Olivia255

Charleston, SC

138 posts in this topic

I go to Charleston at least once a year and was there last month.

I agree with the Anson's recommendation above. I would add the Hominy Grill for breakfast or lunch. Also, Magnolia's for dinner.

Another great rooftop bar is at the Meeting Street Inn. It has great views of the city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best wine bar city in America. Pretty much any place that mentions "wine" in the name has an eclectic selection, decent prices, and pretty good stems.

(Disclosure: the wines I import are featured in several of said bars).

Edit: to clarify.

Edited by jparrott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As it happens, we're in the vicinity right now (Isle of Palms). Had a really great dinner the other night at McCrady's downtown. Great value tasting menu at $65 and an excellent wine list. Definitely try the frog leg risotto.

Charleston Grill also comes highly recommended at the higher end. For more casual stuff, we enjoyed Jack's Cosmic Dogs in Mount Pleasant and Hyman's on Meeting St. for seafood. Up Hwy. 17, Gullah Cuisine is supposed to have the best dirty rice anywhere. Sticky Fingers and Melvin's are both OK for BBQ if you get the craving. And yes, it is f*cking steamy down here right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Palmetto Grill, also in the Omni Hotel was theeee best she crab soup eva! I tried about 4 different places too! We also went to Shem creek, to the Shem Creek bar and grill. Good shreeeump theya.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Magnolia's, as mentioned earlier, is another one that I've been to once and enjoyed. I recall having a bottle of MacRostie Chardonnay there which I liked and have bought around here from time to time.

From the current issue of Budget Travel magazine as mentioned in another thread: Suggestions from Frank Stitt, author/chef/owner of a few restaurants in the SE.

"An out of the way place for an oyster roast in the winter is Bowens Island, on James Island, outside of town. It's a cinder block shack overlooking the water on a bend in the river on the way to Folley Beach. They'll roast the oysterd, then shovel them onto these big wooden tables. If you're at all cool you know to bring your own oyster knife. 1870 Bowens Island Rd. 843-795-2757. In Mount Pleasant, on Shem Creek right across the river from Charleston, where the shrimp boats come in, there the Wreck, a hole in the wall. It's a reeeal dive. It's a little big sleazy and a little bit shady, and cheap, but you get shrimp that are right off the boat,either boiled or fried. 106 Haddrell St. 843-884-0052.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two can't-miss options: for casual, Hominy Grill; for fancy, McCrady's.

Really, I've only had excellent meals in Charleston, although my dining companion was a little disappointed in his meal at Fleet Landing. (I had a fried green tomato BLT there and wasn't disappointed in the least.)

I've also enjoyed meals at Anson, SNOB (Slightly North of Broad), Charleston Grill, Sermat's Corner, and Blossom.

When we were there in May, our Big Fancy Meals were at Charleston Grill and McCrady's. The food was excellent at both, but CG is more stuffy/French, and McCrady's is more friendly/American. Had some kind of sea bass there with Asian vegetables and it was utterly delicious without being heavy at all.

If you're on foot, Hominy Grill is a little off the beaten path, but at brunch there I had the largest plate of French toast I'd ever seen, with a pecan butter to die for. Dee-lish, and I think it set me back $7.

Jael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Two can't-miss options: for casual, Hominy Grill; for fancy, McCrady's.

Really, I've only had excellent meals in Charleston, although my dining companion was a little disappointed in his meal at Fleet Landing. (I had a fried green tomato BLT there and wasn't disappointed in the least.)

I've also enjoyed meals at Anson, SNOB (Slightly North of Broad), Charleston Grill, Sermat's Corner, and Blossom.

When we were there in May, our Big Fancy Meals were at Charleston Grill and McCrady's. The food was excellent at both, but CG is more stuffy/French, and McCrady's is more friendly/American. Had some kind of sea bass there with Asian vegetables and it was utterly delicious without being heavy at all.

If you're on foot, Hominy Grill is a little off the beaten path, but at brunch there I had the largest plate of French toast I'd ever seen, with a pecan butter to die for. Dee-lish, and I think it set me back $7.

Jael

I would second the McCrady's recommendation. Here's my report from last November:

I had one terrific and one very good meal in Charleston last month.

McCrady's--On a sleepy Sunday evening in mid November, just off an airplane, I ventured to McCrady's, hoping to check out its wine bar. The wine bar is closed on Sunday evenings, so I ended up eating at the bar in the main restaurant. The octopus salad ($12) was terrific, prepared with marinated mushrooms, fennel and a truffle vinagrette. I washed it down a glass of Steele Pinot Blanc 2002 ($10.75). I also had the Rack of Lamb ($34), herb marinated, with roast potatoes, cippolini onions, asparagus, and thyme jus. Lean, delicious, perfect. I enjoyed a glass of the Cotes du Rhone-Villages, Jaboulet 2001 ($9.50) with it. I was also offered a taste of the Judson Valley Foie Gras while there. Fantastic. The bartender also was nice enough to turn on the lights and let me see the wine bar side. She said that sometime this month they would be redecorating it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going for the first time next month but based on research on eG and elsewhere I recommended Slightly North of Braod and McCready's to my boss earlier this year and he can't stop raving about the restaurants and my ability to find restaurants good restaurants anywhere.

We have reservations for McCready's and Peninsula Grill for our two dinners in September.

