Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fulton Five - Charleston, SC

This was our third trip to Fulton Five, but our first since starting a food blog.  I had no doubts that they would deliver an outstanding dining experience (based on the first two visits) and I was not disappointed.  There is very little to nitpick at this restaurant so I'll get the only one out of the way.  It's a small place, it will be crowded and it will be a bit noisy.  There's really nothing they can do about it, and in some ways the background noise enhances the ability to have a private conversation in a crowded restaurant.  The only reason I bring it up is to make sure you are not surprised by this and let it interfere with what will inevitably be a delight of a meal.

Fulton Five specializes in Northern Italian cuisine.  This focus allows them to consistently deliver amazing food, without being distracted by the latest foodie trend.  This is not to say that the food is boring in any way.  It is not!  They take the cuisine in great directions, while sticking to their roots.

Obviously, I love the food here, but my next favorite part is the service.  They have a knowledgeable and extremely helpful staff that knows every aspect of what the restaurant is doing.  They work great as a team and it's obvious that their is low turnover and great leadership by the manager.  If you aren't sure what you'd like, ask.  If you want to know what wine is best with your food, ask.  They'll know, and they are genuinely enthusiastic when they talk about food and wine.

Now to our food:

We started with a pair of appetizers.  I got the bruschetta special, a delectable combination of white beans, tomatoes and an awesome balsamic drizzle.  The picture doesn't do it justice (bad blogger bit before taking picture!)  I don't know how they kept the bread crispy with all the wonderfulness on top - but they did.  I gave it a near perfect 4.75.  So close to a 5 that I can't really enumerate why it wasn't a 5, except to say a 5 is something almost godlike and special.
Kari got the same thing she always gets, the Arugala Salad.  This cornucopia of lusciousness has perfect, crisp, spicy arugala, combined with figs, marcona almonds, parmesan and a super lemon vinaigrette.  The picture doesn't do this one justice either.  It also scored a 4.75.
Kari also had the Shrimp Tagliatelle with Pesto Cream Sauce.  The shrimp were excellent and the pasta obviously house made and perfectly al dente.  The basil was exactly balanced with the cream in the sauce.  We scored this a 4.25.
Sort of lastly was my Braised Beef Short Ribs.  I originally thought it was over risotto, but it turned out to be something akin to grits - I forgot to ask what.  The beef was perfectly cooked, more than fork tender - I would call it baby tender.  The outside had that crisp, flavorful crust that is the hallmark of great beef and the satisfaction of my most primitive desires regarding my food.  The sauce was deep, rich and made my soul happy.  I give the dish a 4.5.

Go here.  Take a date you want to impress.  Enjoy the amazing bread and olive oil they start you with and prepare yourself for some great food.  I love Charleston food, and the great thing about Fulton Five is that they fit perfectly in this great food city, but are distinctly different in a way that really stands out from the crowd.

Fulton Five on Urbanspoon

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