One of the things I really love about this area is the huge number of great restaurants here. Charleston has made a name for itself with Food. Most of the best restaurants are in Charleston proper, but there are some that have wandered out of the main tourist area. We’ve made a habit of trying out new ones on birthdays and anniversaries, and we’re not even close to progressing farther down the list. Since Restaurant Week is approaching, these are the notable restaurants to which we’ve been. With these restaurants, it’s not just about the food. It’s about the whole experience.
The Fat Hen – Johns Island
This was one of the first restaurants we tried for a special occasion. I think it was an anniversary dinner. Honestly, it’s been a while (we’ve lived here 7 years!), so you’ll have to forgive me not remembering what we actually ordered. However, it was great food and drinks, and it was a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. It’s located on Johns Island, which at the time, was a quiet area away from the bustle of Charleston, but it’s not nearly that quiet anymore.
Stars Rooftop & Grill Room
This restaurant is in Downtown Charleston (where a good percentage of the restaurants are, King Street), and while it was perfectly acceptable, it wasn’t particularly memorable. They serve steaks, seafood, and usually some poultry, but there wasn’t anything overly exciting. I wouldn’t recommend it, but I wouldn’t NOT recommend it, either.
We haven’t been back to this one, but that’s only because we’ve been trying other places. I would go again. Small and intimate, but comfortable, and the food was delicious. Classic, upscale Charleston food. Fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, seafood, and grits are some of the common foods found here. Also located in downtown Charleston.
I wanted to love Husk. Consistently one of the top restaurants in the Southeast, this restaurant was one I particularly looked forward to. And it *was tasty and enjoyable. We even met the chef at the time, Sean Brock. But it just didn’t live up to the hype, for whatever reason. However, they did have this amazing butter that they served with bread. I’d give the restaurant another chance. Husk is also in downtown Charleston.
This is the only place on my list that I didn’t particularly enjoy. On paper, it looked good. And don’t get me wrong, it WAS nice. Too nice. We felt very uncomfortable. Maybe that was because we had an early reservation, so the wait staff was devoting more time to us, maybe that’s just the atmosphere for the restaurant, but it just wasn’t enjoyable. It felt awkward. If I’m spending a lot of money on dinner, I want to feel comfortable, you know? We just felt out of place. One of the many restaurants on King Street.
This restaurant is a favorite out of the ones that we’ve tried. It’s situated on the water in downtown Charleston, and it’s a popular seafood restaurant. Fantastic food, nice water views, and it’s not overly expensive. It’s casual, and I don’t suggest you try to get a table without a reservation. We’ve been there a couple of times, and the wait without a reservation was 2+ hours. Pro-tip: don’t plan on parking at the restaurant. The parking lot has one way in and out, and it’s tiny. Leave time to walk from the parking garage.
This restaurant ruined me for steaks at most restaurants. It also set the bar ridiculously high for exceptional service at restaurants. This place was AMAZING. After eating there, I understood the concept of paying for the experience. And you *will pay. It was almost $200 for the two of us, but it was worth it. In fact, it was so worth it that we returned with the two kids for a birthday dinner at the beginning of this year. And it was still wonderful. Steaks, steaks, and more steaks, although you can order a few other things. The wait staff knows what you need or want before you do. Plates disappear, food reappears, drinks are refilled… like magic. It has a prime King Street location.
The Obstinate Daughter
This is another restaurant that I’m sure we’ll return to at some point. It’s located on Sullivan’s Island, which is a much different setting than downtown Charleston. It’s a beautiful restaurant that fits perfectly with a coastal town. The food was lovely, the service was excellent, and it wasn’t crazy expensive.
This was our anniversary dinner for 2019. Beautiful, charming place. It looks exactly like you’d expect a grand southern house to look inside. Scrumptious food, excellent service. This restaurant is the epitome of lowcountry cuisine. As the name suggests, it’s on Queen Street, one of the popular downtown streets.
I wasn’t sure about this one when the oldest kid picked it for her 21st birthday dinner, because I’m not a huge Italian food fan, but it was a very pleasant surprise. The restaurant felt very open, which was a nice change from some of the more crowded places. Marvelous service, flavorful food. It’s in downtown Charleston, but in a slightly quieter area.
In case you couldn’t tell, there’s a theme with my favorite restaurants. Good food. Good service. A comfortable atmosphere that makes me enjoy myself and the food. Make me feel welcome. I look forward to trying more of the popular restaurants, although my bank account says it will take a while, lol.