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Heading to Charleston this week

jmikes Jan 4, 2009 02:51 PM

My wife and I are driving down to Charleston from North Carolina this week and I was looking for some food tips. We are staying at the French Quarter, but we are decidedly not fancy folks. Are there any restaurants that would be recommended in what I guess would be called a "medium" range? FIG, Charleston Grill, etc.. sound very nice, but on vacation my wife and I like to stick to jeans and polo shirts mainly. Any tips where we could find good food without sticking out like sore thumbs?

  1. u
    UptownKevin Jan 8, 2009 01:11 PM

    I don't really fit in well on this site because my posts don't seem to always fit in the "box." FWIW, we booked SNOB. If you want to read about my last trip and the other places we've booked, you'll have to go find it on the other forum.


    1 Reply
    1. re: UptownKevin
      friek Jan 9, 2009 07:12 AM

      We went to SNOB last year when we were down there, it was great!

    2. s
      square Jan 7, 2009 04:58 PM

      I've had very good, ingredient driven food at Fig in a casual atmosphere. McCrady's has been a highlight every time I've eaten there, but less casual. Great wine program, although pricey. If you can score a bar table, Peninsula grill is comfortable in relatively casual attire and the food is great. I usually stick to appetizers, in particular the mushroom grits (which is mislabeled and should be called oyster stew or something close). Still the best dish I've had in Charlston. On a chowhound tip, we stopped at Gullah Cuisine for brunch and loved the soul food/low country buffet.

      1 Reply
      1. re: square
        dinersaurus Jan 8, 2009 09:44 AM

        I second the Penninsula Grill, and their champagne bar is great for bubblies and seafood - perfect for snacking or a light meal.

      2. danna Jan 6, 2009 10:08 AM

        I personnally wouldn't worry about what to wear in Charleston. it's a resort town, you know? I think my husband put on a jacket for McCrady's, but has been most other places in town in polo shirt, and very likely, shorts. I see FIG as more casual than Charleston Grill. Cru Cafe is a good choice. And La Fourchette. And Hanks. Damn, I like to eat in Charleston...have fun!

        2 Replies
        1. re: danna
          uptown jimmy Jan 6, 2009 11:30 AM

          Danna is right: you can wear jeans and a decent shirt to the nicest places in town. Attire isn't an issue in Charleston, within reason. I wouldn't wear flip-flops to Charleston Grill, but you get the point.

          I would avoid FIG. They are incredibly inconsistent from plate to plate. Awful ambience as well.

          1. re: uptown jimmy
            The Chowhound Team Jan 8, 2009 11:10 AM

            Since the discussion of whether Charleston is a resort town and what the appropriate dress code might be if it is or isn't is getting a little far afield of actual local restaurants, we've split it over to our Not About Food board. We hope you'll continue the conversation there: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5862...

        2. l
          lizzy Jan 6, 2009 08:05 AM

          I agree with the SNOB and Cru Cafe recs, and would highly recommend both restaurants. I would also add Hank's and/or Fish for seafood and Basil for Thai, Hank's is in the French Quarter and both Fish and Basil are on upper King St. I have never been to La Fourchette, but I have heard good things. Since you have a car, there is also Fat Hen on John's Island, French, Bowen's Island Restaurant, seafood dive, on the way out to Folly Beach and Poe's Tavern, really good bar food, on Sullivan's Island.

          1. b
            bactoferm Jan 4, 2009 07:32 PM

            Mccrady's on east bay street has a 3 course menu for 35 bucks now

            2 Replies
            1. re: bactoferm
              jmikes Jan 4, 2009 09:47 PM

              I'd heard good things about McCrady's but figured it was a little dressier than our normal fare. Was I overestimating? Blossoms and La Forchette both looked interesting on their sites. Right in our league. Thanks for the tips. Any others out there, please add some more :)

              1. re: jmikes
                DavidA Jan 5, 2009 02:51 AM

                I do not think McCrady's is what you are looking for -- great food, but dressier than you indicate. if you like French food, going to La Fourchette is like sitting in a bistro in Paris.

            2. d
              DavidA Jan 4, 2009 06:42 PM

              SNOBs (despite the name -- which is actually Slightly North of Broad), Cru Cafe, and Blossoms are all in the French Quarter (actually Cru is a block above it) and La Forchette and Pane e Vino (a slightly further walk just north of Calhoun Street) fit the bill. All have excellent food and you can wear anything from jeans to a tuxedo and be comfortable. Sermet's (on King Street) is also a good choice, but they have really uncomfortable chairs.

              3 Replies
              1. re: DavidA
                DavidHeiser Jan 11, 2009 01:17 PM

                McCrady's and Charleston Grill are all going to be out of your dress code.

                FIG is really excellent and fits the bill.

                If you don't mind taking a taxi, Granville's (about a mile north of the Crosstown on Rutledge Ave.) has high quality food at really decent prices.

                Virginia's on King is just north of Calhoun and is a nice place to go for traditional down home Southern fare. Prices aren't too bad and casual works fine there too.

                Hope this helps!
                - DH
                http://www.davidgheiser.com - One Charleston College Student's Guide to Food and Film

                1. re: DavidHeiser
                  General Knowledge Jan 14, 2009 07:20 AM

                  FYI, Granville's closed its restaurant to focus on the catering side of things. :(

                  1. re: General Knowledge
                    Reignking Jan 14, 2009 08:37 AM

                    I'm sad to hear that. Before he opened his restaurant, though, he catered my wedding, and Trey was fantastic.

                    At least I got to go there once; I think it was closed Sunday nights, so every other time I tried to go I couldn't. Crosstown is a difficult area to be in.

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