So thanks for all the advice I got here and from Charleston Food Bloggers on Facebook.
I thought I would try to break it down a little differently.
BTW, we had 2 full days and two partial days, we were looking mostly for traditional southern, since that is one cuisine NYC doesn't do that well. My husband is a little more conservative in his tastes than I am. Also neither of us is big on oysters.
Best cocktail: muddled pecan/vanilla/bourbon at Husk
Best mocktail: blackberry lemonade at Hominy Grill
Best salad: heirloom tomato/goat cheese mousse at Peninsula Grill
celery root salad at Two Boroughs Larder
(honestly every salad everywhere was excellent, good produce!)
Best Entree: shrimp bog at Hominy Grill
pork chop at Peninsula Grill
Best Side: tomato pie at Tomato Shed Cafe
goat cheese mashed potatoes at Penninsula
Best Bread: Hominy Grill by a mile, every baked good was perfection
Best Sandwiches: Tomato Shed: pulled pork
(even a humble tomato sandwich was good too.)
Best Dessert: Buttermilk Pie at Hominy Grill
Best flavors: Tomato Shed
Best service: Peninsula
Best value fine dining: Hominy Grill
So here is my normal review, we arrived Monday evening in AWFUL weather. I had thought about skipping Penninsula, but it was close to our hotel, and my husband was psyched to try it.
It is not the "foodiest" place ever, but the great service made it a very nice welcome to town after a rough afternoon.
It is a very nice place if you have a special occasion with a less adventurous eater. We thought the room was pretty, and we really felt we were in the south.
We loved the heirloom tomato/goat cheese salad, a special. The crab/tomato salad was nice, but not life-changing.
The pork chop didn't sound that exciting but it was actually amazing. Maybe the best pork chop ever, on the quality of the meat and the sauce. The sauce was called BBQ jus, which did not do it justice, it had an amazing depth of flavor.
My husband got the shrimp, which was fine, but not amazing. I did like the hopping john. If I had it all to do again, I would have let him get a steak with a sauce.
The goat cheese mash was amazing. It makes you wonder why all mashed potatoes don't have goat cheese.
Coconut cake was very nice, actually sort of light. The waiter was really excited about the banana pudding which tasted nice but was a little overworked with fancy touches that didn't really say pudding.
They wrote Happy Anniversary in chocolate on the plates which was very nice.
In the end if I lived here, this might be the sort of place you let your parents take you, but we were very happy we didn't cancel. Sometimes you just need great service, like your first night in town in a storm for your anniversary.
on to Husk!
If you go here, try to sit upstairs, the downstairs was hot and crowded.
I think my expectations were too high.
excellent salad, odd texture on the corn bread, tasty cheeseburger (though the flavor comes from cheese and relish more than the meat), catfish was nice, desserts were kind of disappointing.
You know what was amazing. The cocktail!!! I rarely drink alcohol, but the pecan and vanilla muddled in bourbon was one of the top 5 drinks I had in my life.
We also had the coffee cocktail which was just ok.
Overall nice meal, but a little over hyped, would try dinner next time.
Two Boroughs Larder
Aside from the most uncomfortable chair I ever sat in we loved this place, though I would have liked a few more choices. My husband LOVED it which is nice because this was more my style of place.
Celery root salad was delicious, sweet potatoes with seasonings were really good, noodle soup was nice. I wanted to have the brussels sprouts with lamb sausage but it was out. We got the homemade charcuterie plate which was delicious and filling, and had both hot and cold items.
Tomato Shed Cafe...
We LOVED the food here which is saying a lot because, we waited over 1/2 hour for takeout, and then after tipping on our initial order and a farm stand purchase, they followed us into the parking lot and said they thought we didn't pay!
Ha, we were laughing, we paid twice and sat on a bench by the register for 35 minutes.
Still, amazing tomato pie, really a casserole, my first pimento cheese ever, nice bbq sandwich with a mustardy sauce, and even a humble tomato sandwich was good. Oh and FABULOUS grits, never really had good grits before.
Dinner, Hominy Grill.
Boy did I read a lot of negative reviews of this place on Trip Advisor. I have no idea why. We loved it!!!
We decided not to order fried green tomatoes, and they arrived on our table. They didn't charge us, so no harm there. Delicious salad, EXCELLENT non-alcoholic blackberry lemonade. My husband had the shrimp bog which he loved for the intense yet subtle flavor. I had the fried flounder which was nice with lemon tartar sauce, but maybe not the best choice ever.
Pie Pie Me oh My!
The buttermilk pie was magic. I joked it was like molecular gastronomy combined with pie, it almost seemed to fizz in my mouth.
Rhubarb cobbler was nice but seriously, get your own slice of pie.
This place is fun and friendly and the food was tastily.
I am not sure it is the "white hot center of southern cooking" I saw it described as, which probably overheated my expectations.
Very Very nice service, they actually brought samples of pork and fish, after which we both ordered the fried chicken. Not too greasy or heavy, meat was tender. I really liked the green beans, bread pudding, and lima beans. Nice ice tea as well, and they mixed it perfectly for me (1/3 sweet, 2/3 unsweetened.)
So our flight got cancelled and I had one more meal at a chain bbq place near my hotel that had some nice pie.
Now I need to DIET! Thanks y'all!