Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Where To Dine Tonight?-Charleston's Long List Of Fine Dining

Charleston has become a favored tourist attraction and destination over the years. Rich with history, sandy beaches, walking tours, ghost tours, carriage rides, galleries, museums, shopping, and of course, fine dining. Charleston has become "one of the South's important culinary capitals."

It has a long list of restaurants and eateries offering a variety of cuisines blended with Charleston's own multicultural heritage. Bocci's has become one of my favorite and for a nice lunch and brew outside on the sidewalk, Southend Brewery. The Pavilion Bar on the rooftop of the Market Pavilion Hotel offers a scenic view of the Market and Charleston Bay at night. The night breeze, the achoholic tease, some light conversation please, are all a part of the experience. No doubt you have your own favorite, but the common fascination is Charleston.

Charleston at one time was not the bustling attraction it is today. Here are some interesting facts you may not know. The Vendue Inn and Rooftop Bar in the lengendary French Quarter was a warehouse. The Magnolias on East Bay Street was a building with its windows knocked out and full of debris before its renovation. Charleston Place and Charleston Grill on Meeting Street was a huge, sandy lot where a JCPenney once stood. Bocci's was built in 1867-1868 by the Molony family and home to Charleston’s first Irish Pub. Hurricane Hugo came calling on Sept. 21, 1989, hammering the Lowcountry with 135-mph winds and washing through downtown with 15 feet of seawater. Since Hugo, Charleston rapidly was transformed into the attraction-destination it is today. Between 1995 and 2000, some 2,600 new hotel rooms opened in Charleston County giving proof of that growth in the travel market.

Cypress, Robert's, Magnolias, SNOB, High Cotton, Grill 225 are just a small sampling from a long list of fine dining Charleston offers to its visitors. What I like is how each establishment utilized the old characteristics of its buildings interior and structure to create the feeling that its heritage was respected and thoughtfully preserved along with a balanced blend of the new. SNOB, Post and Courier's "Restaurant of the Year" 2006, did not get that name because it is uppity and presumptuous. The service is friendly and top notch. It is the acronym for Slightly North of Broad.

SNOB features an open kitchen, but don't be dissappointed if you don't get a table with a view, the food is all the same. Award-winning executive chef Frank Lee and his staff's use of local and seasonal ingredients make the Maverick brand of southern cooking what you will come to love and bring you back time and time again.
If you read the reviews on SNOB the majority are upbeat and positive spattered with a few negatives. C'est la vie, you can't please everyone, and let's face the facts, not all palates are the same. Oh, by-the-way, SNOB was an old 19th century warehouse. Location: 192 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC. Also, try High Cotton and Old Village Post House. Bon appetit. Suggestion, check out Pat Conroy's South of Broad Walking Tour.-Vacation Rick Travel

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