Southern novelist Pat Conroy, author of “The Great Santini” and “The Prince of Tides” among other stellar literary creations, has written that Beaufort is the most beautiful town in South Carolina.
Mr. Conroy was not creating fiction when he put pen to paper for that observation.
Downtown Beaufort is a charming, quaint town located in the curve of a bay along the Intra-Coastal Waterway. Since it is the second oldest city in South Carolina, there is a historic character to it that cannot easily be found in other locales.   That is why Mr. Conroy makes Beaufort his home.
Awaiting Mr. Conroy and those others fortunate enough to be in Beaufort is Plums Restaurant.
Plums is a casual lunch and dinner bistro located in Downtown Beaufort overlooking the Waterfront Park.
They have been at this location for 27 years and have become a tourist attraction as well as a local staple. The menu changes constantly with the seasons to allow for the use of as many local ingredients as possible.  No matter what the new menu, there is no better way to start than with a glass chilled Pinot Gris overlooking the Beaufort River.
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While there is certainly no need for a special event  to visit, the Soft Shell Wine Dinner at Plums definitely qualified!  The host for the evening explained that several special orders had to be placed in order to get the soft shell crabs in from all over just for this event. The weather has been unusually cold, so local soft shell crabs were not an option. 
The first course was a sautéed soft shell crab over a pear and cucumber salad paired with Primaterra Prosecco NV from Veneto, Italy. The pears added a slight sweetness that compliment the savory sautéed crab. The soft and creamy Prosecco was a perfect pairing with its pineapple and citrus aroma. I savoured every bite.
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The second course was a fried soft shell crab taco with corn relish and sriracha aioli. It was absolutely delicious and the mild heat was welcomed after the sweeter first course. It was paired with Velanosi “Villa Angela” Pecorino from Marche, Italy. The wine’s fresh taste went well with the spicy taco.
The third course was a cornmeal dusted soft shell crab with a succotash of sweet corn, lima beans, cherry tomato, and hot bacon dressing paired with Normande Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. The vegetables complimented the crab nicely. I was surprised that a Malbec had been chosen to pair with a crab entree, but they truly went well together.
The final course was a dempsey strawberry tart with citrus cream. It was the perfect light desert to finish the lavish dinner.
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At only $45 a person, it was quite a meal. Everything was prepared perfectly and the presentation was right on point. With such a beautiful location, charming atmosphere, and delicious food, I could not have asked for a more delightful Wine Dinner that left everyone with a smile on their face and enticing memories!

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