I barely sat down and my butt had not even started to warm up my seat when our friend Debi asked me “what are you going to write about tonight?” Hang on lady; I would like to order a drink first.
Honestly though, High Cotton is not the type of place we usually write about. We doubt anyone needs this website to find a high profile three story attraction on Main Street in Greenville. Further, these type of places run slightly against the grain of the hole-in-the-wall hidden treasures we look for in our adventures. That said, we had a fantastic evening and I am writing about it anyways… because Debi told me too!
As small as the Upstate is, some things are far away. For now we live in Anderson but some of our best friends in the world live in Greenville. A short 45 minute drive is too much for some of our busy schedules and a night out with the gang is a rare treat. On this particular evening, Debi and her husband were visiting from New York and the whole gang congregated for a fancy meal at High Cotton. With this crowd the venue could be a landfill and we would have a great time but instead we chose something a bit cleaner with a more appetizing menu.
|The crabcake was awesome|
First, let me address High Cotton itself. Fancy, yes. Good service, absolutely. Food… pretty darn good. I had the ribeye which was tasty if not just a tad tough. I take the blame on that one though; my father’s theory is never order at a restaurant what you can easily make for yourself at home and I really do not need any help throwing down on a steak on our grill. Further, even though the ribeye was just “pretty good” everything else I tasted was nothing short of top-notch. Chris’s pan seared duck breast was amazing, Debi’s crab cake appetizer was outstanding, and her husband Jerry’s short rib special and oyster appetizer totally blew me away.
All in all, this was exactly what I would expect from a restaurant of this caliber in downtown Greenville - a creative menu with quality food in a great environment. We spent a small fortune (by our standards) but one needs to put the money in perspective… yes, Chris could have cooked an equal or better meal at home for a fraction of the cost but we accept the fact that we bought the atmosphere, service and base of operations for a congregation of good friends.
Three of the attendees live in Greenville, two live in Greer, two were visiting from New York, and we came up from Anderson. If one were to ask me where this crowd should meet for dinner at a higher end restaurant, then High Cotton fit the bill to a tee. It is fancy enough to remind you that this is not your normal evening out but not uptight and stuffy to the point of prohibiting us from getting just a tad rowdy.
High Cotton provided a great setting and a delicious meal but the real highlight of the evening was simply the company. Everyone at the table has busy work schedules, children (existing or still in the oven), and any number of other issues that make coordinating a night like this next to impossible. In all honesty, that last time the nine of us sat down in one place over drinks was just over two years ago. However, with good friends it does not really matter because when we sat down at our table conversation picked up as if we had seen each other the day before. Drinks flowed, plates were shared, and laughter spilled like wine.
|Hot chicks... dibs on the one on the left.|
One of my favorite things about the Upstate (and this group of friends in particular) is the melting pot effect. Not one person at the table is a South Carolina native which has become the norm as opposed to the exception in most of the circles we travel in. I do not mean this as derogatory toward native South Carolinians but instead a compliment to the area. I really enjoy the fact that we are lucky enough to live in an area that attracts cool people from all over the country to settle here with their families. Plus, the diversity of backgrounds and the influences they bring only add to the growth of development of the region. Meeting new people and discovering new things in our backyard is what we are all about, regardless of how they got here.
So, thanks to the gang for a great time Saturday night. Hopefully it will not be another two years before we can do this again. At any rate, we will start saving now so we can buy our own appetizers instead of stealing bites from our friends.