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Nov 16, 2009 07:15 AM

McCrady's - Charleston, SC

I had the pleasure of dining at McCrady's last week for the first time. It was outstanding. The flavors were bold and bright, the preparations innovative and surprising, and the service was friendly and professional. Wife and I had the 7-course tasting menu with the paired drinks. Everything was delicious and cooked perfectly. Since my wife has some dietary restrictions, we let them know in advance and Chef Brock and the staff were more than accommodating.

McCrady's is a study in contrasts. It is in the touristy part of town, but tucked, half-hidden, down a narrow alley. It is in a classic, historic building, but serves state-of-the-art contemporary cuisine. It makes use of the globalized techniques of molecular gastronomy, yet has strong adherence to local (and sometimes chef-grown) ingredients.

I won't go through my dinner course-by-course, but here are some highlights: I really enjoyed the crab with frozen coconut, coconut powder, lime, and a "jellyfish" of pineapple ponzu. I loved the cylinders of cauliflower and dabs of saffron-laced lemon gel that accompanied the scallops. The pickled clams swimming in a broth beneath a crispy-topped piece of grouper were really interesting (in a good way). The cube of pork belly was pig at its best. The mint ice cream served with one of the desserts was like eating a creamed mint leaf -- pure fresh flavor.

We were very happy with our food and experience there, and I look forward to a return visit next time I am in Charleston.

McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

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  1. I live a couple of hours from Charleston and stay overnight just to dine at McCrady's. You might be interested in a very generous review that can be found at

    McCrady's Restaurant
    2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

    1. I had a great meal a while back. We drove up from a family visit in Hilton Head and stayed in a nearby B&B.

      link to review/photos

      2 Replies
      1. re: 9lives

        I have to say I love reading the reviews with pictures of each course. But for myself, I don't think I would like taking photographs while trying to enjoy my meal. Kind of spoils the mood, I think.

        1. re: north2south

          Valid point..and I try to stay conscious of it. There's a fine line between spoiling the mood and not..and I try to stay on the right side of it. If it's spoiling the mood. I put the camera away..

          First off, I always ask permission of the restaurant and of my DC's. If I'm taking photos, I leave the camera in a handy spot and try to take the shots quickly so as not to interrupt the flow of the meal. I don't always take photos for exactly the reason you state.

          The upside is I have a permanent record of the meal and I can refer back to the pleasures of the meal (or whatever I'm photographing)and also share it with others who I hope will enjoy it.