There’s a charming little wine bar/restaurant in town called Nectar. The building was formerly a travel agency, but the owners flipped it into a woodsy, cozy, little restaurant. (Think mis-matched wood backed chairs and brick). I nearly always get the lamb chops (they’re the cute lollipop kind!) with Israeli couscous, but this time the Shrimp and Grits special won me over. My dad and I agreed that you never think of grits independently when you’re choosing food, but whenever they’re presented they sounds just delicious.

Shrimp n' Grits

Shrimp n’ Parmesan-y Grits with Chard

The grits were more solid than grits I’ve had before, more like polenta, but creamier. Really good, either way. The shrimp were pretty simply done, and went surprisingly perfectly with the parmesan flavor and the texture of the polenta-y grits.

My mom had the other special, what they called Pan-Fried polenta, but it seemed more like deep fried to me. Tragically I didn’t get a blog-worthy photo, but I promise it both looked and tasted quite delicious. The wedges of polenta were topped with tomato jam, which I had seen a couple days ago on White on Rice Couple and was very curious to try …and thus begged my mom to order it so I could have a taste. The jam wasn’t very jammy at all, more like a more finely minced non-salsa flavored salsa, but really tasty nonetheless. It negated the county fair/deep fried flavor of the polenta which I wasn’t such a fan of. The dish came with sauteed local whole carrots and sliced zucchini, which were also good, the carrots in particular. They had that sweet just-from-the-ground taste that only home grown carrots do.

And on to dessert! Keeping with the trend of the night of ordering the specials, I got the peach, nectarine, blueberry cobbler. Now I must tell you that peach cobbler (peach cob as my best friend and partner in baking call it) have a long and delectable history. I have made many a peach cobbler, ranging from southern style simple syrup-y gobs of peach covered in gooey cake to Simmer ’till Done’s rather involved pecan-peach cobbler. Surprisingly. one of the best peach cob experiences was a total experiment born out of pure impatience. Not wanting to take the time to make batter, we just poured yellow cake batter (…box cake batter) over the cinnamon sugared peaches and threw some more cinnamon sugar on top. The cake mix soaked up the peach flavor and became the most deliciously moist cake ever. Also, since there was more batter on top of the peaches than usual, the peaches remained the exact right amount of firm rather than getting too mushy. Oh sweet peachy goodness, it was good.

But back to Nectar. Before we got the peach cobbler, a mysterious soufflé appeared at our table, un-ordered, but of course none of us complained about this particular surprise. After devouring the crusty on top, delightfully runny inside dessert (topped with coffee ice cream, which sunk into the soufflé as we ate it and melted into the hot cakey bits…mmmm) our waitress told me it was a gift from a friend from school who happened to work in Nectar’s kitchen, unbeknownst to me. So it is who you know I suppose!

Soufflé surprise

Ice cream melting and sinking into the soufflé goodness.

So finally, we reach the peach cobbler portion of the evening. I must say, Nectar’s peach cob was quite the contender for the cake mix variation. They went with the fruit covered with a slab of cake technique as well (rather than the drops of batter style) and the cake itself was really quite perfect. Sugar and cinnamon on top, just the right amount so that it was a bit caramelized and crunchy but not grainy, and the right amount of cinnamon/nutmeg-y spice. I also loved the blueberries hiding amongst the peaches and nectarines. They were a nice color contrast as well as a taste/texture contrast to the other fruits. (P.S. it turns out, peaches and nectarines are the exact same, except for the peach’s fuzzy little jacket. But I’ve always been a bit more partial to the nectarine…so tomorrow I’m making Smitten Kitchen’s peach cupcakes, only with nectarines!) The only problem was the cake (is the cake the “cobbler” part of the equation? what is “cobbler”??) to fruit ratio. A little heavy on the cake side. But all was forgiven, as the cake was yum.

Peach-nectarine-blueberry Cobbler

The cobbler didn’t last long.

Overall, a perfect night a Nectar. Excellent specials. Their regular menu is really excellent, but these specials all seemed to just mash into a perfect meal. The kind of meal that you finish feeling completely satisfied food-wise and just content with the world at large.

Although I did consider bribing someone for that peach cobbler recipe…

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