For my last dinner in Greenville, I finally got a chance to go to Starlight Cafe in downtown Greenville. It had gotten fairly good reviews everywhere I had checked and my server at Plum Tree had recommended it. I had high hopes. Boy, was I disappointed. It probably also did not help that I had dined at Chef & The Farmer the night before. That’s a tough act to follow. But even if I had eaten at, oh, let’s say, Applebee’s, I would have probably still been disappointed with this place. The place is interesting on the inside. They have two main dining areas and one area was sectioned off for a private party on the night I was there.
I sat at the bar. This was probably my first mistake. There was a baby of an employee yakking next to me. I mean there’s nothing wrong with babies, but I don’t need to have to be forced to hear them when I’m eating at some place nice. If I’m ordering a $29 entree, and sitting at the bar, I shouldn’t have to listen to random baby yelling, should I?
Their menu has a combination of southern, seafood, and european, particularly belgian, dishes. I wanted to get the soup of the day, the corn chowder, but after deciding on my entree, I decided on a house salad instead. Boy, did this salad suck it. It was a pile of mediocre greens, with a few strips of carrots, a few slivers of red onions, some cucumbers, and 3 teeny tiny croutons. The apple cider vinaigrette was rather blah, and this entire salad was extremely blah. There was nothing interesting about it. In fact, the best part was the cucumbers. I worked really hard getting every bit of carrot because I was desperately searching for flavor. The complimentary bread was just ok, but the olive oil that came with it was actually quite good.
My gut told me not to get this scallop dish, but the server recommended it. She said everyone who orders it loves it and wants to drink the broth. I decided to go with it anyway because I just love scallops so damn much. This was a belgian style scallops dish, with the scallops being simmered with potato, leeks, celery, and littleneck clams. This wasn’t bad, but it was so bland! It was like a watery clam chowder broth with some scallops, potatoes, and clams thrown in. I tasted no leeks at all. Now there were a lot of scallops in here, and a few clams, but it was also seriously overpriced. This was much more expensive than my entree at Chef & The Farmer and that just doesn’t seem right. The quality of the food, the presentation, the ingredients, the service… none of that compared to what I experienced at Chef & The Farmer. Greenville, you are being robbed!
The service… oh the service… where to start? So I sat at the bar, and was waited on by two people. But I don’t think they were aware of each other. One would ask me if I was ready to order, I would order, and then the other would come by and ask me what I wanted to order. Same with the drinks. Then one would ask if I wanted my check, and then the other would come by and ask me if I wanted my check. It was super annoying. And the guy who was waiting on me, he came by, and while dropping off a pepper grinder asked me how my salad was. But he wasn’t really asking me. He didn’t even stop in front of me or look at me as he asked, it was just more of temporary slowdown as he dropped off the pepper grinder, and he had no interest in if I would have an answer. It was so distasteful. It’s obviously you don’t give a crap what I think of my salad, so don’t bother asking! Overall, I was very disappointed with my meal. I had read some good reviews, so I had some decent expectations going in. I was disappointed in both the overpriced and blah food and the service. I do not consider this place fine dining in any way. They might consider themselves this way due to the pricing, but boy, have they go it wrong! They need to take a look at Plum Tree and Chef & The Farmer and take some lessons!