Warm cinnamon sugar-dusted doughnuts with sea salt caramel and whipped cream.
Typically, we don’t start with dessert, as we’re told from an early age that dessert spoils the appetite.
However, this treat warrants attention. True yeast doughnuts are difficult to achieve; a doughy, dense texture is often unavoidable. 1801’s are cooked to perfection. This dessert is even served kid-sized, minus the caramel and cream.
Let’s get back to pre-dessert options. The evening menu is divided into sections: Social (appetizers), Selfish (soup), Greens (salads), Sides to Share, Pizzas, Burgers & Sandwiches, and Comfort Food and Table Food (entrees).
A unique offering under Comfort Food is a brick oven wild boar and bison meatloaf with a pancetta crust, and sweet potatoes and green beans. The specialty 1801 steak has rosemary fries and horseradish sauce. Executive Chef Jason Bruner brings his knowledge working globally in top kitchens to create seasonal, novel dishes for 1801.
How did 1801 get its start?
Harper’s Restaurant Group recently opened 1801 Grille – which it dubs a “classic American tavern” – on the campus of the University of South Carolina, across from the Colonial Life Arena.
The group’s goal was to provide a sophisticated yet comfortable setting where guests can enjoy Southern-inspired dishes prepared with locally sourced products.
The restaurant is named for the year in which USC, originally known as South Carolina College, was founded.
What does the place look like?
The expansive space seats 200 in an environment that is both old world ambiance and textured contemporary.
One wall of button-tufted black leather seating is coordinated with red leather, tacked-trimmed chairs, while some tables are wood with hammered metal accents. Vintage light bulbs with distinct filaments encircle massive metal hanging light fixtures. Throughout are framed black and white photographs of historic Columbia/USC scenes.
Large, ornate framed mirrors both dress and open the space.
The kitchen is open.
The canopy-covered outdoor seating area in what is called Foundation Square is available for rent through USC – and 1801 can cater the area – but it is not outdoor seating for the restaurant.
Who eats here?
Jefferson Beatty, general manager, noted: “We are a very diverse restaurant, appealing to students, staff, and the community in general. We regularly have prominent members of the business community, members of the state legislative, and the South Carolina Supreme Court in. We try to meet all price points and have an express $10 lunch along with great daily specials.”
WHERE: 700 Lincoln St., Suite 200
WHEN: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. (or later) Friday-Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
COST: Entrees are typically under $20 with burgers and pizzas in the $12-$15 range.
INFO: (803) 771-1801; www.1801grille.com; Facebook; Instagram; Twitter