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Oct 12, 2010 06:13 PM

Looking for Some Guidance in Charleston, SC

My husband and I will be in Charleston, SC the Wednesday-Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. We have plans with family on Thursday, but are looking for suggestions for dinners and lunches. Doesn't have to be formal, but the food needs to be really good. Looking for food that is of the region. We're staying in the historic district, but will have a car. We'll probably visit Folly Beach, so ideas for there are good too. Any thoughts? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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  1. What about Mt. Pleasant. In Charleston I would go to High Cotton for lunch and Magnolia's for dinner. The best restaurant in Charleston is Charleston Grill. Peninsula Grill is close. McCrady's is right in there too. Go to Hominy or Jestine's for good breakfast and some low country specials.

    High Cotton Maverick Bar and Grill @ 199 East Bay St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 724 - 3815.
    Magnolia's @ 185 E Bay St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 577 - 7771.
    Charleston Grill @ 224 King St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 577 - 4522.
    Peninsula Grill @ 112 North Market St., Charleston, SC 843 - 723 - 0700.
    McCrady's @ 2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC. 843 - 577 - 0025.
    Hominy Grill @ 207 Rutledge Ave., Charleston, SC. 843 - 937 - 0930.
    Jestine's Kitchen @ 251 Meeting St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 722 - 7224.

    On Folly Beach you should not leave without going to Bowen's Island for dinner only.

    Bowen's Island Restaurant @ 1870 Bowen's Island Rd., Charleston, SC. 843 - 795 - 2757.

    1. For more places outside of the downtown area:

      Glass Onion in West Ashley - definitely check them out especially if you like "alternative" meats like liver and sweetbreads. Their fries are incredible. Bring zocor.

      Fat Hen - Johns Island. One of my very favorite places - the kitchen is so incredibly consistent. I've probably eaten half their menu and all the entrees have been spot on and only a couple of appetizers didn't work for me. Their french onion soup is superlative in my mind. Good spot for brunch on the weekend.

      Fat Hen
      3140 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455

      Glass Onion
      1219 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407

      1. Al Di La is the best real Italian food in the Southeast, far as I can tell. Just over the bridge in West Ashley.

        Al Di La
        25 Magnolia Rd, Charleston, SC 29407

        5 Replies
        1. re: uptown jimmy

          I'll put a plug in for Lucca and Mercato if you're looking for Italian.

          102 N. Market Street, Charleston, SC 29401

          1. re: uptown jimmy

            Is Al Di La as good now after their former chef/owner left in February 2008 to move to the Yadkin Valley of NC? As far as I'm concerned, the chef IS the restaurant, so I'm wondering whether the "new" Al Di La is still as worthwhile?

            For the record, Trattoria Lucca is probably my favorite Italian experience in the country. We don't even have a place of such quality in the SF Bay Area. But, as Littleman points out, ParisKat should really take advantage of the Lowcountry cuisine offerings. A french touch combined with indigenous techniques and local seafood. It's one of my favorite genres of cuisine, period.

            Al Di La
            25 Magnolia Rd, Charleston, SC 29407

            Trattoria Lucca
            41 Bogard St, Charleston, SC 29403

            1. re: mikeh

              Do you know where the former chef/owner moved to in NC. We have heard of a resturant
              in Elkin NC called 21 and main that was ? started by someone from Charleston. They have recieved great reviews

              1. re: vein1

                You made me curious and I googled: the chef at 21 and Main is not the Al di La chef.

                Info on John Marshall here:

              2. re: mikeh


                Have you tried "Chiaroscuro" in S.F.? We went there recently and it was fabulous. We are very particular about our Italian food and this was wonderful.

              1. re: ParisKat

                Sushi in Charleston. You must be French. My wife is too. The food in Paris is outstanding but you go to SC for low country not sushi. You get sushi at home. You can't get fresh seafood inspired low country cuisine at home. I can get soul food at home but I go to Charleston for low country.

                1. re: ParisKat

                  This is low country...................

                  1. re: ParisKat

                    I like Anson for fine dining for dinner. Blossom and Carolina's are fine dining for lunch or dinner. The Sunday brunch at Blossom and Carolina's is great. The raw bar at Boathouse is good.

                    Anson Restaurant @ 12 Anson St., Charleston, SC 843 - 577 - 0551.
                    Blossom @ 171 East Bay St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 722 - 9200.
                    Carolina's Restaurant @ 10 Exchange St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 724 - 3800.
                    Boathouse Restaurant @ 549 East Bay St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 577 - 7171.

                    1. re: Littleman

                      You might want to check your Boathouse listing. I believe the only location now is the original one on Breach Inlet out on the Isle of Palms. Fire destroyed the one closer in.

                      1. re: Littleman

                        We had a terrible lunch at Blossom. Would absolutely not recommend. High Cotton is great. Check out the Pavilion Bar on the roof top of their hotel. It's fun! 39 Rue De Jean is amazing, you will love it.

                        39 Rue De Jean
                        39 John St, Charleston, SC 29403

                    2. Seconding the suggestion of Hominy Grill on Rutledge, but be warned, it will be crowded. Mia Pomodori, also on Rutledge, is an adorable little Italian pizza joint with a few tables and excellent quality.

                      Hominy Grill
                      207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Iscah

                        Agreed. Anytime I'm in Charleston, I make it a point to go to Hominy Grill for lunch. It's my favorite "meat and three" in the city. I like that they source a lot of local products. One of my "desert island" meals is the Hominy Grill lineup of local triggerfish with sides of collards, squash casserole, and limas, a block of cornbread, and buttermilk pie for dessert. oh yes.

                        Hominy Grill
                        207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403