There have been so many places opening in Charleston over the holiday season that it has been hard for The Daily Meal to keep up. Our recap of the winter's new restaurants includes some overall details but we have not had a chance to get a taste to really review the food. We are excited about this mix as most places are located in neighborhoods that, for the most part, have no other nearby options. Let’s hope this is a new trend for the city.
Here are some of those we recommend visiting to see what all the buzz is all about:
Bohemian Bull & Beer Garden: Bohemian Bull's owners were inspired by the culture and lifestyle of James Island and the surrounding area when they designed the restaurant. They strive to use local purveyors, breweries and distilleries. The menu is more on the casual front with starters like fried mac and cheese balls and fried okra, a variety of burgers and sandwiches peppered in with some salads and wraps. They have a late night menu for those with the munchies after 10:00pm on most days and the place hosts a ton of special events such as live music, themed parties for holidays and more. There is also an outdoor “beer themed” courtyard with a bocce court and corn hole.
Farmbar "provisional": Located at 1600 Meeting Street, next to the soon-to-open co-op office space, a concept called Farmbar provisional just made its debut. It is hard to figure out the concept completely but the “provisional” is a temporary space with plans to open the permanent Farmbar in about a year or so. Right now, guests can find a shipping container, a slanted boat with a painted mural featuring a goat and dog and sometimes there is a 1949 Spartan Landcraft parked at the space. The owners are beginning by offering breakfast, lunch and supper Tuesday and Friday and then daily lunchbox pick up from Monday-Friday. On Sundays and Mondays, they will host pop-up dinners but nothing is listed to date. The food is said to be provided from culinary legends, local stars and home cooks. Inside the Spartan is a store filled with items like coffee, local sea salt, honey and goat milk caramel alongside items like bags, books, flatware and more.
The Granary: Mt. Pleasant gets a little piece of downtown with the opening of The Granary. Chef Brannon Florie, a Charleston native, thought of every detail while transforming the space with the décor that is reminiscent of a rustic, farm house setting. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and now brunch and the menu is locally focused. Snacks like the extensive charcuterie plate, oyster bisque, confit duck on a Charleston Gold rice cake, corned beef tongue make you long for the “main” dishes like cioppino with blue crab, clams, mussels, scallops and octopus, a duo of Maryland duck, or the seasonal fish. The lunch takes a more low key approach with soups, salads and a variety of flatbreads and sandwiches.
Lee Lee's Hot Chicken: Finally, there is another Chinese restaurant opened that has potential to serve out exceptional dishes. Lee Lee's Hot Chicken is located on the corner of President and Nunan Street in downtown Charleston. Owner Karalee Nielsen Fallert is known to take risks and we applaud her for this one. The décor is bright, mostly red and whimsical. The firecracker themed posters are enough to keep you entertained during the evening but the food that is served family style makes for a fun evening for all who dine. The menu features some Chinese favorites include general tso’s chicken, dumplings, crab rangoon and mu shu tofu. There is also some unique dishes consulting chef Lily Lei offers like Hong Sho and Singapore Rice Noodles. Lee Lee’s is open daily from 11:00am to 10:00pm, or until 11:00pm on Friday and Saturday.
Vincent Chicco’s: Literally just opening its doors, Vincent Chicco’s is the newest to join a string of nearby restaurants owned and operated by Holy City Hospitality (i.e., Rue de Jean, Coast, and Virginia’s). The restaurant is part of a space that used to be a popular night club and is two stories. Offering old-fashioned Italian American fare, patrons can expect handmade pastas such as cabonara, lasagna, pomodoro, and bolognese. There are plenty of items on the menu that you would cometo expect at a traditional Italian restaurant like chicken parmesan and veal marsala and Chef Aaron Lemieux has more exciting things planned.
Hot on the Near Horizon:
Edmund’s Oast: Some of city’s most forward thinking culinary and beverage business leaders are about to open a major establishment at Half Mile North off of Morrison Drive. Building on the success of their popular Beer Exchange retail stores in both Greenville and Charleston, Scott Shor and Rich Carley are opening a restaurant in early February that is unlike anything found in the city. Edmund’s Oast is a brew pub with an on-site brewery, a 48+ tap system with exceptional craft beers, an incredible cocktail and wine program and a progressive menu by one of the area’s rising culinary talents—Chef Andy Henderson.
Leon’s Oyster Shop: Brooks Reitz left his high profile job at The Ordinary late last year and is working furiously on opening a new place—Leon’s Oyster Shop with restaurateur Tim Mink at upper, upper King Street. Not fully announced to the public yet, the concept is expected to be a fried chicken and fish joint that will have some oysters and a raw bar menu. The space is an old paint & body shop and is under construction with plans to open by early March.