Chive Blossom Cafe
Locals know that buildings don’t often tell the whole story, so don’t let this eatery’s unassuming structure fool you – there’s plenty of serious eats to be had inside at Chive Blossom, a quaint café on the Causeway that specializes in eclectic takes on traditional Lowcountry fare.
The dinner menu begins with a few small plates like She Crab soup, Hot Crab & Artichoke spread with crispy lavash, and Brandied Chicken Liver Pate, which is served with housemade pickles, a few dipping sauces, and grilled cranberry walnut bread. It’s probably best to order one or two of these for the table to nibble on while anticipating the rest of the meal.
For Starters, there really isn’t a standout among the five offerings – they’re all impressive. Choose from Charred Octopus with preserved lemon and fried capers, Parmesan Fried Oysters with baby arugula and potato oyster jus, Dried Mango and Pistachio-Crusted Scallops over spaghetti squash with ginger cream, Prince Edward Island Mussels with tomatoes and capers in a white wine butter sauce, and Shrimp Stuffed Medjool Dates with Applewood smoked bacon and smoked gouda.
Highlights on the Main course list include a Fried Seafood Sampler (a staple at any coastal seafood restaurant worth its saltwater) with fried okra and yellow grits; Panko-Crusted Flounder over Israeli cous cous with broccolini, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil cream; and Cippino, an Italian-American stew with California origins, repurposed here with shrimp, crab, scallops, mussels, and fresh market fish in a tomato white wine saffron broth.
A handful of Chilled and Noodle dishes are also available, including items like Short Rib Ravioli with mustard greens, sweet potato, and a root vegetable reduction; and Pan-Seared Asian Duck Breast with caramelized onions, field greens, and a shitake vinaigrette.
And if you filled up on soup, spreads, and starters, a nice selection of Small Plates are available for those in the mood for dishes like Southern Fried Semi Boneless Quail, Seafood Pot Pie, Sautéed Chicken Livers, or Crab Crepes.
Many of the dinner options are also available at lunch, in addition to specialties like Greek Style Lamb Tacos, Curry Chicken Waldorf Salad, a Fried Green Tomato sandwich, and a good-old Angus Burger.
As noted above, the emphasis here is on the food, but that doesn’t mean the surroundings aren’t worth mention. You wouldn’t think it pulling up to the restaurant, but the interior is playfully-upscale – a smart combination of white linen napkins and a well-appointed wooden bar, faux-taxidermy wildlife, and contemporary/folk-art lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling. There’s also a large courtyard with oak trees hanging over the linen-covered tables, making for a scenic spot to spend an afternoon or evening.