Hey all -- coming to charleston for a wed-sun party weekend/annual reunion with group of old friends at the beginning of august. most of us are hounds/foodies, so we need a bunch of suggestions.... i know this is long, and people will likely point me to past posts, but i thought i'd see if you folks were adamant about certain places....i'm happy to post a report when all is said and done...
1) we like to do one fine dining celebration dinner on our weekends. seems by my searching that 'magnolias' is highly touted - i'm coming from chapel hill, nc, and magnolia's menu is not really exciting me. looks delish, of course, but its more of the same for me. however, we do have folks coming from california and new york that may be more excited about revved up southern fare. but do you have any suggestions for something a little more creative/out of the ordinary?
2)point me to your best french bistro -- i've been told there is one SUPERB french restaurant in charleston, but the name escapes me.
3)please tip me off to some the best local joints/shops that i can only find in charleston -- the REAL chowhound joints. ....breakfast, lunch and dinner....southern fare, any ethnic fare, etc. whether it be a cheese shop or a dumpling bar or whatever -- we eat anything and everything. i get very excited about unique items. WE WILL HAVE CARS, AND WILL TRAVEL outside of charleston. not a problem. vacation for me is about food. this particular vacation is also about my best friends -- put them together, and hey, good times
a) late night snacks - we're staying on marion square, but we'll be out and about anywhere and everywhere -- who's open late thats worth checking out? and are there any bars that also serve some exciting late night fare?
b) snacks for the hotel -- this is kind of in line with number 3, but i think we have suites with mini kitchens in them. anyway, we like to stock our rooms with food to cook and eat whenever. a couple of us like to flex our culinary muscles and entertain the crew with fun nibbles throughout the weekend. where should we go to stock the rooms, and what kind of snacks should we not miss? any fun local shops?
5) beach food - any fun stuff we should seek out along the beaches? drinks, food, etc
6) bars - we're probably going to wind up wandering around most of them....but we're all 30-ish, and i suppose among the group we like a variety of different things from relaxed to dance clubs....maybe just recommend some of your faves and why. does any bar have a special drink we shouldnt miss?
thanks so much for any help - much obliged. and i'll try my best to report back afterwards...i've heard such great things about charleston and i've never been! looking forward to my visit....