On Forty-One Takes Mount Pleasant Dining to A Savory Experimental Level

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

On Forty-One sounds initially like the coordinates on a GPS, but this Mount Pleasant Eatery, now one year into its existence, offers a rustic restoration hardware design, open patio seating atmosphere, traditional menu of local favorites, a twist on some traditional entrees and a range of cocktails and wine to compliment any entree or salad selection.? We must include that if you order the s’mores for dessert, you get a personal fire pit at your table.

Welcome to the world of On Forty-One.? As you enter, most guests are won over by the enclosed patio area that is in fact more square footage than the interior, but does house the bar as well.? Our wonderful experience was solidified by the fine service of Heather, whose candidness, patience and charm represented this restaurant very well.

Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs

After mulling over the selection of starters that include BBQ shrimp, hush puppies, green tomatoes, ribs and friend oysters, we let our appetite lean us to the deviled eggs.? This appetizer took the classic deviled egg to a new level.? Three of the eggs were topped with diced bacon and three with salmon.? Touched up with capers and brought to a creamy and sweet perfection, this was an ideal beginning to our meal and complimented our Pinot Noir and Cabernet nicely.

Careful consideration when into the entree selections.? Surprisingly, Heather’s top choices were not ours.? She recommended the Smoked Pork Chop and Braised Beef Short Rib.? Both sounded amazing and will most likely be in our future, but we had a specific mission in mind.

Lobster Shrimp and Grits and Grilled Salmon were our culinary picks for the evening.

Grilled SalmonThe grilled salmon was prepared medium laying on a bed of butternut squash risotto, sauteed spinach, baked pumpkin seeds and a lobster-thyme butter.? This is a critical piece of information very relevant to this review.? Enjoy each bite with all the ingredients on your fork.? Start with a small end of the salmon, put a tiny dab of the butter and then add the spinach and pumpkin seed.? This multitude of flavor was so cleverly designed that it will linger and then send a message to your brain for more.

I did not mention adding the risotto to that bite.? I want you to just enjoy the top portion of the entree first.? After that, then add the risotto to the mix, but also enjoy side bites of it alone.? It is presented with a mild sweetness and a creaminess.? The portion is healthy and you will enjoy slow bites over great conversation.? Mostly likely, this could become a second meal when you take a portion home.

The decision to go with the lobster shrimp and grits was simple; lobster is a unique ingredient and one not often found in the Lowcountry.? My decision was easy.? The stone ground grits were thicker and creamier that I am traditionally used to experiencing, but this heartiness structured well with the bacon, sweet onions, peppers, lobster and whole local shrimp.? This meal as well, because of the complexity, was one that we recommend enjoying slowly maximizing the ingredients in each fork drop.? This is a very savory and filling meal and it opened up Pandoras Box begging the question, why not more lobster based shrimp and grits.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love a three meat shrimp and grits or a simple shrimp and grits.? The combination of lobster and shrimp provide two distinct flavors and both swim well in a bed of grits.

gritsOn Forty-One is slightly off the beaten path if you dining leads you to downtown Charleston, James Island or West Ashley, but it is worth the 25 minute drive.? Hidden nicely in a plaza situated between Highway 17 and 41, this casual, yet intimate restaurant will offer you a complete and fulfilling dining experience.