Southern Roots Smokehouse in Park Circle lacks the heat to compete (Charleston City Paper) Nov22

Southern Roots Smoke...

The restaurant business is very, very difficult. It demands the right combination of location, ownership, and staff, not to mention menu, ambiance, and dozens of other intangibles. Although it’s hard to put a finger on the exact elements that will lead to success, sometimes it’s...

Mt. Pleasant’s Grace & Grit delivers heavenly decadence (Charleston City Paper) Nov15

Mt. Pleasant’s...

G is for grace, grit, gastronomy, gluttony, and girth. Set in the Holiday Inn Express and Suites on Wingo Way in Mt. Pleasant, Grace & Grit provides a beautiful, airy space with a menu that promises to bring all these “G” words into your life, at least potentially. At its...

The Shellmore offers simple pleasures very slowly (Charleston City Paper) Oct25

The Shellmore offers...

Enter I’On Village and you’ll note The Shellmore Eatery and Wine Bar has an immediate upper hand. The glass-front entrance sits on a charming tree-lined lane. Once inside, there are high tin ceilings, polished tile floors, and wooden Parisienne chairs, lending to an ambience that is at once...

Kairos Greek Kitchen is what fast-casual should be (Charleston City Paper) Oct11

Kairos Greek Kitchen...

In his Dish article for City Paper, Chef John Ondo — former chef-owner of Italian restaurant Lana — explained that he left fine dining to try something less stressful in the fast casual world. Enter Kairos Greek Kitchen, which I kind of wish they’d named Pan, God of Shepherds, Hunters...

Edmund’s Oast remains superlative thanks to Chef Bob Cook (Charleston City Paper) Sep27

Edmund’s Oast ...

Less than 48-hours after Artisan Meat Share shuttered, Chef Bob Cook took the helm as executive chef at Edmund’s Oast, and Charleston exhaled in shared relief. Almost immediately, Chef Cook started tinkering with the establishment’s “gastropub” menu, nixing the beloved...

Pho Saigon brings solid Vietnamese food to James Island (Charleston City Paper) Sep20

Pho Saigon brings so...

Blame it on the rain, but the four, gray years I spent in Seattle inspired lingering obsessions with vibrant rubber boots, authentic Russian banyas, and steaming bowls of Vietnamese pho. Granted, the weather here is not always conducive to piping hot soup, but with winter on its way, folks on...

450’s generous servings make it a shoo-in for Sullivan’s success (Charleston City Paper) Sep13

450’s generous...

Filling in a notable dough/sauce/cheese gap in the Sullivan’s Island dining scene, The 450 Pizza Joint offers a casual, Italian-focused option in the former Taco Mamacita’s location. After triumphing over the nightmare that is parking on Middle Street, The 450 welcomes you with a...

1Kept’s menu is like a Top 40 list of twenty-teen hits (Charleston City Paper) Aug23

1Kept’s menu i...

Maybe it’s me, but 1Kept sounds like the name of a boy band, which somehow makes sense, as something about the restaurant reminds me of one. Occupying the space previously filled by Barony Tavern in the Renaissance Hotel, it’s hip, yet polished. There’s black silverware and...

Goulette plays it safe with a salad and duck fat frites formula (Charleston City Paper) Aug16

Goulette plays it sa...

While dining at Goulette, there is a consistent sense of being at the home of a gracious host, more than a stranger in a city restaurant. My first visit was on a slow Saturday night. When I inquired with the friendly, entertaining server as to ‘must tries,’ after a pause, he...

Coastal Crust offers creative offerings in a rowdy outdoor setting (Charleston City Paper) Aug02

Coastal Crust offers...

Originally just a food truck, Coastal Crust has set up permanent residence. Tucked behind Vintage Coffee & Cafe off Coleman Boulevard in Mt. Pleasant, there’s ample outdoor seating, a campfire smell in the air, and a boisterous playground vibe. If you’re looking for a place...

