Just returned from a long weekend in Charleston, and wanted to share some info, as I found the posts and information on this board to be very helpful.
McCrady's undoubtedly was the highlight of our trip. The food, service, and atmosphere were excellent. The food at McCrady's really stands above the rest of the crowd, in my opinion. Although there's nothing particularly "southern" about the menu, our meal there was the most memorable of our trip.
S.N.O.B. also was very good. However, the dining room seemed frantic and somewhat cramped, and our server seemed rushed and in a hurry to turn over the table (a number of other couples were waiting to be seated in the bar area). Don't get me wrong, the food was very good. It just was not that memorable of a meal.
High Cotton, a very nice restaurant with a terrific atmosphere, also was very good but didn't quite live up my expectations, based upon what I'd read. The atmosphere was possibly the nicest of any of the restaurants, and the service was high quality. However, the steaks simply were good but not great, and my wife's steak (which she ordered medium well) was undercooked and bordered on medium rare. Taking into consideration the fact that our High Cotton dinner actually was more expensive than McCrady's, it does not seem like a very good deal.
We had lunch at Magnolia's, which was okay but not particularly great. The service there by far was the worst of any of the places we dined at (we sat for 10-15 min. before being approached by our server). I can understand why locals and those in the know do not particularly like this place.
We also had lunch at Poogan's Porch, which was somewhat of a disappointment. I realize this is known as a tourist trap, however, there was a long wait at 82 Queen Street and we were quite hungry. While the atmosphere was nice, the food was disappointing. At least it wasn't very expensive.
In sum, we really enjoyed Charleston and the restaurant scene. The city was lovely and we'll definitely be back. I wish we would've had more time to try some different places, including Jestine's, Hominy Grill and Sermet's Corner, as well as Charleston Grill, Circa 1886, Vintage, and Cypress. I guess we have an excuse to visit again!
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