The City Magazine Since 1975


July 2011
Retreat into the cool, green comfort of Eurasia Café and Wine Bar for a delicious experience in New American cuisine and beyond.

In this Zen-like space in Mount Pleasant’s Patriots Plaza Shopping Center, regional specialties and local produce successfully coexist with Asian-influenced dishes for a menu that offers something different each day. Managing partner Andy Fallen joins executive chef Meredith Adams in operating the third property in this Virginia-based group whose other restaurants are located in Richmond and Virginia Beach. Uniquely designed with a welcoming garden space at the entrance, the stylish interior is linear and lovely, with thoughtfully lit greens and ecrus combining with massive birch scenes to encompass the main dining area in pastoral woodland serenity.

Our recent dinner here was the first return visit since the restaurant opened late last year. We were pleased to see a busy room and animated bar, with a full complement of diners enjoying their meals in the outside garden  area. Seated at the end of the room near the exceedingly quiet kitchen, we realized that the restaurant is as beautiful from this vantage point as from the front entrance—an excellent element of the place’s design. From the New World-driven wine list with a variety of wines by the glass, we enjoyed Argentinian malbec and Australian grenache as we considered the menu, which included an around-the-world and American shore-to-shore collection of ingredients and flavors.

Our adventurous collage began with richly nourishing hot and sour soup, its expertly seasoned broth containing bits of carrot, tofu, shiitake, chicken, and scallions served with wonton croutons that added just the right salty balance to create the spicy/salty umami sensation this soup is known for. Absolutely delicious bigeye tuna tar-tini two ways—beautifully presented in a large martini glass—layered seared sashimi and tuna tartare with spicy aioli atop a mango and cucumber Thai ginger rice salad. Wakame seaweed and wonton crisps completed this winning combination, which would make an excellent light dinner when paired with the hot and sour soup or the simple, lightly dressed house salad.

The appealing sandwich section offered “best of” choices from favorite cuisines, with options including Mediterranean lamb with creamy cumin-dill vinaigrette, a beef tenderloin cheeseburger, and Hollywood’s Original Cobb Wrap. We went right to the entrées, however, beginning with sensational portabella potpie with risotto filling. Tucked into a ramekin beneath a beautifully grilled portabella cap, layers of creamy risotto were studded with roasted cremini mushrooms, peas, and carrots bound with boursin mousse. Though a touch difficult to manage in the ramekin (maybe reverse the presentation in “turned-out” potpie fashion?), it was well worth the effort, accompanied by balsamic-drizzled baby arugula and cherry tomato garnish—overall, a splendid combination.

The second entrée choice, Off the Hook Rockafella, combined daily catch (local flounder) with fried oysters, creamed spinach, and fontina cheese along with mashed potatoes, cherrywood-smoked bacon, and Wisconsin’s Stravecchio Parmesan. On this evening, the fish was slightly overcooked. The creamed spinach, bacon, and potatoes were delicious, though somewhat overwhelming in combination with the oysters and fish; a lighter version would be a nice option. A “coffee and doughnuts” confection brought the evening to a pleasant end with fat, freshly made sugared doughnut holes garnishing exceptionally luscious Van Gogh double espresso vodka crème brûlée.

Eurasia is a welcome oasis, offering a unique dining experience with fresh preparations, ample choices for a variety of tastes, and relaxed service in an appealing, neighborhood-friendly setting. Easy parking makes it an excellent choice for a quiet evening with friends, and wine dinners are also offered by reservation.