The Lowcountry is blessed with many wonderful places to eat. But if you think that fine dining is available only in Charleston’s tony downtown establishments, it’s high time for a short drive to the beach, where you might just discover some new favorites.
Sullivan’s Island is home to several restaurants; one you might have passed by is High Thyme Cuisine. There may be more boisterous establishments, but, if you are seeking an excellent meal, this is a small place that is big on flavor.
Inside or out on the patio, the menu is the same, offering a bounty of local foods, including seafood fresh from the surf and produce fresh from the fields of area farmers.
Creative appetizers marry together unexpected ingredients, such as the seared yellowfin tuna, which is served over arugula salad with white beans and accented with Castelvetrano olives and boiled eggs. It is all enhanced with a roasted red pepper vinaigrette. Even the steamed mussels in their white wine garlic butter broth are jazzed up with jalapenos, sweet corn, applesmoked bacon and sun-dried tomatoes.
A variety of salads, including the classic Caesar and a baby spinach salad with honey bacon vinaigrette, also are on the menu, but beware of ordering too many appetizers and salads because the main course is not to be missed.
Our server recommended several of the evening’s specials, but my husband was powerless to resist a favorite meal – roasted chicken and three-cheese lasagna. With a traditional red tomato sauce and garnished with fresh basil, it was a delight. And the shrimp linguine, swimming in a fragrant, delicious balsamic tomato butter broth and accented with fresh parmesan and basil, has become a new favorite.
There are so many more wonderfully creative dishes – such as pan-seared pork medallions over smoked gouda grits and mustard greens or mushroom and asparagus risotto, which is finished with shaved parmesan and white truffle oil – as well as favorites including the grilled beef tenderloin over mashed potatoes and haricot vert.
Tuesdays are special at High Thyme Cuisine. The tapas menu, smaller portions packed with flavor, ranges from comfort food such as chicken pot pie sealed with a cheddar biscuit crust to that Southern staple, shrimp with pepper jack cheese grits, to a Szechwan rubbed beef tenderloin with wasabi roasted potatoes. Selected wine specials are available.
When dinner is so delicious, you can be sure that Sunday brunch is also elevated to a higher level. The usual breakfast fare is on the menu, but venture away from scrambled eggs. In addition to shrimp and grits, offerings include crab cake benedict, shrimp and chorizo omelets, classic BLTs and a variety of fresh salads.
A full service bar and friendly, casual service complement the perfectly seasoned cuisine. High Thyme Cuisine also is available for private events, including holiday parties, bridal parties, business luncheons and off-site catering.
And if you’re not in the mood to go out, High Thyme Cuisine will gladly provide takeout. It is almost as good as being there.
High Thyme Cuisine is located at 2213 Middle St. on Sullivan’s Island and is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and for Sunday brunch. More information is available at www.HighThymeCuisine.com.