The next installment of the highly anticipated, ever popular Charleston Restaurant Week is set for September 3-14. With more fine dining establishments per capita than any other city in the South, the list of recognized and celebrated restaurants participating in the 3 for $30 and 3 for $40 specials is extensive.
I find my exclusion process pleasantly challenging as I critique the choices. The criteria for my final selection is simple. It must be a restaurant I thus far have not had the pleasure to dine at and their medley of menu offerings for the week--different from customary is the operative word. 39 Rue de Jean and Circa 1886 are on my radar.
39 Rue de Jean, called "Rue" for short by locals, is patterned after the classic French brasserie, which is the French term for brewery, but the French use the term to describe informal restaurants with a relaxed setting that stay open late, don’t require reservations, and may be open for several meals a day. The food is simple and hearty. You can enjoy it with beer, wine, or any variety of drinks.
A two story brick warehouse built in 1880, it was a building used by the Charleston Manufacturing Company for storing finished products, redesigned in 1943 for adaptive office space, and a bagging company complex in the 1940's before it lastly opened as the "Rue" in 2001.
With a distinctive marquee style entrance, there is no mistaking your arrival at its John Street location. Inside, it is decorated with stainless steel, mahogany, reds and tans, and has a brick archway with a long bar. Outside, a red covered patio with a quaint alley view that is also pet friendly. It will be offering a 3 for $30 menu in typical "Rue" fashion. It has been voted Best French Restaurant year after year by the Charleston City Paper. Located at 39 John Street.
Located in the original carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion, Circa 1886 is one of Charleston’s best restaurants. It serves a seasonal menu with a focus on local product, high quality ingredients and Southern flavors and has an extensive wine collection that is stored in the original wine cellar of the Wentworth Mansion.
Many of the buildings original features still remain such as the stable doors, wood-burning kitchen fireplace, and heart-of-pine floors. Upon your arrival and hopefully available, request seating in the arched-covered booths in the main dining room--very cozy.
The entrance is marked by a long walkway lined with pergola style post and beams. Outdoor seating is available on a stoned patio. Circa will be offering a 3 for $40 selection. It has been voted one of the country's '20 Best Restaurants for a Date' and is consistently recognized by Wine Enthusiast as one of America’s Best Wine Restaurants. Located at 149 Wentworth Street--reserve a table.
Charleston Restaurant Week is the ideal opportunity to sample the culinary creations of the finest chefs in the Holy City at a reasonable price and the perfect occasion to explore a new restaurant. Downtown streets and alleys will be saturated with captivating aromas and famished restaurant patrons. The Charleston Restaurant Association provides a full list of participating restaurants, their menus, and their websites for you to peruse to assist you in making a final determination. In some cases, a link is included to reserve your table.
So, make your reservations now and assure your place at one of the tables at the restaurant of your choosing. One last thing, j'espère que vous avez un bon moment.