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Nov 26, 2007 07:02 AM

Charleston Bound! Advice Needed

Hi hounds!

I'll be headed up to Charleston in about a week for a long weekend of food and fun. Tenative plans, scheduled by a friend, call for the following:

FIG Friday night, La Fourchette Saturday night, and The Sanctuary at Kiawah on Sunday.

Critique the above. I haven't been to Charleston in close to five years, so I'm way ou tof the loop. As you can see, it leaves huge chunks of time open for lunches during the day and drinks during the night. Throw out your best. I'm also interested (understatement) in visiting the finest bars your fine city has to offer: so offer away.

A report will follow, as will a hangover. Or two.


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  1. I was really underwhelmed by the Sanctuary. Considering all the other great options in Charleston, it seems a long way to go for not spectacular food. However, I have read some raves about the Sanctuary on this board so my experience could have been atypical.
    For lunches, I would suggest Basil for Thai food and Fast and French on Broad for sandwiches and soup.

    Basil Restaurant
    460 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

    Gaulart & Maliclet Fast & French
    98 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401

    1. Are you considering the Sanctuary for brunch on Sunday, or dinner. I'm debating whether Sunday brunch could possibly be worth the cost. I'll be out on the island Sunday morning, however, so I'm tempted.

      I thought FIG was good, not spectacular, but it gets such good reviews I'm considering giving it another go, and La F. is also on my short list.

      Sermet's Corner is a favorite of mine for lunch, and the last 4 times I went to Chas, I ate at Al Di La. It's a can't miss for me, especially coming from a town with no tolerable Italian food.

      Please post your reviews, I'll be down week after next.

      1 Reply
      1. re: danna

        I am new to Charleston and got the recommendation for Cru Cafe. Lunch was amazing. Go early it is in an old house and will get crowded fast. They have a website: Great soup, ham and brie sandwich, and sweet tea. Everything was wonderful. I wish I had room to have dessert.

      2. FIG you can't go wrong w/...La Fourchette, I can't vouch for. The Sanctuary, I haven't heard that much positive feedback on as of yet. My folks went there for a business retreat. They said the food was good. They didn't give any details, which leads me to believe their world-traveled tastes weren't all that satisfied. Like the others said, if time allots, visit Cru Cafe, and a couple of my recs...SNOB (Slightly North Of Broad) and RB's on Shem Creek.

        1. Anyone know anything about J Bistro or Cypress? I am going to Charleston, SC in January, and am desperately seeking a really amazing meal for my hub, sis in law and her boyfriend... What's considered the "BEST"?

          1 Reply
          1. re: fletchphil

            J Bistro is closed and Cypress is very overpriced for good, not outstanding, food. "The Best" would probably be McCrady's or the Charleston Grill. They are both amazing, and I would place either as tops in Charleston. I haven't been back to the Woodlands after they changed chefs but I had an amazing meal there as well.

            I just got back from Charleston today and my visit to Basil was truly underwhelming. The 3-flavor fish, pad thai, and basil rolls were good, but the duck, tom kha gai soup, and curries were not. I would skip it. La Fourchette was really enjoyable. I had cassoulet, lamb, frites, and some salume. It was all really good. If you like BBQ, I went out to the Hickory Hawg on John's Island and had some really good cue. The pulled pork was decent but the ribs were amazing. Some of the best ribs I've ever had. Period. They were smoky, tender with just a little give before they fell right off the bone. The ambiance was pretty terrible, as its in a shopping center and it shows, but trust this, you will have amazing ribs there. For ambiance, I did a lunch at VIckery's on the water in Mt. Pleasant because the weather was warm. The food was just alright, but man, is that a good view on that back porch. Another really good meal was at Atlanticville on Sullivans Island. I was really surprised how good the food was. The fried green tomato napoleon was spot on. The tuna rolls were good too for appetizers. I had the scallops for my entree and they were cooked perfectly and delicious. I had a really good burger at Poe's on Sullivans Island as well, the Amontillado. The only miss of the trip was Pane Vino, an Italian restaurant downtown. I had a good meal there before, but this time the menu was really boring and not well executed. Coupled with that, the waitress kept having spit come out of her mouth when she talked, which grossed me out to say the least. Hate to end on a bad note, but that's the way it goes. Enjoy your trip. Chances are you'll eat well.

          2. I would TRULY NOT recommend had been recommended by this board and I am in Chas now. and went there tonite.

            We arrived at 8 pm and ordered dinner- crab soup and the fish special for the evening...trigger fish topped with crab- and aspargus , over mashed potatoes.

            The soup arrived in 3 min..had to ask for bread AFTER 1ST COURSE arrived.
            As soon as we finished the soup, the MAIN dish was IMMEDIATELY placed in front of us...There was no time to even stop betweeen courses to talk..that is how fast the food came out of the kitchen...NOT my way of dining at a "fine" restaurant.
            Entire dinner from Start to Finish took 1 hr and that was with us trying to stretch it a bit by talking....

            By the way, the restaurant was full and no one was waiting at the door, so no need to turn the table so fast.

            The soup was totally unimpressive- something was missing- cream or what, I do not know- you did taste the sherry but the actual flavor of the soup was bland..I have had WAY better crab soup at 82 Queen.

            The main course of trigger fish was very good- BUT the mashed potatoes were sooooooooooo were the asparagus...the fish itself was great!

            Desert was shared pumpkin bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and sauce- there was not enough sauce but the pumpkin pudding was amazing....

            To us, it was just OK--- certainly not worth $40 pp plus tip- ( no boozer with dinner)....

            I think we will try McCrady's tomorrow nite

            2 Replies
            1. re: Andy

              McCradys is much better to enjoy a drink. The food is way too expensive for what you get. Everything was oversalted. We were very disappointed to have paid so much for our dinners. They have a great bar though. CruCafe is a must go though. Cyprus is also excellent, even though it's not new on the scene.

              1. re: mmuch

                Not a fan of McCrady's or Fig.

                I eat in Charleston about once a week and we like SNOB, Penninsula Grill, Hanks, Poogans Porch (brunch only), Jestine's Kitchen (brunch only), and Circa 1886 is probably the best in Charlestson.

                Also, Hominy Grill is pretty decent but not 'best of'.

                Avoid Noisy Oyster and Fleet Landing.

                To WOW your guest, take them to the rooftop bar of the Market Pavillion Hotel (corner of East Bay and Market) for drinks and apps. Amazing view.