I’ve known Chef Joe Dimaio for several years since he was a line chef at the The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary out on Kiawah, I feel honored to have witnessed his career soar and lead him to the title of Executive Chef at Stars Restaurant. This guys passion for food is contagious and I can’t help but get excited listening to him describe what he currently is interested in and working on. I’ve eaten his food for several years and always been pleased and enjoyed it but last night I decided to take a new approach and when the server asked what Id like to order I replied, “I’d like the Chef to send out whatever he liked me to try.” That solved that. The mixologist came out from behind the bar, asked what flavors I liked in a cocktail, then spoke with the chef to find out what I was going to eat and from that point on, I just sat back and enjoyed what came out. I’ve learned, that’s the way to really enjoy a culinary journey.
The FOOD: First course-Steak Tartare. This is not a normal order for me, I’ve never been one to get excited about it on the menu (but when you ask the chef to choose for you, you eat what comes out). Wow-I was caught off guard about how much I really enjoyed it (I actually ate half the plate, by myself!). It was melt in your mouth good, and I have no idea what that sauce was, but it just made it all come together for me (rated 10 out of 10). Next came out the Spit Roasted Organic Chicken plate (with a yogurt herb sauce and shaved black truffle on top). Damn. That combo is not something I would read on a menu and think to order, but bite after delicious bite I fell more and more in love. It made me feel like I was home (ironically I did not grow up in a home like that, but wish I had). It just made me happy and feel good. Rated 10 out of 10). Dessert: Creme Brulee (with roasted pistachios, blackberry sauce and finished off with some blood orange). I had the pleasure of getting to try this dish before it hits the menu. I have NEVER, never, never heard of this combo, it’s gonna be a hit! The extra crunch of the nuts was awesome and add blood orange to anything and I’m in love. The blackberry sauce was a nice touch but maybe alittle too much for me (but trust me, I’m ordering it again! Rated 8.5 out of 10).
If you haven’t dined at this Charleston hot spot, put it on your list of places to try. The atmosphere of the resturant is lively, the food is delicious and I didn’t even mention how fun the rooftop is…but check it out for yourself and decide what you think!
Damn, that was a good meal!
(Profile pic of Joe Dimaio from Stars Resturaunt website).