Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar

Haute cuisine in Northeast Columbia? It’s finally here.

Although it’s located on Sparkleberry and Clemson Road in Northeast Columbia, when you walk into Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar you could easily be in NYC. The décor definitely has big-city feel.

We were able to snag reservations for their second night open to the public. Although it appeared they were more than fully staffed, they were still only taking limited reservations and working with a limited menu.

I started the night with one of their signature drinks, a Pear Sparkler. I wish I had remembered my camera, because even the drinks were swanky and cool. A combination of house made pear vodka and a few other magic ingredients (which escape me right now).

The meal started with an amuse of roasted beets with fennel and citrus. The beets were a little al dente, but the flavor combination was fantastic.

The menu items we tried….


“BLT” Caesar Salad
Roasted Vine Ripe Tomato, Applewood Bacon, Parmesan Crisp

Maytag Blue Cheese Polenta stuffed Portobello Mushroom
Rosemary Oil, Organic Spinach Salad, Roasted Red Peppers

Seared Diver Scallops
Vanilla-Saffron Cream, Strawberry-Fennel Relish


Zinfandel-Molasses braised Beef Short Ribs
Parmesan Potato Puree, Zinfandel Demi Glace, braised Swiss Chard

Brown Sugar In-house brined White Marble Farms Pork Chop
homemade Blue Cheese fused Applesauce, Wild Berry Pan Sauce, Butternut Squash Hash

Cedar Planked Wild Salmon
Roasted Mushrooms, Parmesan Potato Puree, Balsamic Butter Sautéed Spinach

The highlight for me was dessert. I got the Solstice version of Coffee & Donuts. It was an almond-espresso custard with a fresh made donut. AMAZING!

Our meals were stunning. The dishes were elegantly (but not pretentiously) plated. The food was both traditional and contemporary at the same time. We were thrilled with our meals. For only its second night open to the public it appears the kitchen team has really come together.

I was surprised there weren’t any vegetarian entrees on the menu, but when I spoke with owner Michael Cramer via email a few days after our visit to let him know how much we enjoyed ourselves, he assured me there would be when menu was finally completed.

Solstice is a modern restaurant, with a warm color palette, a beautiful custom-designed bar, and modern lighting. The room is casual but cool with music to match. The service staff members are friendly and polite. There is a large private room that takes up a large portion of the restaurant, but the intimacy of the rest of the dining area ensures you are well looked after.

I can’t wait to go back.

Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar
841-4 Sparkleberry Lane
(803) 788-6966


Anonymous said...

Solstice Kitchen sounds wonderful...can't wait to try it!

Anonymous said...

This is a top-notch restaurant with flavorful, creative food that is well presented. Superior service. Even the most discriminating visitor will not be disappointed.