Revisited: 101 things to savor, slurp, and suck down 

*annotated by Aaron and Elise Richard

Page 4 of 4

Sashimi and Tuna Oyster at Cypress Lowcountry Grille

We loved the simplicity of this dish and how it packed a real wallop of flavor with so few ingredients. This is a great example of how less can be more. Spicy and salty, this dish really works.

Aaron: 9 -----Elise: 9

Fresh Garden Salad at Nirlep Indian Restaurant

Nirlep puts out a nice buffet where you can get a little bit of everything Indian. With the variety of complex, Indian-spiced delicacies abounding, the salad really wasn't the highlight of the buffet. It was pretty much just a salad.

Aaron: 5 -----Elise: 5

Provided by Carolina's
  • Provided by Carolina's

Shrimp Crabmeat Wontons at Carolina's

The seafood filling in these wontons is delectable, and pairs perfectly with the crispy wonton shells. Unfortunately the ratio of creamy filling to crispy exterior was way off. After the bites with filling were gone, we still had a plate full of too-crispy-to-eat-on-its-own wonton.

Aaron: 6.5 -----Elise: 6

Ponzu and Truffle Tuna Sashimi at Social

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This was one of the more creative ways of serving tuna that we have tried. It was plated nicely and we found the candied lemon garnish went really well with the citrus flavor of the ponzu.

Aaron: 7 -----Elise: 7.5

Ceviche at Coast

It was too difficult to choose just one of the fresh ceviche options, so we opted for the trio of traditional, lobster, and campechana. Every bite was full of bright, fresh flavor and the chefs did a great job of combining lots of complementary flavors and textures into each one of these beauties.

Aaron: 9 -----Elise: 9.5

Lowcountry Carbonara at Tristan

Chef Nate Whiting's creative interpretation of carbonara was as impressive in design as it was in taste. The 'spaghetti' is actually slow cooked onions and what better to pair with melted onions than bacon, quail, and an egg? Everything blended together beautifully in this dish.

Aaron: 9.5 -----Elise: 8.5

Beef Brisket at Fiery's Rons Hometeam BBQ

Easily the best beef brisket in town, Hometeam never disappoints in our opinion. Their brisket is exactly what it should be: juicy and smoky, while maintaining enough of its structure that you can still slice it and put it on a bun.

Aaron: 9 -----Elise: 9

Rice & Bean Bowl at Dell'z Deli

We never knew this lunch counter existed, but found it fills a unique niche in the Charleston lunch scene. The ingredients here are all super fresh, and the salad is assembled right in front of you as you choose how to fill your bowl. There's really no seating, so plan on getting the best salad deal in town to-go.

Aaron: 8.5 -----Elise: 8

Pork Ton Toro and Peekytoe Crab Cake at Circa 1886

The only item we were unable to try. It's sadly not on the menu anymore.

34-oz Long Bone Tomahawk Rib Eye at Halls Chophouse

When this steak arrives at your table, everyone stops for a minute. Easily the most eye-catching steak you will ever order, this perfectly crusted rib-eye arrives attached to a two-foot rib bone just before the server surgically removes every bit of goodness for you tableside.

Aaron: 9 -----Elise: 9

The Rib at Fat Hen

The supple meat alone is enough to make this a must-try, but the deep, dark sauce that is triple-glazed on top of this short rib is to die for. So tender, so smoky, you won't put it down until there is nothing left.

Aaron: 9.5 -----Elise: 10

Provided by Fish
  • Provided by Fish

Bouillabaisse at Fish

The French-influenced seafood at Fish is among the best, and this soup lets you try several at once in one pot. The broth is clean and flavorful, and the seafood all cooked to perfection. You'll need extra bread with this one.

Aaron: 9 -----Elise: 8.5

Gnocchi with Pork Bolognese at FIG

The quality of the gnocchi was beyond reproach; they were little pillows of perfection. As the rich meaty sauce soaked into the gnocchi, magic happened in our mouths.

Aaron: 9.5 -----Elise: 8.5

Chocolate Croissant and French Press Coffee at G&M/Fast & French

We stopped in for breakfast one Sunday morning to try this classic French pairing, but felt that it fell short. The coffee was good, but not great, and the croissant was not made in-house. The chocolate was slathered onto a too-hot croissant, creating a messy liquid chocolate syrup that was less than ideal.

Aaron: 5 -----Elise: 6

Sticky Buns at WildFlour

Only served on Sunday, it is worth setting your alarm to experience these decadent delights. Freshly baked, yeasty, sticky, with just the right amount of sweet, these buns are perfect. And their cousin, the cinnamon bun, is just as right.

Aaron: 10 -----Elise: 10

Macaroons from Macaroon Boutique

Having never tried a macaroon before, we really enjoyed these. The shell is light but crispy, and the filling is creamy with really nice flavor. These upscale cookies are worth a try.

Aaron: 7 -----Elise: 7

The Coca-Cola Cake at Jestine's Kitchen

We did not care for this dessert at all. It was like a crumbled brownie that was just barely held together with corn syrup and then topped with more sugar. This isn't a dessert we grew up on, so maybe it's supposed to taste like that. But our teeth hurt when we were done.

