Login Search

Dish Restaurant Guide

Winter 2018

167 Raw

Much like the old Volkswagen Bug ads, "Think Small" can be applied to many things. But it certainly seems appropriate right now in Charleston. With the crushing cost of rent, lack of parking, and staffing woes, upending the traditional restaurant concept isn't just a fun idea, for many chefs, it means survival. We've found a host of stories for this issue of Dish that illustrate just that. From pop-ups to entirely different takes on what a restaurant is, this city's culinary scene is evolving and we're not just talking about a shift from fine dining. Local chefs are exploring the entire idea of what a restaurant is. Hope you enjoy. —Kinsey Gidick

To make it work, Charleston restaurants are evolving in size and shape
To make it work, Charleston restaurants are evolving in size and shape Small Fries

If you like bone broth, you would have loved the original restaurant. According to French food bible Larousse Gastronomique, the very first "restaurant" was the work of a 1760s Parisian entrepreneur, Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau. — Kinsey Gidick


Making culinary dreams come true in Charleston sometimes means being an itinerant chef
Making culinary dreams come true in Charleston sometimes means being an itinerant chef The Pop-up Life

In 2007, Los Angeles Chef Ludo Lefebvre introduced Ludo Bites, a series of temporary eateries that opened randomly across the city, lasted a few days or weeks, and then disappeared. Over the next decade, this trend spread, and a new term — as well as a culinary movement — was born. — Vanessa Wolf


For some Charleston restaurant personalities, chatting is a fine art
For some Charleston restaurant personalities, chatting is a fine art Sweet Talk

For better or worse, the restaurant business has become an industry of cool, and fine-dining has never had a young, hip air about it. Fine dining's very desirability is based upon its inaccessibility, made accessible by a staff who'll fuss over you. — Jessie Hazard


Small size and big flavor aren't mutually exclusive
Small size and big flavor aren't mutually exclusive Small Plates, Big Ideas

Since about 2013 or so, acres of trees have given their lives to the musings of writers on the phenomenon of the "small plate." The first few hundred pages were lamentations; jeremiads borne of empty bellies and wallets, and mournful elegies to the Old Way of Dining. — Mark Rinaldi


How Chef Jill Mathias made a tiny, unconventional Chez Nous a can't-miss restaurant
How Chef Jill Mathias made a tiny, unconventional Chez Nous a can't-miss restaurant Coup de Foudre

With Chez Nous, Fanny and Patrick Panella presented me my dream restaurant. It's a concept I always wanted to do. — Jill Mathias