Image Courtesy of Chez Nous.
With a bevy of new restaurants, such as a trendy health-focused venue, intimate French bistro, and even a funky eatery featuring a fusion of Southern, South American and Southeast Asian cuisine, The Resy Hit List includes several excellent options for socializing or celebrating over an amorous dinner – February 14th aside. Grab a seat.
Because this bright, sunny venue — tucked around the corner from bustling King Street — delivers thoughtful, clean eats all day long. Breakfast features traditional offerings like omelets and waffles, as well as healthy options such as chia overnight oats and smoothies. Lunch and dinner focus on fresh, mindful cuisine, including vegan and gluten-free options like cauliflower “wings” and vegetable curry. The more carnivorous-minded can add additional protein like miso-glazed salmon or a local egg. // King Street. Book now on Resy.
Because a meal at this exquisite neighborhood French cafe is never the same twice. Set in a restored Antebellum-era row home, the space is as romantic as it is nostalgic. Chef Jill Mathias handwrites the daily menu, which features a continuously rotating choice of two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts, plus an elevated wine list. Expect French, Spanish and Italian-influenced dishes like a mushroom salad with herbs and hazelnuts or poulet bourguignon, made with braised chicken. // Cannonborough. Book now on Resy.
Because this unabashedly romantic restaurant offers a refined seasonal menu focused on local ingredients, plus an extensive wine list. Set in a building adjoining the beautiful, historic Wentworth Mansion, Chef Marc Collins’ inspired offerings have included such delights as La Belle Farms Foie Gras with a dark rum cake and raisin chutney, as well chicken fried salmon paired with sour cream grits. // Harleston Village. (843) 853-7828.
Because enjoy a creative craft cocktail in the swanky bar or savor a warm evening outside on the idyllic covered courtyard. This quaint eatery serves elevated comfort food in a historic home dating back to 1688. The simple and straightforward menu features southern favorites (think she-crab soup, Queen Street chicken bog or a Lowcountry boil with shrimp and andouille sausage) — the perfect place for a leisurely brunch. // French Quarter. Book now on Resy.
Because this striking venue serves superlative cuisine in a former church. There are exposed beams and stain glass windows – not to mention the entire text of The Art of War hand-painted on the ceiling – but don’t let the theater of the ambiance distract you from the other half of the show: The food. Stand-out menu items include a fried chicken BLT, 5Church lamb burger, and sea scallops. The creative collection of cocktails (with clever Biblically-themed names) keep things buzzing. // Ansonborough. (843) 937-8666.
Because at Lewis Barbecue, one can savor authentic Texas-style BBQ in the middle of the Lowcountry. Pitmaster John Lewis came to the Holy City via Austin, Texas, so you know the brisket is world-class. Turns out the pulled pork — made in custom smokers and crafted by the chef himself — is every bit as solid, as the “hot guts” sausage and tender smoked turkey. Get there early on Saturdays to try the gargantuan, delectable beef ribs before they sell out. // NoMo. Walk-ins only.
7/Leyla Lebanese Cuisine
Because an ethnic iconoclast amongst neighboring King Street restaurants, Leyla’s focus is on upscale preparations of traditional Lebanese dishes. The menu is vast, with hot and cold mezza ranging from hummos or labneh – strained yogurt with mint and olive oil – to falafel and kibbeh, a type of savory meatball. Along with the ample samplers, don’t miss the acclaimed samkeh harra, a broiled whole sea bass made with a medley of spices. // King Street. (843) 501-7500.
8/ The Ordinary
Because Chef Mike Lata’s King Street mainstay offers fresh, exquisite seafood in a historic, elegant environment. Enjoy the stellar raw bar offerings, complete with perfectly prepared oysters, jumbo lump blue crab toast, and grilled New Orleans style BBQ shrimp – alongside an innovative, rum-based cocktail menu. // Upper King. Book now on Resy.
9/Sorghum & Salt
Because chef Tres Jackson will be cooking at the James Beard house in March, with an exclusive preview on February 21. Among the signature dishes in his innovative, weekly-changing menu? Kalamata-based ‘olive dirt,’ scallops paired with a soy caramel sauce, and root vegetable-based bolognese. Any other day, a seven-course tasting menu and wine pairing is offered twice nightly and ensures that you don’t have to make any difficult decisions on your own. // Cannonborough/Elliotborough. Book now on Resy.
Because the decor evokes the vibe of a futuristic diner, while Tu’s eclectic menu spans the world. Hitting on Latin, Asian and Southern traditions all at once, highlights include a raw fish crudo balanced by fresh guava and a chilly cheese ice. A pastrami-and- pickled-cabbage pancake is available alongside chicken fried steak, with a spicy Peruvian cheese sauce and old-school Americana deviled eggs, effectively completing the ceaselessly creative culinary globetrot. // Eastside. Book now on Resy.
Resy is a reservations platform for the best restaurants. This list is our regular update on where to eat in Charleston. To get it via email, download and register for Resy today.