Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, New Restaurant, Good Times!

Last year, we went out for New Year's Eve and kind of wished we hadn't. Not that we didn't have a good time, but at the end of the night the idea of staying home with a bottle of champagne and some movies sounded a lot more relaxing than going downtown, finding parking, pushing our way into a crowded get the gist.

This year, we definitely entertained the idea of staying in--until an event  with The Greenville Wine Meetup caught my attention. Apparently, Table 301--a Greenville restaurant company that owns some of the best places in town--is opening a new restaurant. And for $25 per person we would get a New Year's Eve party complete with heavy h'ordeuvres, live music and a champagne toast at midnight. On top of that, we would be the first people in Greenville to see the new restaurant and know its name! Needless to say, we couldn't pass up this opportunity. We bought our tickets and headed out on New Year's Eve for what we hoped would be a memorable night.

Upon arrival at the new restaurant, we immediately received a pamphlet about the new restaurant, which is apparently named Nose Dive. And I have to be honest, we're not too keen on the name. However, everything else about this place seems to be on the up-and-up. To wit:

-The location. Smack dab in the central area of downtown, right next to the Westin Poinsett on South Main. Enough said.

-The decor and layout. Simple to the point of being spartan, but in a sleek way that foretells this becoming another success for Table 301. I hope that the table layout downstairs remains similar as it was nice to not be crowded in a somewhat small space. The fact that there are bars both upstairs and down is a huge plus as well, and I cannot say enough good things about the booths that they installed upstairs. Red cushioned booths, intimate enough on their own, but with the added plus of curtains that I'm guessing can be drawn to give one even more privacy, if desired.

-The drink menu. Nose Dive promises both a good wine selection and a decent beer selection. Maybe not long lists of either, but a good mix of small-batch brews and both reasonably priced and higher-end wines are combinations that many restaurants lack.

-The food. Now, we only had h'ordeuvres, but if the selection and quality they offered on New Year's Eve foretells what will be on the menu, this is a definite winner. Table 301 is referring to Nose Dive as a "gastropub", and between the gourmet mini-burgers, Reuben sandwiches, duck with a sort of apple confit, and amazing cheese selection they were offering the other night, we absolutely cannot wait to experience the full menu. It's about time Greenville had some true pub fare, especially when that fare is slightly higher-end.

-The service. The bartenders were kept busy all night, but when they needed extra help it was there and we never waited more than five minutes or so to order a drink. Busboys were a constant, quietly coming round to pick up empty glasses and napkins as needed. And that champagne toast at midnight? They brought the drinks out right on time and emptied trays quite efficiently. As far as I could tell, anyone who wanted a glass of champagne had one (or more!) by 11:55 or so, and as we left we were given more incentive to come back in the form of invitations to join their wine club and great Nose Dive t-shirts.

All in all, not only was this a great, different way to spend our New Year's Eve, but it made us all the more excited for this new Table 301 restaurant and as per the usual, was yet another notch in the belt for how much we love Greenville.

Happy New Year from your favorite Southern Yankees ;o)

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