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09 December 2011

Tonight's Episode: The First Heartbeat...

      James Island has long struggled to find it's niche in the Charleston food scene.  The limited range and lack of higher-end choices (Don't get me started on the joke that was Roadside Kitchen) means we have to drive ALL the way Downtown for a good dinner. Into that void steps Heart Woodfire Kitchen.
Beautiful open kitchen with wood oven
 What once was a creepy hippy shed that was home to the Daily Dose, we now have a large and bright restaurant with an open kitchen and eventually a great patio space. With the titanic ceilings and spare furniture, the dining room feels clean and spacious. I would have preferred warmer colors for the walls, maybe some faux brick work, but still inviting.
      As The Girl, our friend Captain Awesome, and I work on the menu, I order a delicious cocktail. A Carolina Cup made with Pimm's No 1, muddled basil and lime, lime juice, simple syrup, and ginger beer ($6). Very light and refreshing, and a fun little cocktail.
  Carolina Cup, without the pastel-clothed drunken frat boys

  For an appetizer I went with the Prosciutto wrapped Fontina speidie ($7), a skewer of grilled happiness served with a tasty buckwheat salad. The smoky prosciutto and creamy fontina make a wonderful,  if small, start to the meal.

  Captain Awesome got the ball rolling by ordering the baked four-cheese macaroni with tomato cream sauce and bread crumbs ($9). This gooey bowl of shells was tasty, though The Girl and I both prefer smaller pasta for mac-n-cheese. The breadcrumbs give a great texture and the Captain polished off the entire bowl.
Place your ear to the bowl to hear the cheese
  The Girl decided on one of the flatbreads, Sweet Potato & Prosciutto ($9). The flatbread itself has a nice crunch, and the combination of onions and cheese is delicious. The problem lies in the combination of rounds of sweet potato and the prosciutto. While tasty, it is very one note. I would prefer a more crispy meat, such as speck. I would also like it finished with fresh arugula after it comes out of the oven. This dish might be better as a shared app so you don't get tired of the flavor.
Juuuuuust missed the note

My dish of choice, the Pork Shoulder with salsa verde and choice of side ($13). I made a great decision choosing the sweet potato chips for my side. Crispy and salty-sweet, I just wish they were served in a bowl. On the plate the oil and juice from the pork soaked right into them. The pork itself was delicious, the salsa verde (which looked a lot like chimichurri to me) was tasty, though the meat was a little over done for my taste. I like a nice amount of pink. Still a good dish though.
 It isn't 1984, pork can be pink I promise

There wasn't a lot to choose from for dessert. A cookie and a chocolate torte. Guess which the Girls went with? The torte ($4) was rich with a nice cream, and both ladies destroyed it, though I found it overly sweet and the crust tasted store bought. That's okay, there are enough tasty sounding apps that I don't need sweets.
It puts the cream on the torte or it gets the hose again

  I did have a little problem with the service. While friendly, our server pestered us with questions about how our meal was, but wouldn't stand still long enough to receive an actual answer. Don't ask me how my food is if all you want is a thumb's up.
  The Girl, Captain Awesome, and I leave to look at some Christmas lights. Full bellies, happy smiles, and a wallet that hasn't been taken out back and beaten means we will be back. A great addition to the neighborhood, and hopefully one that will last long enough to find their footing. (I made it through this entire post without one Achey Breaky Heart joke. I'm so proud of myself.)

The Scores: 
Ambiance: 3/5
Food: 7/10
Service: 3/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 17 out of 25, Solid food, fun concept, and if you live on James Island, great location.

Heart Woodfire Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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