Aaron: 2 -----Elise: 2

Lavender Gelato at Paolo's Gelato

The floral hints and mild sweetness made this a nice treat on a summer day. Smooth and creamy, with nuanced flavors, this makes you stop and appreciate the creativity Paolo has when it comes to gelato.

Aaron: 8 -----Elise: 7.5

Beet Ice Cream from Roots Ice Cream

We get such joy out of seeing what fresh ingredients will show up as ice cream in the Roots cart each week at the Farmers Market. One of the more creative flavors, the beet amazed us with how well it captured the true flavor of a delicious roasted beet in a sweet and creamy way.

Aaron: 9 -----Elise: 8

Earl Grey Tea Painted Chocolate from Christophe Artisan

With just the right amount of sweetness, the Early Grey chocolate combines delicate citrus and herbal flavors with rich chocolate perfection. His candies are really something: Just wait until you taste them. Our favorite from his hand-painted lineup was the gianduja.

Aaron: 9.5 -----Elise: 8.5

Chocolate Sea Salt Popsicle from King of Pops

Possibly one of the best flavors they offer, this one really has it all. It's sweet and salty with a perfect texture, and really refreshing on a warm day. The banana pudding is another not-to-be-missed.

Aaron: 9 -----Elise: 9

Smoky "Buffyaki Style" Chicken Wings at Husk

The menu is always changing at Husk, but if you see these on it you must order them. These wings are smoked, fried, and glazed in a sauce that is half-Asian, half-barbecue. A true contender for the best wings we've had in the city.

Aaron: 10 -----Elise: 9.5

Southern Crab Salad at SNOB

If you are looking for a seasonal, healthy, and filling meal downtown, this is one to try. A generous portion of lump blue crab sits atop a salad of greens and fresh fruit and is dressed in an herb vinaigrette. We recommend that you call ahead for a seat at the chef's table to feel like part of the magic.

Aaron: 7.5 -----Elise: 8

Provided by Wild Olive
  • Provided by Wild Olive

Garganelli with Milk-Braised Pork Ragu at Wild Olive

The richness factor of this ragu is stepped up by simmering the meat in milk before ladling it over homemade pasta. We thought that the supporting flavors were a little lacking, however; we mostly just tasted the meat and fresh pasta.

Aaron: 7 -----Elise: 7

Homemade Pretzels at the Gin Joint

Although we love a good, soft pretzel, this one did not do it for us. With much more of a bread texture than a pretzel, this could have just as easily come from your grocer's freezer. We did however find the spicy cheese sauce it came paired with to be delightful.

Aaron: 4 -----Elise: 4.5

Slice of Pizza at Gilroy's (after 2 a.m.)

Many a late night of ours at CofC ended with the infamous chicken bacon ranch pizza from Gilroy's. It did its job and we didn't ask any questions. We will score this one with the qualifier of "after 2 a.m.," and everything that comes with that time of night.

Aaron: 8 -----Elise: 7


10 Things We Think Should Be on the Next List

Pulled Pork Sandwich at Home Team BBQ

This meat defines Southern barbecue in our opinion. It's well-spiced, smoky, tender, and maintains its texture. Top it with any of their sauces, or don't. This meat can stand alone.

Hanger Steak at La Fourchette

There are lots of fancy steakhouses in the city, but we feel that this is easily the best steak in Charleston. The French spin they put on this cut of meat is a whole new world for those die-hard charbroiled fans out there.

Napa Burger at Sesame

Top Sesame's mouthwatering beef with fig and bacon jam, blue cheese, and a red wine reduction and you've got a symphony of savory flavors you can't deny.

Lavender Martini at Cypress

Made with vanilla vodka, lavender simple syrup, and a shot of fresh lemon juice, this cocktail is downright addictive. It's so delicious Aaron doesn't care if he looks manly or not drinking it.

Afternoon Affogato at Black Tap Coffee

Feeling rundown and need a boost to get to 5 p.m. on Friday? This is the answer. Intensely rich espresso cascades over vanilla ice cream, crowned with homemade toffee. I bet you're feeling better already.

Sweet and Salty Brownie at Bakehouse

This is the definitive brownie, which hides a nice surprise of salted caramel between two layers of fudgy perfection. If you're having a party, try the Sweet and Salty cake instead and wow your guests.

Deluxe Cheesesteak at Philly's

A true Philadelphia cheesesteak, the Deluxe amps it up with the addition of sautéed peppers and mushrooms. If you're a purist, go with the original; either way, there isn't a better one to be found around Charleston.

Bagel with Nova Lox at The Bagel Shop

These chewy bagels are as close to New York as we've found in the city. Pair one with some fresh Nova Lox and you have a serious sandwich.

Chicken and Waffles at Early Bird Diner

A Belgian-style waffle laced with cinnamon is topped with two juicy pecan-crusted fried chicken breasts and drizzled with honey mustard and maple syrup. This combination will make you smile any time of day.

Monday Family Supper at Trattoria Lucca

Settle in for an evening of plate after impressive plate of authentic Italian cooking. Served in a communal setting, the prix fixe menu is always changing and never disappoints. If you're lucky, Chef may even treat you to a few bonus "snacks" in between courses.


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