Langdon’s: Crossing Cooper River to Reach Mount Pleasant Star

Seafood Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant native Patrick Langdon Owens bypassed culinary school and received a practical education at some of the finer restaurants in Charleston, including Magnolia’s and Circa 1886, before returning home to open Langdon’s in August 2003. In only four years, his eponymous restaurant and wine bar has already garnered the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence three times and is now the only restaurant east of the Cooper River to have been awarded Four Stars by AAA.

The Asian-accented Lowcountry restaurant is situated in a strip mall near the mouth of I’on, a colorful example of New Urbanism patterned after downtown Charleston. As for the space, the tasteful wine bar resided near the entrance. The dining room featured red walls, sumptuous booths (is there any other kind) and tables dressed with white tablecloths, plus paintings of Charleston’s Rainbow Row and an old guitar-playing bluesman.

To start, we received a complimentary loaf of warm sourdough with a little dish of whipped butter.

Seafood Mount Pleasant
Seared Diver Scallops with Sweet Corn Cream and Basil Oil ($9) featured two expertly cooked scallops, naturally sweet with silky bottoms and crispy lids. There were playful squiggles of sweet corn cream that delicately cradled three pools of basil oil.

Spring Rolls Mount Pleasant
Lobster and Avocado Springs Rolls ($9) featured thin, crisp skins. They were served with a pile of shaved carrots and cilantro and a fashionable dish of avocado cream dabbed with spicy red chile sauce. The “cream” was basically a silky guacamole.

Soup Mount Pleasant
Bowls of Creamy Mushroom and Jumbo Lump Crab Soup ($7) featured a central pile of sweet crabmeat and shaved chives. Despite the fine ingredients, both suppers thought the soup could have used more pop.

Seafood Mount Pleasant
This poorly lit photo doesn’t come close to matching the impact of the Sautéed Shrimp ($9) Over A Crispy Polenta Cake With Spicy Brown Seafood Sauce. The pristine shrimp were perfectly cooked, drizzled with a creamy, subtly spicy sauce and sprinkled with herbs. The twin slabs of triangular polenta were crisp-crusted. Together, the shrimp and bonded cornmeal were a triumph of flavor and texture.

Seafood Mount Pleasant
Deep purple Chipotle Seared Ahi Tuna ($12) slices were plated with a lightly dressed spinach leaves and a single cherry tomato. The white plate featured an interesting pattern of Charred Serrano Vinaigrette. If the dots and lines were a Rorshach test, I’d say it was the face of a preying mantis, but who knows what the chef was aiming for.

Pork Chop Mount Pleasant
Three of us ordered the Thick-Cut Kurobuta Pork Rib Chop ($28), which was brined and candied with a hoisin-honey glaze. The chef suggested ordering the pork chop medium rare, and we smartly took his advice. The “other white meat” was succulent, with a sweet crust that locked in the porcine juices. The hog was plated (correction: bowled) with tender cubes of citrus seared sweet potatoes and smoky collard greens, flavored with onions and bacon flecks.

Seafood Mount Pleasant
The golden-hued Seared Local Grouper ($25) fillet was served over asparagus and leek risotto and topped with jumbo lump crabmeat, then finished with a Meyer lemon and chive beurre blanc, plated with rapini and carrots.

On the page, the desserts weren’t nearly as tempting or innovative as the previous courses: berry crisp, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, vanilla crème brulee and tangerine sorbet with an inexplicable $10 price tag. Just serving it “chilled with fresh berries” doesn’t justify double digits. Still, our appetizers and entrees were good to very good, so we partook in dessert.

Dessert Mount Pleasant
Blueberry crisp ($9) featured an oatmeal and brown sugar crust and was served warm. The tiny berries were powerfully sweet, but not syrupy, and capped with a fan of fresh strawberry. The crisp was served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, which held a stick of dark chocolate.

Cookies Mount Pleasant
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies ($7) were baked to order and served with another chocolate jabbed scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The warm, oversized cookies were crisp but pliable.

After such a successful meal, I couldn’t help but wonder why my father and stepmother neglected to mention Langdon’s sooner. They’d known about the restaurant since early 2004, and eaten there repeatedly, with good results every time. Are they holding out on me with other local food finds?


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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