Thursday, August 29, 2013

Charleston Restaurant Week 2013 Begins September-Get Ready For The Fun And Feast Now

It has been a relatively cooler August than previous years, and I am not being facetious when I say that. I have done my fair share of sweating with the high humidity during the past few weeks, just haven't melted under the usual near 100 degree temperatures one would expect. Mercifully, the continuous flooding downpours have abated for the moment. You can return to kayaking and paddleboarding in the coastal waters once again instead of the downtown streets.

Looking down on King St from Stars-Future restaurant?
Looking to September, you can expect more of the same, but I am happy to report flooding of a different kind. The streets of Charleston will be flooded with locals and visitors for one of the most highly anticipated culinary events in the Holy City, Charleston Restaurant Week. It all begins Wednesday, September 4th.

It is hands down, elbows off the table and napkins in the lap one of my favorite events of the year. It provides an opportunity to try a Charleston restaurant you haven't as of yet had the pleasure to dine at, and the list of restaurants to choose from gets longer with new establishments opening up frequently throughout the year with all the renovating taking place downtown, notably on fashionable Upper King Street.

To assist you in your choice, I have checked several surveys and best restaurants lists for names of possible candidates for you to consider. Comparing the lists, a few names consistently show up on all the more notable ones. On Forbes 100 Best U.S. Restaurants, McGrady's came in at 10 and Husk came in at 90. On Southern Living's 100 Places To Eat Now, Husk and McGrady's appear again along with The Fig, The Grocery, Hominy Grill, The Macintosh, Martha Lou's Kitchen, Two Boroughs Larder, Xiao Bao Biscuit, and the Ordinary, also nominated on Southern Living’s Best New Restaurants In The South. Opentable's 2012 Best Overall Winners-Top 100 Restaurant List named Charleston Grill located on King Street.

Unfortunately, not all the aforementioned restaurants are participating in Restaurant Week by offering the prix fixe menus consisting of three items for one price, either $20, $30 or $40. You will have to check the list provided by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, which also provides the proposed menu and a link to the restaurants website so you can make reservations, if that is necessary. The list grows daily as Restaurant Week gets closer, so check back with it frequently.

Husk, 82 Queen, and High Cotton were three of my previous choices. You can read about my experience by clicking on the restaurant's name to access my reviews. Three names I am giving consideration to this time around are Stars Restaurant, Sermets and Circa 1886. None of these restaurants appeared on any of the best restaurant lists, but better than any survey or compiled list is the input from a very close friend who has already been there.

During a recent conversation, my friend informed me of their dining experience at Stars Restaurant. She raved about it. "The meal was fantastic and the service was excellent," was her summary. Her chosen entree was the Appalachian Trout. I have been to the Stars Restaurant, but not for dinner.

On a recent outing to the Apple Store on King Street, I took the opportunity to peruse the numerous specialty shops lining the street and made a curiosity trip to Stars for a quick walk-through. While there, I had a drink at the reclaimed Tigerwood bar on its rooftop, which boasts a stunning 360 degree view of Charleston around bustling Upper King Street. The dining areas were impressive.

Charleston Restaurant Week will run to September 15th. So, check the list, make your choices and schedule reservations. Hope to see you around town.

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