Critic Hanna Raskin uses the word "butter" seven times in her review of fine dining staple Peninsula Grill. "The best approach at Peninsula Grill is to adjust your butter intake expectations upward at the outset, and order wine to match," she writes. But, maybe all that butter isn't so bad, as she states the restaurant "delivers a timeless experience that leans hard on the butter and excess required for ritzy celebrations." If you're going to go all out, you might as well include a gratuitous amount of butter — and lobster. Raskin and companion delight in lobster, foie gras, oysters, steak tartare, as she realizes, "richness is the way to go here ..." The wedge salad is woefully limp and soggy, but anything prepared with butter earned Peninsula Grill 3.5 stars.
Chef Vinson Petrillo's food at Zero Cafe involves many layers of skillfully prepared ingredients, which require many layers of adjectives to describe them. Critic Allston McCrady is intrigued by every dish at the Zero George restaurant in her review this week. McCrady describes the complexity of the food:
Perhaps you'll find Chef Petrillo pulling individual threads of braised veal breast, dehydrating them, then flash-frying them into a nest of fried-chicken-like crispiness to top roasted snapper ($38), a technique he learned from a Denmark chef in a remote 13th century castle. The veal frizzle adds a fun and mysterious element to a gorgeously conceived plate. Roasted local snapper sits on an ersatz risotto of diced white asparagus cooked al dente in its own juices and fortified with chopped black truffles, all encircled by charred, buttery turnip greens with a hint of garlic and thyme.
Though, we had to snicker the castle part — it sounds like McCrady has stumbled upon an enchanting food utopia, something straight out of a culinary fairytale. Or maybe she has? "There are a handful of other hotel restaurants in Charleston with great reputations, but Zero Cafe is clearly a gem all its own," she concludes.