Juliet’s margherita pizza is the gold standard for purists (Charleston City Paper) Jul26

Juliet’s margh...

The menu focuses on traditional Italian flavors, and the asparagus and eggs ($10) is a straightforward presentation of the simple Milanese classic. Three sautéed spears of asparagus are topped with a pair of sunny side up eggs and a generous grating of Parmigiano cheese. Uncomplicated, yet...

Rappahannock Oyster Bar is so much more than an oyster bar (Charleston City Paper) Jul19

Rappahannock Oyster ...

If you like oysters, then the odds are pretty darn good you’ll be satisfied at most places with “oyster bar” in the title. Rappahannock Oyster Bar in the Cigar Factory on East Bay is no exception. Offering five or more varieties shucked to order and served atop freshly...

Workshop offers an around-the-world array of options (Charleston City Paper) Jul12

Workshop offers an a...

For starters, counter service at all five food-driven concepts was tip-top. Everyone was friendly, patient and helpful when required. The space itself is roomy, with ample indoor and outdoor seating (not to mention parking), plus free ice water and eclectic music overhead. That leaves the...

Gentry Bar & Room packs flavor, but lacks focus (Charleston City Paper) Jun21

Gentry Bar & Ro...

From the minute you walk in, it feels like Gentry Bar & Room is grappling with dissociative identity disorder. Is it a sports bar? Is it an upscale restaurant? Is it a rock concert? A man staring at one of the many television screens suddenly screams out in a calamitous manner, while a...

Stella’s is a gift from the Greek gods (Charleston City Paper) Jun14

Stella’s is a ...

When I think about the meals I’ve eaten in Greece, a few stand out. But none so much as a single grilled tentacle of octopus, served in a small, family-owned restaurant overlooking the sea on the remote island of Anafi. Seeing as that was eight years and a very long ferry ride ago — and...

The Granary offers rich, dense food en masse (Charleston City Paper) May31

The Granary offers r...

Whether through coincidence or intent, Chef Brannon Florie’s revamped Granary menu seems to be living up to the dictionary definition — a storehouse for threshed grain or animal feed. The new location — located along busy Coleman Boulevard in Mt. Pleasant — is spacious and contemporary....

Come to Rodney Scott’s for the ‘cue, stay for the catfish sandwich (Charleston City Paper) May24

Come to Rodney Scott...

Despite the two-hour drive from Charleston, pitmaster Rodney Scott’s eponymous barbecue joint in Hemingway, S.C. has long been considered a must-try for foodies and ‘cue enthusiasts. With coverage in everything from The New York Times to Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, the...

Pancito & Lefty’s unique flavors will delight with a portions-to-price adjustment (Charleston City Paper) May10

Pancito & Lefty...

It’s easy to overlook Pancito & Lefty, a chic, cantina-style joint on upper King Street. From the outside, the windows still advertise “pizza by the slice” and it’s not entirely clear where the entrance lies. But just let your ears be your guide, and follow the...

Sorghum & Salt is building a dedicated fanbase one scoop of “olive dirt” at a time (Charleston City Paper) Apr26

Sorghum & Salt ...

During the first quarter of this year, while most of us were busy failing at our New Year’s resolutions, Chef Tres Jackson moved up from Alabama and opened his new restaurant Sorghum & Salt. Situated in the space that once held the beloved Two Boroughs Larder, Jackson inadvertently...

Pier 41’s Southern/Asian fusion offers more than just a great happy hour (Charleston City Paper) Apr05

Pier 41’s Sout...

When you pull up to Pier 41 restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, it’s not the Atlantic Ocean or even Shem Creek that greets you. Rather, a wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tubeman all but shouts “Ahoy!” Set in a strip mall on Highway 41, the outdoor ambiance puts new meaning in...

Fish forgoes French past for Asian-influenced future (Charleston City Paper) Mar22

Fish forgoes French ...

