Second thoughts are ever wiser, a do-over is usually better, and hitting the target is easier with practice. After five years on Greenville’s Main Street, the Nose Dive is nothing new. It is a high-ranking soldier in the Table 301 battalion, a restaurant group whose flagship Soby’s sets the pace for seven venues and counting.
What breaks the Nose Dive from the pack is its emphasis on upscale pub food and craft drinks, offering a mix-and- match experience fitting for lunch, dinner, late night, and times between. Now, diners are demanding more, from varied plates to inventive cocktails.
If necessity is the mother of invention, reinvention is its sexier sibling. The Table 301 group, headed up by owner Carl Sobocinski, unveiled a revamped, restyled, and otherwise renewed version of the place, with an emphasis on “urban comfort food.” Famed chef Shaun Garcia, who helmed Soby’s kitchen for more than a decade, has now taken the wheel, serving up his favorite Southern dishes and riffs on others—like the West Coast Burger, a take on California’s beloved In-N-Out fast food chain. “There are three things in life that I love more than anything: a good burger, good pizza, and ice cream,” he says.
With Garcia elevating the menu, Sobocinski and team needed to up the drink game. Competing for top billing is the Nose Dive’s enhanced cocktail program, helmed by 301 beverage director Anjoleena Griffin-Holst. Crafted at Nose Dive is like an experience within an experience. The restaurant’s upstairs perch, with dimmed lighting, marble and wood accents, and quilted velvet chairs, lends more of a lounge feel where diners can customize their seating, including a front row of chairs overlooking accordion-style windows that open to Main Street, or quiet “cubbies,” complete with heavy curtains, elegant lighting fixtures, and cushy pillows.
The cocktails are as inventive as the food. Griffin-Holst and bartender Edgar Flores created a mix of tastes reflective of personal experiences, local ingredients, and the time of day. Standards done better like the T&T, Tanqueray gin enhanced with house-made tonic, sit well with standout seasonal options like Springtime in Provence, a refreshing, herbal take on the classic French 75. “This cocktail is just our ode, our daydream fascination of being on a coastal French countryside where it’s springtime most year-round,” says Flores. The Missy Migas is a kicky spin on the paloma, a traditional Mexican tequila drink with grapefruit soda. Here, the drink incorporates sister venue Southern Pressed Juicery’s Hot Mess juice as the grapefruit addition (with health benefits to boot) plus a house-made agave simple syrup and soda. Crafted’s “Capped Cocktails,” are an homage to the nightcap, playful, and as satisfying as a dessert.
First acts may set the stage, but the second is where the action starts.