Coral was a large place in the West End district of downtown. It’s basically divided into 2 rooms, one bar and one dining. The kitchen is under the helm of Joshua Dill and Addison Stone, both South Carolina natives but it is owned by 3 friends who all were born elsewhere and ended up in the Greenville area. It’s a busy and loud place that stresses the bar and cocktails as well as local seafood. Painted brick walls are lined with booths and small bare wood tables. The lighting is quite low but spots set in the black ceiling shine intensely on the outer ring of tables. The floor was carpeted and there were sound panels on the walls, the only music was in the bar that blended slightly into the background but the crowds made noise an issue for me. Service was friendly and helpful but it’s hard for servers when plates are large and tables are small. The food was mixed but it’s definitely a happening place.
Bread with Ocean Butter is their house bread served with whipped fumet butter with chives. The bread had a nice crunch on the exterior with a dense chewy interior. I’m not a fan of whipped butter but this was okay with some herbiness from the chives but the bread was fine without it.
Known for their martinis we each had one and they were well made and not too diluted from shaking.
Oysters Talador were baked oysters topped with chimichurri, cotija and prosciutto. The oysters were from the East coast and good with the seasonings. The cooking made them seem quite small but the flavor was nice.
Bangin’ shrimp was tempura fried shrimp tossed in bangin’ sauce topped with scallions. Not sure where “bangin” came from but I did find references to “bang bang” sauce which is a sweet, spicy and creamy sauce. That pretty much describes this one that coated the plump fried shrimp. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and only lightly battered for a successful end result. They were tasty.
Sea Scallops were seared and topped with arugula and served on a wild mushroom risotto with lemon beurre blanc. The arugula felt like it was leftover from yesterday but easily moved to the side of the large plate. The creamy rice was lovely with the 4 moist scallops. It was a very tasty plate.
Halibut was blackened and topped with peach chutney and set on broccoli salad with shaved almonds, golden raisins and then surrounded by thin sliced radish. The fish was cooked perfectly and it was a really nice combination of flavors. The broccoli salad was slaw-like and added a good texture to the plate as well as taste.
Sticky Toffee Pudding was a traditional sticky date pudding with rum sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. This was a fine ending for the meal – totally moist and sweet. I could have enjoyed just the rum sauce and ice cream but mixed with the sticky sweet cake it was a total sweet fix. Yum to this choice.