Have you ever gone to a restaurant and felt like the experience was so perfect it couldn’t possibly have been real? And yet…

I enjoyed a girls’ weekend with my mom, sister, and aunt recently, down South, and we took a day trip to Charleston, SC. Our lunch destination was Chez Nous, which had been on my sister’s bucket list for ages. It’s a tiny spot in the downtown area, and the menu, which changes daily, features flavors from Southern France, Northern Italy, and Northern Spain.

Each day, the offerings on the handwritten menu are posted to the restaurant’s Instagram account.

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The day we went, the appetizer selections were a simple salad of local lettuces with parmesan cheese and croutons tossed with lemon juice and olive oil or a gorgeous grilled artichoke. I went with the salad.

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The entree selections were a beautiful lamb dish my aunt and sister ordered, which came with mushrooms and carrots. The other option was scallops, which I chose because scallops are one of my favorite foods in the world. These were spectacular. I never would have thought to do them with peas, but it was right on.

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When dessert came around, we ordered one of each offering. This cheese tart was refreshing and just sweet enough.

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The chocolate mousse was also a no-brainer must-try.

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To drink, the four of us shared a bottle of this orange wine. I hadn’t had orange wine since I was in Italy in 2010, so I was happy the rest of the table was into it.

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Martha Stewart happened to be sitting next to us (I know, I know) and asked what we were drinking. Because I don’t have that gene that makes you intimidated in situations where it’s logical to be intimidated, I found myself Jess-splaining about prolonged exposure to the grape skin during fermentation and how it’s light like a white wine but structured sort of like a red. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Whoops. #sagittariusproblems

I think this article explains orange wine pretty well.

If you find yourself in the Charleston area, I would definitely put Chez Nous on your must-try list. We had such a great experience, and I hope you do too.

What are some of your favorite restaurant memories?