By Pamela Brownstein
The Lunch Bunch was treated to a wonderful dining experience last week at Griffin Market in downtown Beaufort. Owner Riccardo Bonino is a master at his craft of creating unique dishes with local ingredients that represent authentic Italian cuisine. He also has an impeccable attention to detail that shines through in his food and his
friendly demeanor when greeting and serving and making thoughtful recommendations for his customers.
For starters, we each ordered something different so we were able to sample all the enticing dishes. The biggest problem we had was deciding which one we liked best because they were all seriously amazing. Irene ordered the Insalata di Mare made with baby octopus, calamari, shrimp and mussels in herb vinaigrette, and everyone liked it. I can’t remember the last time I ate octopus, and all the seafood was so fresh.
Elizabeth was so pleased with the Alici: pickled anchovies in tarragon and capers vinaigrette with sieved eggs, while Nikki enjoyed her Insalata d’Anguria — ripe watermelon and Griffin Garden Basil in blood orange-infused olive oil. I loved Nikki’s starter because it was so refreshing and flavorful.
Kim went with the classic Italian Caprese made with hand-pulled Mozarella with ripe cherry tomatoes and Griffin Garden Basil. I’m a big fan of Caprese salads too, and this was excellent. I tried the Crostini and it was awesome. Ricotta, fresh herbs and white truffle honey on garlic rubbed ciabatta — we were all impressed.
While the starters all packed a wow factor, the entrees were equally as tasty. Elizabeth loved her roasted asparagus
topped with Taleggio Cheese, fried Yard Farm eggs and served with crostini; and Kim wouldn’t even let anyone try her coveted Soft Shell Crab.
I can’t emphasize enough how innovative and incredibly delicious the food is at Griffin Market. It is an exceptional restaurant that you must try for yourself.
Griffin Market is at 403 Carteret Street, Beaufort, and is open for lunch Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner is 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Call 843-524-0240 or visit www.griffinmarket.blogspot.com.