07 April 2010

Lana Restaurant & Bar

Mediterranean-inspired Lana Restaurant, located at 210 Rutledge Ave., brings together all of my favorite flavors. If I had to pick one region's cooking to eat for the rest of my life, Mediterranean it would be. But Lana surprises even devotees like me with original dishes that pop with familiar, yet decadent and delicious flavors.

I visited Lana last weekend to avoid Bridge Run madness in more touristy neighborhoods, and as always I was torn about what to order. Previously I have visited and been inclined to order more appetizers and small plates. Their best are the daily risotto, lamb spanakopita and cheese plate (truly satisfying to any serious cheese lover, like myself). I also really love and appreciate the Greek influence - the lamb spanakopita includes ground lamb, spinach, goat and feta cheeses wrapped in phyllo and served with tomatoes and a thick, garlicky and creamy tzatziki sauce, along side a mint relish. Truth be told I could eat the sauce alone. I consider Greek food some of the hardest dishes to perfect.

I went with a more traditional approach this last visit, ordering first the Arugula salad that includes granny smith apples, prosciutto, goat cheese and a port vinaigrette. Delicious. For my main course, I had to try the house-made Gnocchi Brasato al Barolo, which consists of red wine braised beef, pearl onions, arugula, parmesan broth and tender gnocchi. It was so delicate and yet the meat was so rich and tender. Mouth-watering even thinking of it again now at 9:05am. My family raved about their dishes as well, which included the pan-roasted Basque-style Chicken with prosciutto, peppers and potato croquettes, as well as the Halibut special. 

We were assured by the waiter that everything that can be sourced locally is indeed found in the Lowcountry, and the notations on the menu of their membership with the Sustainable Seafood Initiative reassured me that they do indeed talk the talk and walk the walk. The Vegetable Plate is next on my list to try, as the Chef's selection is impromptu and serves up generous portions of locally grown produce. I give them huge kudos just for this effort and commitment alone. 

So, if you haven't tried Lana it's your lucky day. I heard word of a certain Guerrilla Cuisine dinner coming up at the end of April that will feature Lana's chef and part-owner, John Ondo. A Charleston native, Chef Ondo has honed his skills at some of the peninsula's best restaurants including McCrady's, Fulton Five and Carolina's before opening Lana in 2005. In the words of Liz Lemon, "I want to go to there!"

Lana Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I haven't been to Lana's forever. You've made me want to go back.