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Best New Restaurant 


click to enlarge _--spero_04_jwb.jpg

Jonathan Boncek

Readers Pick

There is something awesome about the fact that Charleston’s best new restaurant comes from two guys who have a link on their website titled “YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS. OR DON’T. YOUR CALL.” Basically Chef RJ Moody and Manager Rob Laudicina just wanted to make kickass food on their own terms. So they took a Latin word from the state motto — Dum Spiro Spero, “While I breathe, I hope” — and did just that. But there are no pretensions here. The food is as the menu describes it, only better. Short rib on Carolina middlin’s tastes like something you’d enjoy at a white tablecloth restaurant, but at Spero you look out a window at a pot-hole filled parking lot. No matter, the food is all the view you need. And with Laudicina refilling your glass and effortlessly shooting the shit, it’s easy to tuck in for extras. Lately, we’ve been suckers for the purple hull beans, lamb barbacoa sandwich, and the beet salad. Lord, if they have that beet salad on the continually changing menu, don’t hesitate, just order it. Moody may be working solo in the kitchen, but he somehow pulls off the work of teams of expert chefs. The motto here should really be, “While I breath I hope for seconds.”
Runner-up: Stereo 8

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