We are also going to be spending two nights at the Sactuary at Kiawah Island. Does any one have any experience there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

McCrady's is yummy. And there list was awesome way before they bought a bunch of our stuff. The sommelier/GM gets it something fierce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, my trip was indeed steamy, but we visited Charleston Grill where my friend, Andrea bartends. She had the "quintet" of chocolate for dessert, but only after a glorified crabcake, tuna tartare, and yellow tomato gazpacho. All delicious. We hit Penninsula Inn as well - had DELISHLISHLISHous beef tartare and oyster stew. We then hit Cyprus (owned by same people as Blossom and Magnolia) for duck gumbo. Yummmmm. We also visited Red Drum in Mount Pleasant where my other friend and Andrea's fiance, John works. Delicous Ceviche. I will say, the dining was outstanding. I would add to the "do not miss" list - Poe's on Sullivan's Island for burgers and beers. An excellent after-beach stop!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just one lunch in Charleston tomorrow! Where to go??? Help! I've been to Hominy Grill and Charleston Grille so I wanna try something new. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a great dinner at Magnolia's last week, if you're looking for something Southern / Low-Country. And I regret not having the chance to have dinner at McCrady's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a matter of fact, I forgot to post this when I returned from the trip.

Warning - this post does contain some criticism.

I just returned from my too short trip to Charleston and had some awfully good food, with one strange element. We started with reservations at Peninsula Grill and McCrady's but ended up swapping McCrady's for Magnolia's, after deciding that Peninsula and McCrady's together might be a little too "haute".

The food and room at Peninsula were great - it's been a few days and my memory is failing me, but everything we had was as excellent as I had expected. And the food at Magnolias - luscious shellfish and grits, one of the best fried chicken dinners I've ever had - is everything I fantasized that low-country cooking would be about.

But aside from the food, a memory that lingers from both is the fact that we were in and out in 90 minutes at both places. And we had appetizers, entrees and desserts at both with an extra course thrown in at Magnolia's. At both Peninsula, where the waiters were doing their best not to run through the dining room, and Magnolia's where the waiter with our entrees was standing behind the person clearing our appetizer plates we felt rushed, like they were trying to turn tables for restaurant week.

I don't want this to sound like a rant, because it isn't. The food at both was everything we'd hoped it would be and even the service was pleasant and efficient. But we tourists come for leisure and at places like this, our dinner is often our entertainment for the night. We don't come to Charleston for New York pre-theater service.

Beyond that - we did go to Jestine's for a properly leisurely lunch. The sweet tea, Mac and Cheese and fried green tomatoes are all out of this world Southern treats, even if the rest of the food was standard diner-grub.

And the surprise of the trip was our dinner at the Ocean Room at the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Dinner was part of our package and I was dreading it a little, with its jacket-required formality and expecting played-out country club cooking. But the cooking was more forward thinking than I had expected and, as this was the last night of our trip, the service and pacing was perfect. Although, after two days at this resort that was to be expected. This place did everything right from the second you pull up to the portico to the second you leave. Beautiful, luxurious, thoughtful.

Edited by bilrus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just one lunch in Charleston tomorrow! Where to go??? Help! I've been to Hominy Grill and Charleston Grille so I wanna try something new. Thanks!

Schmancy or regular? Nice casual meals can be had at Sermet's (Sermat's?) Corner, on King. For fancier I seem to recall a lovely lunch at Blossom, with a delicious shrimp & grits and their signature Southern egg rolls.

Have a great lunch, and definitely report back!

Jael

[Note: I just consulted with my dining companion and neither of us is sure whether it was Blossom or Magnolia that was the scene of the lovely lunch. Well, you can't go wrong with either.]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to second the fried chicken dinner at Magnolia's. Definitely the sleeper hit of the menu.

Sorry to hear you were a bit rushed during your meals, Bill. My experience at Magnolia's in July was pretty leisurely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ended up going to Jestine's. The fried chicken was dry and severely underseasoned. A friend who lives in Charleston says they've gone downhill. Quite a disappointment : (

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ended up going to Jestine's.  The fried chicken was dry and severely underseasoned.  A friend who lives in Charleston says they've gone downhill.  Quite a disappointment : (

Sorry about the tip. But then again, my meal was a mixed bag - some very good and some pretty average.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were in SC in August and enjoyed Magnolia's in Charleston - very tasty shrimp with tasso gravy and grits. The other place we really enjoyed out by Kiawah was Rosebank Farms Cafe...definitely the best option in the area for mid-range dining. The fried chicken was awesome - boneless breasts that managed to stay very juicy, with a light and crispy crust. They don't take reservations for smaller groups, and filled up pretty quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had a amazing dinner at The Mustard Seed on James Island (they have 2 other locations in the area). We started with a Fried green tomato and crabcake napoleon with a corn chutney on top-- a great mix of flavors and textures. My entree was pork tenderloin encrusted with walnuts with a raspberry cola reduction, served with sweet potatoes and a slaw made with cucumbers, greens, and a vinegar base. I wish I had room for dessert, I know it would have been amazing there. If you are visiting Charleston, definitely stop in for a visit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going to Charleston for my first trip in July. Read the posts and there seems to be some favorites. Any new favorites over the past year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poogan's Porch and Hominy Grill: good food, tons of character

The Library: drinks only, for the view

82 Queen: drinks outside

Carolinas: good service, wine

St. John's Island Cafe for lunch

McCrady's: good food, plenty of locals, albeit this was a couple of years ago. On the same visit to McCrady's, someone shoved rice in my hand to throw in a receiving line at a bride and groom. Then, a second group of USC people asked me back to their house in town for gumbo. People were really nice. And I'm not even southern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now