Have you checked out some of Charleston’s hottest restaurants lates? Some picks by Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post, who wrote about the culinary scene earlier this spring.
Artisan Meat Share: 33 Spring St., (843) 641-7299; artisanmeatsharecharleston.com It’s charcuterie central from the meat-mad chef at Cypress, Craig Deihl, whose two-fisted sandwiches pack braunschweiger and Swiss cheese between slices of potato bread; and pate, smoked ham, soy pickles and kimchi mayonnaise inside loaf-size steamed buns.
Bertha’s Kitchen: 2332 Meeting Street Road, (843) 554-6519 Expect to wait in line, along with a cross section of blue collars and business suits, inside this bright blue soul food source in an industrial area. Warm corn bread, zesty fried chicken, peppery collard greens and brick-colored okra soup are your rewards.
Dave’s Carry-Out: 42 C Morris St. (843) 577-7943 Forget the carryout idea and eat your fried-to-order whiting, shrimp or pork chop at one of the handful of stools or card tables inside this bare-bones storefront; the best side dish is a chat with the cook in her open kitchen.
Edmund’s Oast: 1081 Morrison Drive, (843) 727-1145; edmundsoast.com On tap: 40 beers, some of them brewed on-site. This sweeping stage set of a Southern tavern also features a broad chef’s counter that lets patrons watch their meals unfold. Try the chicken porridge, made with Carolina gold rice and blue crab.
Fig: 232 Meeting St., (843) 805-5900; eatatfig.com Asked to name a favorite place to eat, locals inevitably reply “Fig,” the gracious lair of chef Mike Lata. The cooking nods to Italy and France while using what’s found in local waters and pastures. In your fish stew: rouille, but also Carolina gold rice.
Hominy Grill: 207 Rutledge Ave., (843) 937-0930; hominygrill.com If you have time for only one plate of shrimp and grits, make it chef Robert Stehling’s recipe, laced with bacon and mushrooms and served beneath a pressed-tin ceiling and slow-circling fans.
Husk: 76 Queen St., (843) 577-2500; www.huskrestaurant.com The most famous restaurant in the city, from the esteemed Sean Brock, a son of Virginia who first made a name for himself at McCrady’s. Southern comfort can be found in pig ear lettuce wraps, pimento cheese crostini, “real” corn bread, and shrimp and grits.
Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oysters: 698 King St., (843) 531-6500; leonsoystershop.com The name steers you to the best of the menu: grilled oysters and spicy fried chicken. Garage doors and concrete floors hark back to the restaurant’s earlier life as a car shop.
Martha Lou’s Kitchen: 1068 Morrison Drive, (843) 577-9583; marthalouskitchen.com A pink shack with a big heart near the railroad tracks (hear the whistle?), Martha Lou’s does soul food proud. Go for the bursting-with-juices fried shrimp or chicken, and don’t miss the lima beans bolstered with smoked pork.
McCrady’s: 2 Unity Alley, (843) 577-0025; mccradysrestaurant.com The dowager on the dining scene, McCrady’s can trace its roots back more than 200 years. Such dishes as ember-grilled sunchokes with creamed lettuces and mint – and a $115 tasting menu spanning three snacks and seven courses – plant diners firmly in 2015.
Minero: 155 East Bay St., (843) 789-2241; minerorestaurant.com Sean Brock does Mexican. Which means the tortillas are made from scratch, using heirloom corn ground twice a day, and the tacos include fried catfish with pickled-green-tomato tartar. Shrimp and masa grits with chili sofrito are untraditional but also wonderful.
The Obstinate Daughter: 2063 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island, (843) 416-5020; www.theobstinatedaughter.com Worth the 20-minute drive from Charleston: Frogmore stew and spaghetti with local clams, presented in a second-floor beach setting that sidesteps cliches.
The Ordinary: 544 King St., (843) 414-7060; eattheordinary.com Anything but ordinary, this seafood attraction – a sister to Fig set in a former bank – impresses diners with its art deco bones and sublime surf. Cue the hush puppies stuffed with diver scallops and served with chowchow tartar sauce.
Two Boroughs Larder: 186 Coming St., (843) 637-3722; twoboroughslarder.com A reminder that this port city has a history of welcoming outside influences, this modern mom-and-pop is known for infusing local ingredients with foreign accents. (Hope for pork neck with Chinese greens.) For sale on the shelves: tea towels, farm eggs and Geechie Boy Mill grits, thoughtfully paired with a cast-iron skillet.
Xiao Bao Biscuit: 224 Rutledge Ave., xiaobaobiscuit.com An industry hangout serving Asian fusion, the good kind, in an old gas station. Make room for a Vietnamese-inspired vegetable terrine, Japanese-style cabbage pancakes and a mushroom egg roll that bridges China and the States.