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Charleston. SC

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Nathaniel C

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Charleston. SC

by Nathaniel C » Sun Nov 14, 2021 10:29 pm

Recently returned from a road trip to this fine southern city. I am copying and pasting dining notes from my coworker, who used to live there, with my comments in red:

Fast & French (actually called Gaulart & Maliclet) – near the courthouse. We made lunch reservations online a few weeks ago, which made it easy. It’s a pretty small place and very local. Good sandwiches, salads, cheese plates (and wine). I ate here, and it was great. Charming little building and excellent food. Portion sizes not too large.

Vendue Inn Rooftop Bar – This is a neat place to grab a drink. There isn’t (or used not to be) a lot of signage. You just go in the lobby and ride the elevator all the way to the top. Had a drink here, as well. The elevator was not working, and I think it was four flights of not-perfectly-level, sometimes steep stairs to the top. They hit different on the way down after a drink!

Fleet Landing – Fleet Landing – Restaurant & Bar. This is on the water, which is unusual for downtown, and has good seafood and non-seafood options. It’s one of my favs.

Peninsula Grill – Peninsula Grill, Fine Dining, Restaurant, Historic Market, Charleston, SC. This is one of Charleston’s best restaurants and has great service. It can be pricey but is really good. We used to sometimes just get a drink and appetizer at the bar if we didn’t want to splurge on dinner.

The Wreck – The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene (wreckrc.com). This is in Mount Pleasant, near Sullivan’s Island. I knew there was a Hugo connection, but it’s that the restaurant was built where a shrimp boat landed after being torn from its mooring during Hugo.

Poogan’s Porch – Poogan's Porch | Southern Cuisine Restaurant in Charleston, SC (poogansporch.com). This is traditional lowcountry food. I’ve never had anything that wasn’t good there. I had--and highly recommend--the fried chicken platter, but I doubt you can go wrong here. The bartender was amazing.

Virginia’s – Best Southern restaurant in Charleston | Virginia's on King (holycityhospitality.com). This is also traditional lowcountry. I also enjoyed this place. The pimento cheese BLT is amazing.

California Dreaming - I believe this is a regional chain of restaurants which I had heard of but had never tried. The one in Charleston is located off the peninsula and was near my hotel. Very good food. The service was kind of a miss because I got my entree before the salad I had also ordered, but the honey-glazed croissant that came with the salad made up for it. I got kind of a "chain restaurant" vibe from the atmosphere inside, but the location is great--it's surrounded by a bunch of docks which were very pretty at night.

I really wanted to try Maison, a French restaurant on King Street, but did not have time. The menu and reviews looked really good. There is an Italian place across the street which also looked really good.

Steak Places – I would think a reservation would be best if you want to go to any of these:
Hall’s – Halls Chophouse | Multi-location Steakhouse in SC. Full disclosure, I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard great things.
High Cotton – Menus | High Cotton in Charleston, SC (highcottoncharleston.com). This is a Charleston staple with good steak and seafood. Great to get a cocktail or coffee and dessert at the bar, even if you don’t eat here.
Slightly North of Broad – Slightly North of Broad | Fine dining restaurant in Charleston, SC (snobcharleston.com). Another Charleston staple that everyone seems to love (I slightly prefer High Cotton but think I’m in the minority).
Oak – Oak Steakhouse (oaksteakhouserestaurant.com). This is my in-laws' fav.
Tempest – We had brunch here one day and really enjoyed it. I had a (couple of) super refreshing cocktails.
Rue de Jean – French Restaurant Downtown Charleston, SC. Something a little different for Charleston. My memory is the food is very good, but it can get loud in the restaurant.
Do NOT, under any conditions, go to Hyman’s Restaurant. It almost always has a long wait for mediocre food.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Charleston. SC

by Robin Garr » Mon Nov 15, 2021 7:52 am

Thanks for this and your other travel posts, Nathaniel. Great archives!
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JustinHammond

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Re: Charleston. SC

by JustinHammond » Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:53 am

We also got back a few weeks ago. We were there Halloween weekend.

The elevator was broke at Vendue while we were there. We made the hike to the top to find the place packed with a disappointing view.

The view at The Citrus Club at The Dewberry was fantastic.

Not a rooftop, but the view from Charleston Harbor Fish House of Patriots point is also fantastic.

Highly recommend crossing the bridge and taking in Shem Creek Park and all the nearby waterfront bars.

We went to Hyman's at 1:30 and it was a 45 min. wait, scored bar seats and enjoyed the food. It is super old school.

We had dinner and Husk, Tempest, and Zero and loved them all.

We had a fantastic lunches at Rappahannock Oyster Bar and Leon's Fine Poultry and Oysters.
"The idea is to eat well and not die from it-for the simple reason that that would be the end of your eating." - Jim Harrison

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