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Cordavi, Charleston, SC

Jeff C. Oct 15, 2006 05:48 PM

Esquire has just named Cordavi, 14 North Market in Charleston, South Carolina, as one the best new restaurants in the county. Thoughts anyone?

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    jblauren RE: Jeff C. Nov 14, 2006 01:42 AM

    We just had an exceptional dinner at Cordavi. The tastes, presentation, and creativity were on a level much greater than we expected in Charleston. We moved recently from Boston and I would say that Cordavi reminded us most of Barbara Lynch's No 9 Park.....this is a honor to be held in greatest regards. After doing hours of research we ended up at Cordavi b/c of the possibility of a romantic, "fancy" dinner for our anniversary. The Tuna Tartar was served on the most delicate slices of crunchy "toast" and gently placed beside was a beautiful quail egg. The Scallops in 2 ways was honostly one of the most flavorful and pleasing dishes I have ever had. I consider myself one of the greatest food snobs around and this resteraunt is fantastic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jblauren
      Jeff C. RE: jblauren Nov 14, 2006 04:29 PM

      Thanks so much for your review. We plan to be in Charleston over Christmas, and Cordavi is on our shortlist of new restaurants to try.

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      tstett RE: Jeff C. Dec 5, 2006 02:31 AM

      We'll be in Charleston this month (first time visit), and I am trying to pick 2 dinner spots. I think I have it narrowed down to Mccrady's, FIG, and Cordavi.

      Which 2 should I pick?

      1 Reply
      1. re: tstett
        Low Country Jon RE: tstett Dec 6, 2006 10:34 PM

        I've been to McCrady's and FIG but not Cordavi yet. If I had to choose two I would choose FIG for one night and either McCrady's or Cordavi the other night because those two restaurants mine a similar vein--molecluar gastronomy with elaborate tasting menus. Foodwise, the tasting menu at McCrady's blew me away and I think that's really the route to go. Oddly, the tasting courses on the menu I would have been most inclined to order as entrees beforehand turned out to be the most underwhelming, not bad, just not as good as I'd hoped. On the other hand, many of the courses I had my doubts about really surprised me with how good and inventive they were. My only real complaint was one of the dessert courses, a deconstructed and reconstructed caramelized banana, the whole point of which I just didn't grasp.

        I would say Cordavi and McCrady's are generating about equal buzz right now. If their food is indeed comparable, I would go with McCrady's because the atmosphere is one of a kind--one of the most storied restaurant settings in the city, that in an early incarnation as a tavern played host to George Washington in the 1790s.

        FIG I've been to many times, and I've had mixed experiences. It's definitely unique in the area, and I admire their focus on fresh ingredients and simple preparations, but some dishes are, well, sort of boring. I've had good luck with their pork dishes (especially the suckling pig when available), and their gnocchi is out of the world. Also, their rice pudding shouldn't be missed.

        Hope this helps!

      2. Jeff C. RE: Jeff C. Dec 5, 2006 02:14 PM

        I've been to literally dozens of places in the greater Charleston area. Unfortunately, I haven't been to any the ones you've asked about--though I definitely plan to try Cordavi and FIG next time I'm there.

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          jblauren RE: Jeff C. Dec 6, 2006 01:48 AM

          I already posted my thoughts on Cordavi earlier. Again....exceptional. We had reservations at Mccradys and cancled at the last second b/c Cordavi seemed more interesting. Again...it was amazing. I would choose Fig for the second night b/c it is very different. It is the polar opposite. Cordavi is "five star" type of food. Beautiful presentation, delicate tastes, unusual combinations. Fig is more like Chez Panis in Berkely. It celebrates the fresh food in a simple, yet amazing way. The Frisee salad with poached egg was one of the best salads I have ever had.

          1. Jeff C. RE: Jeff C. Dec 6, 2006 12:32 PM

            Sounds like a plan. And thank you again for your comments and suggestions. Just one question: Would you recommend reservations for either place?

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              EmBrooks RE: Jeff C. Dec 8, 2006 02:02 PM

              I would definitely get reservations for McCradys and FIG. I haven't been to Cordavi's yet, but would assume that anything in the market area is going to be packed this time of year.

              Also if you are looking for REALLY good Italian I would try Il Cortile del Re - it is tucked away in the antique section of King Street, very authentic food in a non-tourist environment.

              1 Reply
              1. re: EmBrooks
                Jeff C. RE: EmBrooks Dec 8, 2006 02:09 PM

                That's new to me. Has it been open very long?

              2. d
                DavidA RE: Jeff C. Dec 8, 2006 08:12 PM

                Il Cortile has been around a long time and is excellent. Pane e Vino, on Warren Street, is a relative newcomer created by veterans of Il Cortile and serves excellent, authentic Italian that is slightly off the beaten path. It is small, so check for availability.

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                  EmBrooks RE: Jeff C. Dec 8, 2006 08:38 PM

                  Il Cortile has been around as long as I have (5 years), not sure when it opened. The owners just opened a french restaurant - La Fourchette on Upper King Street, that is good as well.

                  REservations are necessary at both Il Cortile and La Fourchette.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: EmBrooks
                    DavidA RE: EmBrooks Dec 8, 2006 08:47 PM

                    Just a point of clarification -- Perig, who is the owner of La Fourchette, worked at Il Cortile. he was not an owner. La Fourchette is wonderful!

                    1. re: DavidA
                      EmBrooks RE: DavidA Dec 8, 2006 09:18 PM

                      Thank you...I knew there was some connection! Yes - love the mussels there!

                  2. Jeff C. RE: Jeff C. Dec 9, 2006 12:56 PM

                    Thanks, everyone. You've opened up a whole new world of Charleston dining I didn't even know existed. And I used to live there!

                    1. SweetPea RE: Jeff C. Jan 1, 2007 11:14 PM

                      Dear friend went a few days ago and told me excellent food, presentation, sevice, high prices and minimal portions. Great, but left sort of hungry.

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