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Looking for special occasion reco in Charleston

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Going to be in Charleston, SC for one night with relatives (party of 6) and want to find someplace near the historic district for a special occasion. Budget not necessarily an issue.

If you were here for just one night, where would you go? I've had people tell me Magnolia's or 82 Queen - but reviews seem iffy.

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  1. Well, you can definitely do better than 82 Queen! If it were me, my first choice for special occasion is always the Peninsula Grill. It has become our traditional anniversary dinner spot and I am already dreaming of this year's meal, which will end with their famous coconut cake for dessert!! There are quite a few Charleston threads on here, so if you search a bit, you will find tons of recommendations and reviews.

    1. I recently just took my first trip Charleston and spent hours researching restaurants and found it really overwhelming. I was looking for places that had really good food and reflected the atmosphere of Charleston without being touristy. I had Fig, Peninsula grill and Fat Hen (not in the historic district) for dinner while I was there and really enjoyed all of them. As far as the not touristy thing, I don't really know because I was a tourist. But I think as far a quality of food you'll have a hard time of going wrong because Charleston is a really great town for eating. The only thing about Peninsula Grill I didn't like is where we were seated we could hear everything the couples next to us were saying and therefore felt self conscious. A local I sort of know took his girlfriend to Magnolia's for her birthday if that helps any.

      1. Get the private room at Circa 1886.

        1 Reply
        1. re: DavidA

          I kept reading posts about "SNOB" and didn't really know what it was.

          Got it figured out now - I think that's the choice (stands for Slightly North of Broad). Rated #1 on Tripadvisor so it can't be too bad.

          http://www.mavericksouthernkitchens.c...

          I'll post a review.

        2. We just celebrated my mom's 60th birthday at Peninsula Grill. The food would make any foodie smile, the service was meticulous and the atmosphere in the dining room is formal with a comfortable southern charm. I also loved the fact that they require the men to wear jackets.

          **be sure to order the lobster "2 way" appetizer, Red Fish and of course the coconut cake

          6 Replies
          1. re: jshogh

            I would say either Peninsula Grill or Circa 1886.

            SNOB is very good but the two above are more upscale. You'll see lots of locals at all three.

            Slightly North Of Broad refers to location on the peninsula. If your address was slightly north of Broad Street, it was considered a much better address. The help lived below Broad Street. FWIW, this term was coined about 300 years ago.

            1. re: BlueHerons

              I thought it was the exact opposite, and that the term was of more recent vintage.

              I was told that the area north of Broad has long been dominated by the presence of throngs of tourists, and that the local folk tended to live and dine south of Broad and avoided the area north of Broad because of all the tourists.

              1. re: uptown jimmy

                Uptown Jimmy is correct. It is the area South of Broad St. where you will find some of Charleston's oldest and most beautiful (not to mention expensive!) homes. This area includes a section of what was once the original walled city of Charlestowne.

                However, I also agree with Blue Heron that while SNOB is good, Peninsula Grill or Circa 1886 are both more "special occasion" type places.

                1. re: BetsyinKY

                  Slightly North of Broad is an inside joke -- South of Broad is where all the "blue bloods" lived, so calling the restaurant SNOB is a little Charleston dig at its own history. North of Broad was a "lesser" area -- where the wharfs, shops and warehouses were. And, contrary to one of the comments, there is no restaurant dining at all South of Broad (which is where all the "SOBs" live/d -- full disclosure: I live SOB).

                  That said, while SNOB is one of our favorite restaurants, it is not really a special occasion place. Circa 1886 or McCready's tops our list for special meals. We are not Peninsula Grill fans.

                2. re: uptown jimmy

                  Yes, my bad. The area South of Broad is considered the better address. No, the term isn't recent vintage. It is very old.

                  I can remember my grandmother using it when I was a little girl.

                  1. re: BlueHerons

                    SOB is an ancient term. SNOB is the relatively new one -- and the joke. And a damn good restaurant!

            2. My new favorite in Charleston is Muse on Society between Meeting & King. Owner, Beth Crane, is from Hilton Head's Crane's Tavern. Very thoughtful, beautiful & unique interior. Food is first rate quality & unlike any other restaurant or dining experience in Charleston. Wine list is so huge is can be overwhelming. Unique cocktails. Much attention to detail here, but still comfortable & not stuffy.