Gwen Fowler



Euphoria rocks Greenville with great food and music

Posted 9/25/2010 10:13:00 AM

Greenville's top restaurants dished up their best Friday night at Euphoria's Taste of the South as rocker Edwin McCain, with friends Shawn Colvin and Maia Sharp, entertained a satisfied crowd.

The sold-out event is one of the most popular of Euphoria, a food, wine and music celebration that continues through Sunday in downtown Greenville.

At tables spread around the Peace Center Amphitheatre, some of the city’s best chefs served up small plates of innovative foods, and I did my best to try as much as possible.

One of my favorites, prepared by Soby’s Chef Shaun Garcia, was a slow-cooked Red Wattle pork, topped with green tomato marmalade, served with sweet potatoes and collard greens.

For me, collard greens can be a reason for celebration or a big disappointment. Garcia’s greens were wonderful, with a taste of pork flavoring, garlic and vinegar seasoning. The heirloom pork, also excellent, was from the Red Wattle pig, a variety that has been on the risk of extension.

Next to the Soby’s table, Chef Vicky Moore of the Lazy Goat prepared a tasty red-pepper hummus that was served with vegetable sticks and an excellent pita dipping stick. She also served Moroccan lamb with cucumber yogurt.

Soby’s and Lazy Goat are both owned by Table 301, as is Devereaux’s, where Chef Spencer Thompson’s braised lamb shank melted in your mouth. He also prepared a flavorful butternut squash risotto.

One of my favorite tastes of the evening was the smoked salmon and guacamole, on a tortilla chip, served by the Rick Erwin Dining group, which includes Rick Erwin’s West End Grille and Nantucket Seafood Grille. The smoked salmon taste in the guacamole was a great surprise for the taste buds. The group also served barbecue in a sweet potato biscuit.

High Cotton served one of the most unusual dishes of the evening: ballotine of rabbit with stewed white beans.

Another unusual offering was prepared by Chef Andre Jones of The Green Room. An S.C. pickled shrimp was served along crackling cornbread. He was also serving braised beef short ribs.

Chef Jason Scholz of Stella’s Southern Bistro in Simpsonville prepared an Asian spiced grilled beef salad.

At the table of 17 North Roadside Kitchen in Mount Pleasant, the food star was shrimp scampi over an asiago and cheddar polenta.

Westin Poinsett Chef Curtis Wolf offered a lobster burger or seared tuna with mango relish.

To accompany all that great food was plenty of wine furnished by Redwood Creek; refreshing lemonade and sweet tea vodka drinks by Firefly; and beer by Stella ArtoisHoegaarden and Thomas Creek.

My one regret is that I never made it back to pick up one of two excellent desserts I saw there. Chef Scholz of Stella’s had a grapefruit custard cake topped with caramelized pineapple. Chef Garcia of Soby’s had a pound cake topped with apples foster sauce. 

Euphoria continues today with a tasting showcase and wine tastings, cooking demonstrations by nationally recognized chefs and seminars by three master sommeliers.

The festival wraps up Sunday with New Orleans-style jazz brunch and a cooking cook-off for several chefs.