what: Grilled Louisiana Alligator & Pork Sausage
where: Gervais & Vine, 620 Gervais St.
Half the fun of ordering alligator at a restaurant is the feeling of showing those dead-eyed, golf course-stalking reptilian behemoths who’s the boss. And as a bonus for sports fans, while the Gamecocks don’t always beat Florida on the field, we can take solace in eating our SEC competitor.
Lean gator flesh tastes like chewy chicken with a subtle note of bayou fishiness. But ground up and wrestled with pork into sausage form, the gaminess of the swamp dweller succumbs to porcine charms and becomes a succulent, hammy, smoky treat. Served over a bed of grilled peppers and onions, the keto-friendly combo have a longstanding history of being paired together for a reason.
Après work on a Wednesday evening, chowing down on alligator and accoutrements while listening to an acoustic duo harmonizing “Carolina In My Mind,” it’s hard to conjure a more picture-perfect Columbia moment. If you’re feeling peckish, you’re going to want to order a few plates. You can’t go wrong with the always well-curated cheese plate. A recent selection featured marinated manchego, taleggio, double gloucester, and black bomber. The hummus of the day and the eight-inch pizzas are my other go-to picks. For some food prep theater, sidle up to the bar and watch your meal come together in front of your eyes.
G & V, the Vista’s venerable Mediterranean wine and tapas bar, is open Monday through Thursday till 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. The bar opens up at 4 p.m. and the kitchen opens at 5 p.m.