Falling for the hearty new menu at Plums

The Lunch Bunch was treated to a rare dinner, this time to sample the exquisite new fall menu featured at Plums.
Kim, Elizabeth, Tess and I dined by candlelight with Junior Lunch Bunchers William and Anna Kathryn (Kim’s children).Our server Jessica was lovely and attentive, and her recommendations were spot on.
Chef Josh Castillo, who has been in the kitchen for four months, said they are excited to unveil the new menu, but regulars fear not, they have kept their most popular staples.

Oyster stew appetizer

We started with a whole variety of delicious appetizers including the fried oysters, the pimiento dip with baguette croutons and the fresh mussels steamed in Pale Ale, shallots, parsley, garlic and Dijon butter sauce. The mussels are usually my favorite, but that was until I tried the Oyster Stew. I’ll be honest, it didn’t sound that good at first and I was skeptical of the dish. But once I tried a hearty spoonful full of plump oysters, sweet potatoes and spicy chorizo, I was hooked. We all agreed it is a must-have appetizer.
The entrees saw a superb selection of sea-inspired dishes.
Elizabeth ordered the classic Carolina Crab Cakes with arugula salad, Jasmine rice, tomato coulis and topped with an amazing green apple chutney.
Kim chose the Grilled Yellowfin Tuna with roasted red pepper risotto, collards and hot pepper buerre blanc. She said tuna is one of her favorite dishes, and this was cooked perfectly rare to her liking.
William — who was in a bit of pain because he just had braces put on that day — and Anna Kathryn both tried the Shrimp and Grits. You know it’s yummy if even the kids like it. Plums also offers a separate kids menu for picky eaters, but Kim’s obviously raised her children right since they have more sophisticated palates.

Lowcountry Bouillabaisse.

I was enticed by the Mahi Mahi special. Served of over orzo with beets and topped with pecans, it was simply outstanding.
By Jessica’s suggestion, Tess tried the Lowcountry Bouillabaisse which is made with wild caught shrimp and local clams steamed in a savory broth with chorizo sausage, roasted red potatoes and corn. The taste was so unique and delightful, it’s hard to even describe. It had a rustic, authentic flavor that was complex yet simple at the same time; the ultimate gourmet comfort food. This was our definite must-have of the night.
For dessert, Tess had the Lemon Tart, Elizabeth had the Sweet Potato Cheesecake and I had the Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake. (These desserts seem meant to be shared because the portions were enormous!) Each item was decadent and magnificent, but the Sweet Potato Cheesecake was our winner. It’s the perfect way to end a fall feast at Plums.
Don’t forget the restaurant has a complete oyster bar as well as many specialty salads. There’s also an extensive beer and wine menu at reasonable prices.
Plums is one of my favorite restaurants, the place I take guests visiting from out-of-town because the atmosphere is always lively and bustling, the staff is always friendly and, whether for lunch or dinner, the food is always fantastic. It represents the best that Beaufort has to offer.
Plums is located at 904 Bay St., Beaufort. For more information, call 843-525-1946 or visit their website at www.plumsrestaurant.com.

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