The Hottest Restaurants in Charleston Right Now, April 2017
More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What’s everyone talking about? While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the “it” places of the moment. This list welcomes Sorghum & Salt and Rappahannock Oyster Bar to the list. Folks are asking, “Have you been yet?” Try one of these newbies today.
Note: Map points are not listed by rank
1 Lewis Barbecue
Ever since pitmaster John Lewis came to town with his brand of Texas barbecue and knee-weakening brisket, people have hungered for his restaurant to open. With the doors to Lewis Barbecue unlocked, the crowds are free to indulge in beef ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and other meaty delights. Give the agua frescas a try too.
The new outpost of beloved cheese shop goat.sheep.cow offers more wines, meats, and dairy for guests in addition to a dining room. Now guests can enjoy a glass of chardonnay or slice of prosciutto in the space.
Pitmaster Rodney Scott opened his whole hog barbecue restaurant in North Central, and Charleston has reached full pulled pork frenzy. Lines are out the door every day for the smokey delights that made Scott famous.
Mexican eatery Pancito & Lefty has been gathering buzz for the past two years while Charleston waited for the opening. Now that restaurateur Jimmy Poole and chef Robert Berry have unlocked the doors, throngs of taco-seekers are filling in to sample the mezcal, tamales, and pozole.
Everyone’s talking about rosé and half shell happy hour at the new Charleston outpost of Rappahannock Oyster Bar. The latest addition to the Cigar Factory offers patrons the best of local shellfish and seafood with lunch, brunch, and dinner services.
Coming Street newcomer Sorghum & Salt offers a hyper-local menu full of bounty from local waters and farms. Look for dishes like crab and farro salad with sunchokes, collard green tagliatelle with shrimp sausage, and Ambrose Farms strawberry gazpacho.
Restaurant owner Steven Niketas shut down new American concept The Westendorff in October of last year to transition the address to a Charleston version of the family Greek concept Stella’s. The newcomer is a partnership between Niketas and friends Johnny and Katrina Giavos, who have ran the original Stella’s with chef Stella Dikos. According to the wave of early adapters this week, the gamble to go Greek is winning over fans on the peninsula.
Only 18 patrons have a chance to sample Sean Brock’s ideal McCrady’s each evening through a ticket system. Brock says that this is the most intense food he’s ever created. He’s trying to cultivate a unique, intriguing, and stimulating experience for each guest. The food reads simple, like uni and paw paw, but the results are beyond sophisticated.
McCrady’s Tavern premiered in the former McCrady’s dining room at 2 Unity Alley in August. The Sean Brock concept draws from the Gilded Age of dining with a lively atmosphere and “craveable” food. The menu is full of old-school items like calf’s head soup, marrow bones stuffed with escargot, veal blanquette, a tavern burger, and more. The restaurant opens for lunch, brunch, and dinner.
After 3:00 p.m., Normandy Farm Bakery turns into Bar Normandy. Chef Alex Lira has created a small, affordable, ever-changing menu of snackable plates, like baccala, $2 oysters, or a salad of lunchbox peppers and potatoes. Former FIG server Philip Michael Cohen runs the beverage program, which includes well-curated wines and inexpensive local beers (plus a $2 PBR). They want to bring good food and drinks to Broad Street at an affordable price.
Harleston Village Italian restaurant Le Farfalle unlocks the floodgates to fresh pasta earlier this month in an airy space on Beaufain Street. Chef Michael Toscano and team will showcase “various regions throughout Italy, as well as ingredients bountiful to the South.” There’s small plates, seasonal vegetables, pasta, a $90 steak for two, and Italian-inspired entrees.