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Charleston, SC: Seeking comments on FISH, Raval, La Fourchette

Low Country Jon Aug 28, 2006 04:49 PM

So my parents are visiting this weekend, and I'm considering taking them to either FISH or FIG. I've been to FIG several times and have sort of a love/apathy relationship with the place. I've never been to FISH and after an initial positive buzz its first year or so, I haven't heard much comment about it since. Have any hounds been to FISH? Love it, hate it, take it or leave it?

On the subject of Upper King Street eateries, I'd also welcome any comments/reviews of Raval (tapas place) or La Fourchette (French "country" cuisine). They are both relatively new and on my "visit soon" list.


  1. c
    CharlestonChow Aug 20, 2007 12:59 PM

    I echo the sentiments of the others so far. If it is between FIG and Fish go to FIG. I do prefer Coast to Fish as well. The chef from Coast has gone over to The Fat Hen though. I have not eaten there since he left.

    La Fourchette is my favorite French in Charleston in the mid-priced category.

    The food at Raval is really very good. The tapas would be a great start to the evening but at night the place explodes into a very loud and popular bar/night club.

    I would think that a glass of wine or cocktail with app. at Raval and then dinner at La Fourchette would make for a very nice evening.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CharlestonChow
      Low Country Jon Aug 20, 2007 04:05 PM

      Thanks for the input. I ended up taking my parents to FIG and they enjoyed it. In the year since I posted to original query, I've been to both Raval and La Fourchette. They were both fine, but I wasn't impressed enough to make a return visit to either as of yet.

      I was at Fat Hen the night they opened. I knew it was a gamble, and boy, were they swamped. We had reservations and still had to wait nearly half an hour for a table. The food was pretty good, not really worth a drive from East of the Cooper though. My biggest complaint is the restaurant has marketed itself as paying homage to Charleston's French Hugenot cuisine, which made me think I might see something new, like maybe they'd actually researched Charleston's food history and come up with some obscure gems. No such luck. The menu is just a mish mash of typical Southern/Lowcountry fare and the chef's well-rehearsed classics from Rue de Jean. Disappointing. Charleston has such a rich and diverse cultural and culinary history, it's a shame no restaurants are actually mining those historical connections other than through the ubiquitous shrimp and grits and she crab soup.

      1. re: Low Country Jon
        Raised on Q Aug 21, 2007 08:31 AM

        Have not had the pleasure to hit Charleston in a couple of years, glad to hear Coast and Fig are doing well. They are a couple of my favorites in that wonderful old city.

    2. m
      mbgoodwin Aug 20, 2007 12:29 PM

      I feel the same about FIG. RAVAL is lovely, but not substantial enough for a real dinner. Definitely worth a stop for an apps course, though. La Fourchette is FANTASTIC. Also, if you havent (and I find this hard to believe) tried Basil, that's a don't miss on Upper King too if you like Asian at all.

      Fish bores me to tears. Loved the first visit when it first opened and never been thrilled since.

      If I were going for a full dinner, Fourchette would definitely win in that area. If your parents can handle a noisy dining room, that is. Fourchette is loud. If not, there are enough booths at Rue de Jean to accomodate and the food there is quite good as well.

      1. d
        doudard Oct 4, 2006 02:09 PM

        La Fourchette. I was at this restaurant late Sept 2006. This is a great bistro-style French restaurant. The food is traditional French. The fries are done in duck grease and are absolutely fabulous. The beef with morel mushroom was extremely tender and flavorful, and the profiterole au chocolat were made fresh. I highly recommend this restaurant. The service is friendly and unpretentious and the bill, considering we had an apperitif (Kir), a starter, an entree, a bottle of wine, and desert with a glass of champagne was extremely reasonable at $70 per person before tips. The anthousiastic and friendly owner, Perig Goulet, is there to chat and assist you with choices. All in all a great experience.

        1. d
          DavidA Aug 28, 2006 07:29 PM

          Fish is good -- not great, not bad. They do what they do well, but there are more memorable restaurants in Charleston. La Fourchette is wonderful -- you will think you are sitting in a cozy bistro/cafe on Boulevard St. Germain. The food is authentic and the atmosphere great. It is run by a frenchman who makes everyone feel like a friend. If you don't have a reservation you can eat at the bar. We have not been to Raval yet, sorry, but have heard good things.

          1. g
            GrillMaster Aug 28, 2006 06:07 PM

            Have not yet been to fish but I did go to Coast a few weeks ago. For those that remember, it is where Capt. Harry's used to be before it closed down for good. It is more casual than I think Fish is and the service was odd, not bad but just odd, and, most importantly, the food was really very good. The menu had a little something for everyone. It had the lowcountry classics like shrimp and grits and she crab soup, a pretty wide variety of fish, and some more creative fare as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GrillMaster
              King84 Dec 6, 2007 05:58 PM

              I know this has nothing to do with what you all are talking about, but I used to be a cadet there in 1980 at The Citadel. I remember a bar called Captain Harry's (a hole in the wall type bar), but they had good bands on the weekend, like the Killer Whales, ect. Any information or pictures you have would be greatly appreciated!...

            2. danna Aug 28, 2006 05:40 PM

              I went to Fish once maybe 2003/2004. As I recall through the haze of time, it was pretty good. But nothing spectacular to bring me back. I hope you get a more helpful review!

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