Previously helmed by French Master Chef Nico Romo, King Street’s formerly French-Asian influenced Fish Restaurant is now in the hands of Chef David Schuttenberg, and with this change, most of the French has been dropped from the equation. Some things remain the same, of course. DIY-ish...

Poke Tea House offers a dizzying number of combinations on the classic Hawaiian dish (Charleston City Paper) Mar08

Poke Tea House offer...

When talk turns to Hawaiian cuisine, most people think of teriyaki chicken or pizza with pineapples. Predominantly influenced by travelers and laborers from Japan, Portugal, Korea, and the Philippines, Hawaiian kitchens offer a veritable U.N. conference for the taste buds. But the Polynesian...

Familiar joins contemporary in a happy union at Pawpaw (Charleston City Paper) Feb22

Familiar joins conte...

Named for the all-but-forgotten heirloom fruit, a cousin of the papaya and part of the tropical custard apple family, Pawpaw restaurant occupies the former home of Wet Willie’s. Devoid of the colorful wall of spinning frozen daiquiris and accompanying spinning, drunken revelers,...

goat.sheep.cow.north is the stuff of cheese-lovers’ dreams (Charleston City Paper) Feb08

goat.sheep.cow.north...

Perhaps in the future there will be a specialty restaurant for everything. But for now, if your dreams have involved bellying up to an elegant bar and demanding the barkeep bring you a side-splitting amount of cheese, then goat.sheep.cow.north (henceforth GSCN) is your new Cheers. For the...

Strong regional sensibilities are the focus at the Drawing Room (Charleston City Paper) Jan18

Strong regional sens...

The hearts of palmetto salad ($13), however, hits on all notes. Bright and acidic, there’s a vibrant freshness to every bite. The palm itself is firm, yet luxe, though be certain to thoroughly distribute the olive tapenade throughout the mix of tomato, avocado, pickled onion, and butter...

Smoked fish and cured meats are Scarecrow’s stock-in-trade  (Charleston City Paper) Dec21

Smoked fish and cure...

In whatever vague fantasies of sudden windfall/retirement I may have, one thing is consistent: A sunshine daydream, can’t stop, won’t stop diet of ceviche, poke, and chirashi bowls … and now Scarecrow’s calamari salad ($12).Whoever thought of this? I love you. Bits of...

Chef Josh Keeler’s 492 redux is mostly on point (Charleston City Paper) Dec07

Chef Josh KeelerR...

There’s a new 492 in town. Elegant as ever, the space is a knockout both inside and out. Between the open kitchen, the outdoor patio, and the enviable collection of stylish lighting fixtures, I would like to live in the house version of 492, should that ever be an option. During brunch...

McCrady’s Tavern has plenty of hits and some unique B-sides too (Charleston City Paper) Nov23

McCrady’s Tave...

Getting to McCrady’s Tavern requires that one head down an unassuming, narrow alleyway. It’s just the kind of place where you’d expect Harry Potter to stumble upon the entrance to Diagon Alley. And while there were occasional moments of wizardry while at said tavern, this is...

Blues Burger Joint knows what’s up with a steak sandwich (Charleston City Paper) Nov02

Blues Burger Joint k...

joint noun \joint\ a shabby or disreputable place of entertainment Granted, Merriam Webster may be coming down a bit hard on the genre, but first-time visitors to the new Blues Burger Joint on Folly Road should note the large clue dropped by the name. Upon entry, the joint is dark and a bit...

Go for the cocktails at Cane Rhum Bar & Caribbean Kitchen (Charleston City Paper) Oct12

Go for the cocktails...

Take, for example, the Instant Vacation ($12). Tasting exactly like those Gin Gins chewy ginger candies you can get at Trader Joe’s, it’s sweet and spicy with house-made ginger beer and a zippy finish. Imperceptibly alcoholic, plan to have a spotter cut you off as this could prove...

