Restaurants & Bars 9

Charleston trip report

gourmaniac | Mar 20, 2013 09:24 AM

Boston hound here reporting on a lovely chow visit last weekend. Many thanks to the posters on this board but need to single out Sue in Mt P for constantly valuable contributions. Four restaurants and all were excellent. I wish Boston had that kind of batting average. First meal was dinner at Hominy Grill: Shrimp and Grits, Tomato Pudding and a couple of pieces of fried chicken dark. Everything was very good but the tomato pudding was a revelation, sweet with intense tomato flavor. Shrimp and grits had perfectly cooked shrimp and fancy grits with bacon and mushrooms. Fried chicken good but not the best i had (see later). FIG was all everyone claims on this board. Local food cooked with flair and excellence. The gnocchi with bolognese made with local lamb may be the lightest and largest gnocchi I've ever had. Size wasn't a virtue but the cloud-like texture certainly was exquisite. Sauce was mopped up with local bread (Normandy bakery) with an excellent crust and great butter from a local farm. I was very impressed that my waitress (Andrea) knew all sourcing details. Service was charming, unpretentious and informed. My entree was roasted tilefish fillet with Romesco sauce and another winner. Portions are ample without being obesity inducing. Next day, a late lunch at Jestines featured an excellent fried chicken basket with fried okra, cole slaw and lovely housemade pickles. Second best fried chicken ever (Strouds in KC can never be beat). Dinner at 5 Loaves Bakery was a nice crab and arugula spaghetti with a nice light crab infused broth. Great value at $13. I ordered a coconut cake to snarf on the plane with a leftover piece of cold fried chicken from Jestines. Charleston strikes me as a great and growing chow town with lots of excellence in the mid-price range. You could teach us a thing or too on this point. By the way, I passed two interesting places on Spring at Rutledge that were closed on a Sunday morning: D&D Soul Food and Xiao Bao Biscuit (in a partially refurbished gas station). Any chow buzz on either of these?

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