recommendation for a dinner in Charleston next week
My wife and I are going to myrtle beach for a work-related conference, but want to escape to Charleston for an anniversary afternoon/evening (first time in SC). Would like to wander around (any suggestions for a mid-aftn respite?) and then end up w/ a leisurely dinner that includes the things my wife loves to eat: seafood and vegetables, after a good cocktail. One cuisine san francisco (our hometown) doesnt have much of is southern - so local take on these ingredients would be great. Neednt be a formal place, but cozy would be good. I see Fig and HUSK mentioned a lot; other suggestions? The Grocery?
Afternoon drink prior to meal - Zero George
Meal - Ordinary or Fig
After Drink - if you go to Ordinary go to Belmont, if you go to Fig go to McCradys
I live in SF but FIG is the place we try going to every time we're in Charleston. No one in SF has access to the same local ingredients as FIG does. At FIG, you're getting softshell blue crabs from up in McClellanville, Carolina gold rice from Wadmalaw Island, ramps from the North Carolina mountains, triggerfish from local waters, or sorghum cake. We simply don't have the analogous ingredients to replicate those flavors here in SF.
But I agree that a cup of she-crab soup, and meat-and-three (pick from a number of southern-style entrees including a few hyperlocal seafood catches and selection of 15 or so veggies, and a slice of buttermilk pie for dessert) for lunch/dinner at Hominy Grill, or some other places that are unabashedly lowcountry in flavor and recipe, should be considered as well and aren't replicated anywhere in the Bay Area (not even close). Hominy will give you the best sense of casual Southern.
It's a tough choice if you're picking just one, but I'd probably make a reservation at Hominy (they take them for dinner) if you only have one meal. But if you have two, go to FIG.
For a half day I suggest you leave as early as possible. It's a two hour ride between these towns...four hour round trip. We have done day/half-day trips, and they're fun, just leave as early as you can to really enjoy the trip.
The Thoroughbred Club inside the lobby of Charleston Place Hotel is one of the most overlooked places for a drink in the city.
Maybe people from Charleston can help me remember - I went to a dockside restaurant recommended by a local (12 years ago). From Charleston proper, we drove over some bridge and turned right, then went down an old road to the restaurant. I'm not sure, but it may have been on James' island.
Charleston is a couple of hours from Myrtle Beach, will time be an issue?
Poke around the internet for "Gullah Cuisine."
If I only had an evening and didn't have reservations (for FIG for example which books up a month in advance), I wouldn't stray far from Market Street, if I'm being realistic. Unfortunately, the best food is NOT on Market Street. However, there are a few gems not far off the beaten path. For good Southern grub like Mac n Cheese (the best ever), go to Cru Cafe, one block from the market. If you want seafood (not greasy fried), go to Hanks, also one block from Market. Have your pre-dinner drinks at the rooftop bar at the Market Pavilion hotel and get a bird's eye view of the city! Also, if you like Coconut Cake, we have the world's best at Peninsula Grill on Market Street...also a wonderful option for dinner.
If your wife wants seafood and veggies, I would avoid Husk...bacon, bacon and more bacon...and overrated in my opinion.
As far as touring is concerned, Park at the market, check it out and head south down East Bay past Rainbow Row and to the battery. Cut down one of the residential streets and wind around until you get back to the market and have your well-deserved first drink at the Market Pavilion Rooftop.