4126 Clemson Blvd.
Anderson, SC 29621
Hrs: Tues-Sat 4:30-10 p.m.
Perfect for: Fine dining, date night
Menu: Steaks and Seafood
Bar/Drinks: Full bar, craft cocktails, craft beer, large wine selection, happy hour
Good to Know: 4126 is at a busy section of Clemson Boulevard, but offers intimate dining.
Parking: Limited parking lot only
Bathroom: I’d (almost) eat off the floor
When it comes to fine dining, Anderson has hung its hat on the extended pinky finger of one main restaurant for the last two decades. Sure, fine dining options have come and gone in that time, but few stay around long enough to capture the palate or business of Anderson diners.
4126 is hoping to buck that trend and if the menu, cuisine, and service received there on a recent Wednesday evening is any indicator, it will be there for a long time to come.
The first step was getting the drink orders in. I asked what bourbons might be available for a Manhattan. When the words “Buffalo Trace” were uttered, I didn’t listen any further and made my order post haste.
The initial sip of such a drink is key as all the elements jump at you. And I can say, with confidence, that Nickie, the bartender, knew what she was doing. All the way through the first course, I enjoyed each sip of my Manhattan and would have ordered another if I didn’t want to try wine with my meal.
That first course was important and my table knew it. So, I ordered the mussels while another dinner at the table went with the crab cake. The mussels were of the Blue PEI variety in a sauce of onion, tomatoes, garlic and white wine butter. Though I generally prefer a broth to a sauce, the flavors here were deep and rich with the white wine coming out in full force and the saltiness of the brine from the mussels and the butter coming together most harmoniously.
The crab cake was delicious in its own right, but a bit small for something I would expect a table of four to be able to share. The crab cake is almost all crab, though, and the crispy kale that accompanies the dish is a wonderful respite from all the crab.
For the salad lover (or needed) in the group, there are three. The House Salad is a classic, but the Caesar Salad is certainly unique with prosciutto, bacon lardons, garlic, cornbread croutons and shaved parm. 4126 also offers a roasted beet salad topped with gorgonzola cheese, pickled red onions and spicy pecans. A good deal more than rabbit food if you ask me.
The seared scallops were on a bed of corn risotto with grilled asparagus and a light buerre blanc drizzled on the top. Each was seared to golden perfection and cooked to a medium rare on the inside. On the other side of me was a double bone-in pork chop with parmesan risotto and an apple bourbon sauce. This diner ordered it with Brussels sprouts instead of the regular collard greens which worked perfectly and showed the ability of the kitchen to work with special requests. The apple bourbon sauce was the star offering a wonderfully smoky flavor to the chop without being overbearing at all.
For myself, I went with the steak and fries featuring a large ribeye steak (cooked to medium rare) alongside truffle and parmesan fries with garlic herb butter. And when they say garlic herb butter, they mean a dollop of said buttery goodness in the middle of the steak when served. The fat of the ribeye rendered perfectly and the steak was cooked just as advertised.
By the end of the meal, we were stuffed, but the staff and owner insisted we try dessert. There were two options that night and we had both, much to the chagrin of any diet we might be trying to keep. The crème brule was silky and sweet and the raspberry sauce on the side was appreciated and brightened the whole dessert.
The chocolate ganache with beignets was equally decadent and a hit with everyone at the table. Each bite was like a touch of New Orleans mixed with chocolatier finesse.
From the intimate dining environment to the expertise and kindness of the staff and owner, 4126 was the kind of fine dining experience I look for in any city.