We were in Columbia to see our good friend and former colleague who’s the director of the Columbia Museum of Art. The tangential surprise of tremendous proportions was the magnificent gnocchi we enjoyed at the Hampton Street Vineyard Restaurant. A local favorite that has been awarded for its stellar wine list by no less than the international magazine Wine Advocate, finding a world class gnocchi in the capital of South Carolina came as a complete but welcome surprise. I’m writing a book, “Gnocchi I Have Gnown” that describes my world travels in search of the best gnocchi on the planet. My mother was Italian and made fabulous gnocchi. My cousins in Vicenza are blessed with the same ability. My wife too, even though she is only an honorary Italian who my Veneto cousins call “stella di cinema”, has perfected the difficult task of making great gnocchi. Located directly across the street from the Columbia Museum of Art, which is expanding and reorienting its facilities that are located in the heart of the city only blocks from the capital and Governor’s Mansion, the Hampton Street Vineyard is a charming and cozy place. The service is friendly and personable. “Gnocchi Florentine” was a delicious combination of local vegetables, heavy on the zucchini (who’s garden doesn’t produce an over abundance of that delectable green vegetable!), blistered cherry tomatoes, and creamed spinach. The gnocchi, which was heavy on the potato and welcomely so, had been pan seared before being added back to the mixture of vegetables and a light, aromatic pesto sauce. It was magnificent. On a South Carolina scale it was off the charts. On a global scale it was easily in or near the top ten of all time. Who knew?!? I could not have been more delighted, or more full. A couple of glasses of Barbera and Sangiovese made the experience all that more realistically Italian. Molto bene!
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.