Lewis Barbecue’s brisket will make you moan (Charleston City Paper) Oct05

Lewis Barbecue’...

It was like that scene out of When Harry Met Sally. Only louder. And much, much greasier. “Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh. My. God.” But this was no cheeky reenactment, just the throes of pure, smoked meat ecstasy. If you had asked me a few weeks ago what the best barbecue I ever had was,...

Chef Michael Toscano serves near-perfect food at Le Farfalle (Charleston City Paper) Sep28

Chef Michael Toscano...

If Le Farfalle were a person, you’d want to be seen with her. Soundtrack by Alabama Shakes, wardrobe by Ralph Lauren: She’s effortlessly cool and unquestionably popular, yet exerts a polished restraint. And then there’s the food. You see it and your heart sinks. Just look...

Delicate dishes and impeccable service make for a winning combination at Henrietta’s (Charleston City Paper) Sep07

Delicate dishes and ...

Billed as a Southern brasserie, Henrietta’s is the flagship restaurant of the new Dewberry Hotel. Housed in the former L. Mendel Rivers Federal Building overlooking Marion Square, the building’s exterior retains much of its bureaucratic severity, while the revamped inside boasts a...

Chef April Robinson uses her powers for good at Butter Tapas (Charleston City Paper) Aug03

Chef April Robinson ...

In hindsight, I’m kicking myself after my visits to Butter Tapas. Sure, both times the food was on point — thoughtful, flavorful, and beautifully plated — and both times the service was skillfully handled by a gracious waitress. But how am I supposed to feel after discovering that a...

The experimental menu at Harold’s Cabin is one of the most exciting in the city  (Charleston City Paper) Jul13

The experimental men...

Unabashedly wry, Harold’s lunch menu is divided into three categories: Kickshaw, On a Roll, and Nectar and Regale. If you’re wondering if the homey decor is hiding a dictionary or two, you’re not alone. The menu is full of one-word terms used to define much more complex...

The Bulgogi and Banchan Are Worth the Trip to 843 Korean BBQ & Sushi House (Charleston City Paper) Jun15

The Bulgogi and Banc...

If your knowledge of Korean food starts and stops at kimchi, then 843 Korean in North Charleston is likely to expand your culinary horizons while providing some wholesome, G-rated, live entertainment. If you know the difference between ssamjang and gochujang and when to use them, then...

It’s All About the Window-Framed Raw Bar at The Darling (Charleston City Paper) May25

It’s All About...

The Darling on King Street is clearly doing something right. A place to see and be seen, there’s a palpable buzz the minute you step through the door. Reservations require advance planning, and large parties hoping for a last-minute table can anticipate such requests to be met with...

Cure’s Nostalgic Plates Will Suit Those In the Mood For a Retro Meal (Charleston City Paper) Apr27

Cure’s Nostalg...

If this were the first sentence of a sci-fi romance novel, then Cure would be a star-crossed time traveler. A holdover from simpler times, the restaurant’s round leather booths and Frank Sinatra soundtrack collude with the old school menu to provide a time capsule to 1961: oysters...

The Codfather Brings Proper Fish and Chips to North Charleston (Charleston City Paper) Apr06

The Codfather Brings...

FADE FROM BLACK: Int. Codfather chip shop — day CHIPPER (standing beside a vat of bubbling oil, but not petting a cat because that would be weird.) You’ve known of me for several months, but this is the first time you came to me for counsel, for fish. But let’s be frank here: you...

Go For the Hummus at Istanbul Shish Kabobs (Charleston City Paper) Mar09

Go For the Hummus at...

Imagine you’ve been on the road for several hours. You’re tired. You’re hungry. The kids are whining. What’s that smell? You see a budget hotel in the distance and decide to take refuge there. The website reports it has an onsite “casual eatery.” Sounds...

Anson Restaurant Returns With Its Signature Southern Classics (Charleston City Paper) Feb10

Anson Restaurant Ret...

