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Aug 28, 2007 06:08 PM

are we making any mistakes? Charleston dinners!

the husband and i are headed out to charleston for our first anniversary trip, and to attend a wedding on kiawah island. we have four nights in charleston and i've just about researched restaurants to death! here's our list, are we making any fatal errors?

saturday night: social wine bar & restaurant
sunday night: F.I.G.
monday night: Chai's Lounge & Tapas
tuesday night: McCrady's


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  1. Looks good to me. I had a mixed experience at Social though. They have an expensive and beautiful set-up but the food and wine underwhelmed me. If you want to eat at Chai's (which I highly recomend, I love their food) get there early. Not sure about Monday nights but on the weekend it is shoulder-to-shoulder. Mondays are usually big F&B nights so I wouldn't be surprised if it is packed.

    1. I am pretty sure that Chai's is closed on Monday. FIG is open Monday though and I am think Chai is open on you might want to switch those (and double check with the restaurants).

      1. I also think it's a good list with Social probably being the weak link. I haven't been there myself, but most of what I've heard about the place has been lukewarm. If you were willing to leave downtown, I'd really recommend Siena on Daniel Island for some mindblowing modern Italian. If not, Tristan, Circa 1886, and Charleston Grill are all good choices. Tristan is pretty lively, Circa is very quiet and romantic, and CG is somewhere in between the two. Charleston Grill's new menu, BTW, is a significant improvement over their old one.

        1. You know, Ive had a few bad experiences at McCradys. I would opt for High Cotton ir SNOB instead, Ive never had a bad meal in either of those places. You may like to try Fulton Five also.

          FIG is awesome though, good choice.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Moz

            thanks for all the replies! we may rethink social and mccrady's. i was kind of waffling on mccrady's for a while and heard that cordavi would be a good switch, but their menu won't pull up online for some reason. i'll have to try again tonight.

            charlestonchow or lowcountryjon, do you have recs instead of social? it's our arrival day and we wanted something low-key and mellow, walking distance from our hotel (elliott house inn).

            lowcountryjon, we won't have a car while we're in charleston so i was trying to find walking distance options. thanks for the siena rec, but my husband is obsessed with italian food and we eat it too much already in san diego. so i was trying to stay away from italian if possible (for my own sanity). a coworker also rec'd circa 1886, i'll have to research a bit more.

            1. re: beachbunnySD

              Low-key: Maybe Library at Vendue, Circa, or McCrady's. Saturday night is going to be bustling and for a light dinner and wine these three may be your best bet. Plus, if you choose McCrady's, you can sample it then go to Cordavi for your science-food meal. I think that McCrady's has re-opened the back bar and revamped the selection/service in it. It used to be a F&B bar with no selection of wine or food. I think the idea was to make it more appropriate for catering to the normal restaurant patrons. Circa is likely to be the only really low-key choice.

              1. re: CharlestonChow

                I love Library - I've been there only twice, but had awesome food both times.

          2. I wouldn't recommend Social, unless you are just going for the wine list...McCrady's is great...FIG is a local favorite...have never eaten at Chai's - has a pretty good bar does Raval across the street...

            6 Replies
            1. re: RDfoodie

              if you had to choose between cordavi or mccrady's - which would you choose???
              the chefs look really young at cordavi.....

              1. re: beachbunnySD

                I like them both, but I would choose McCrady's. I see it like this: Cordavi's food is more consistent, but McCrady's is more adventurous, which is what I think molecular gastronomy is all about. Try the tasting menu and you'll probably be surprised, as I was, by which items end up blowing you away. Plus, you can't beat the historic atmosphere of McCrady's.

                1. re: beachbunnySD

                  I personally prefer McCrady's overall - for the food, the ambience, and the service, but I don't think you can go wrong with either. The chefs are indeed young at Cordavi...but they are talented. I will say, the scallops served two ways as an appetizer at Cordavi was a memorable dish, but we felt that our server was a bit condescending.

                  1. re: RDfoodie

                    we made reservations at mccrady's. thank you everyone for your help! this is our first visit to the south and we're really looking forward to it. i'm a little scared of the humidity i must say!

                    1. re: beachbunnySD

                      I hope you had a nice time. Please give us your review of McCrady's, we love that. Yes, the humidity is hard for a northerner to adjust, but it's well worth it.:)

                      1. re: charlestonfoodiegal

                        mccrady's was above and beyond our expectations. will post a restaurant trip report in a new thread. we ate our way through charleston and had no disappointments whatsoever... great town, we had such a lovely visit!