts", or at least that's how it would come out with his Georgian accent.
Back to our dinner though...this boiled peanut hummus had a subtle salty peanut flavor mixed with the flavor of chickpeas topped with a hot pepper relish and served with pickled okra (which I recently discovered I really love!) and crispy flatbread triangles.
For our entrees, Hubby chose sweet chili rubbed ahi tuna with habanero hummus, pepper jack spring rolls, roasted mango salsa, and a Creole remoulade. He usually goes for a steak at fancy restaurants like this but he decided to take a chance on a fish dish. And was not disappointed. A little bit of heat came through without it being overwhelming (though he probably would've liked more) and the Creole spices in the remoulade brought a unique flavor as well. The tuna was very nicely seared and was very flavorful. And a very pretty and colorful dish it was too!!
I wanted to go with the classic shrimp and grits, except this was a more upscale version and was actually shellfish and grits. Sauteed shrimp, scallops, and lobster over creamy white grits with a lobster butter sauce, and fried spinach for garnish. So rich and creamy!! I mean, whats not to like about lobster butter sauce! Very decadent! It was one of those dishes you just want to keep eating and eating but don't have room to squeeze it all in!
After our lovely dinner, we took a bike taxi back to our hotel! The air was hot and muggy but the ride on the bike taxi provided a cool breeze. It felt a little dangerous but was really fun, zipping around the corners from street to street, in and out of traffic, in the open night air, cars whizzing by. It was an exciting and romantic evening! Happy 15th anniversary, honey! Here's to another 15 happy years, should the Lord tarry!
Pablo gave Magnolia's 4.5 ants! Pablo approved!