It’s been roughly two years since Anson Restaurant suffered a kitchen fire, but if the crowds present on my visits were any indicator, its fan base has been merely biding time. Anson is back. Reinvented in an elegant fashion, Anson’s sophistication extends to returning chef Jeremy...

Poogan’s Smokehouse delivers well-done upscale comfort food (Charleston City Paper) Jan13

Poogan’s Smoke...

Consider the best dish your mama used to make. Now imagine it prepared by a talented chef — familiar tastes elevated by honed technique. If upscale comfort food hasn’t inspired its own grassroots movement yet, the new Poogan’s Smokehouse on East Bay Street should give that...

Gnome Café delivers solid vegan fare (Charleston City Paper) Dec23

Gnome Café delivers ...

Although the new all-vegan Gnome Café may call to mind certain mental images, it’s not the hippie enterprise you may be expecting: no burning incense, wall tapestries, nor a single note of Grateful Dead music are to be found. Rather, Gnome Café is surprisingly minimalist and...

Screen Door Does Wood-Fired Pizza Right, But Struggles Elsewhere (Charleston City Paper) Nov25

Screen Door Does Woo...

In the six months since opening, Screen Door on James Island has been through more transformations than The Wolfman. After initial chef Blake Joyal’s menu was scrapped a month after opening, the restaurant’s fare descended into a worrisome state of evolutionary confusion. What...

Grand Bohemian Hotel’s Élevé Restaurant is Hit or Miss (Charleston City Paper) Nov04

Grand Bohemian Hotel...

Élevé is a study in quirky interior decorating. Inside the Grand Bohemian’s rooftop restaurant, it’s wall-to-wall glammed-up shabby chic, with mismatched chandeliers and old armoires filled with liquor. Flanked by two vibrant yellow bars on either end of the seriously loud room —...

The Smoker Steers the Ship at the Rusty Rudder (Charleston City Paper) Oct21

The Smoker Steers th...

Driving past The Rusty Rudder on N. Highway 17 in Mt. Pleasant, I nearly wrote it off as dive bar. Inside, however, what I found was more what I’d call a “barbecue-joint-meets-family-friendly-sports-bar-meets-seafood-restaurant-meets-outdoor-patio party-spot.” Sound like a...

Lowcountry Street Grocery’s Bus Hopes to Drive Out Hunger (Charleston City Paper) Sep30

Lowcountry Street Gr...

We hate to say it, but the word Kickstarter often makes us roll our eyes. In today’s crowdfund-happy world, every conceivable idea from manufacturing bespoke toothpaste to starting a line of sweaters for alopecia-suffering pandas seems to get an IndieGoGo campaign. So it was with some...

No Butts About it, Smoke BBQ is the Business (Charleston City Paper) Sep23

No Butts About it, S...

Smoke BBQ, the former food truck turned chic brick-and-mortar shop, occupies a lofty and modern space on Upper King Street. The former home of the short-lived L.I.F.E. Bar and equally short-lived vegan motorcycle restaurant, Motobar, has come a long way. From industrial tables to exposed...

Apartment A Serves Savory Mississippi Tamales in a Charleston Single House (Charleston City Paper) Sep09

Apartment A Serves S...

Act I, Scene I. It’s mid-afternoon at Apartment A. As the sun filters through the windows of the 150-year-old building, the soundtrack to pretty much every John Hughes film plays softly overhead. The former dwelling on Coming Street exists squarely in the netherland between restaurant,...

Assessing Charleston’s Culinary Tours to Find the Best Entertainment for Your Summer Guests (Charleston City Paper) Jul29

Assessing Charleston...

Well, hello there, sultry summer. It’s the dog days. We’ve reached max oppressive heat, bug bites, sunburns, and summer’s revolving door of visiting friends and family. You know what we’re talking about, whether there’s a bloodline connection or not, family is...