One of my favorite things about traveling is trying out some of the local restaurants. As I have stated before, even though I try to be mostly vegan when I can, I also cannot go to South Carolina without indulging in some of the freshest sea food you will find. Since we were in a beach house we tried to eat most of our foods there, but we did step out a few times to experience some local eats.
Since we have been to Charleston a few times now, we definitely have a list of favorite restaurants, however, this time we actually acquired a few new ones!
While wandering around the city one day, we decided to stop for a midday meal at Blossom. Upon walking into the place, I immediately noticed the elegant decor and dining space. Seated at our white linen-topped table and graciously greeted by our waitress, I peered at the eclectic wine list and awaited a crisp glass of Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc. The menu at Blossom offers an array of fresh seafood and utilizes the abundance of fresh produce. With gourmet pizzas, house made pastas, and the freshest seafood you can get, it was hard to choose where to even begin. I ended up choosing the Pan Roasted King Salmon. It had a clean presentation, with a pairing of summer vegetables and a light, delicate broth that added the right amount of flavor. I would definitely go back to Blossom, and recommend that you check it out if you get the chance for lunch or dinner.
From their website, High Cotton is “The best of lowcountry living with a mix of fresh, local ingredients”. This was definitely our big night out in the city. We saved it for our last night of our trip and it was definitely worth the wait. With the extensive wine list, the knowledgeable wait staff, and the fine dining atmosphere, it was hard not to like it immediately. To add to it, they also had a live jazz band playing near the bar area. Being seated in the dining room was perfect, as you were able to enjoy the sounds of the band, but still have a quiet environment for your dinner conversations. Again, there were so many things on the menu that I wanted to try. In an attempt to not bust a seam on the dress I was wearing, I opted out of ordering something from every section of the menu and chose the grilled swordfish. It was served atop English pea puree, baby carrots, mushrooms, and west coast olive oil. Phenomenal. Enough said.
Charleston Crab House
This is one of those standbys that we make a point to visit every time we are in the area. Casual dining, crab legs cracking all over the place, and the smell of butter. I definitely recommend going to the James Island location to experience waterfront dining on their outdoor patio. You can sit and watch ships go through as you make your way through a pound of fresh crab legs. Of course there are other options on the menu, but generally I don’t even bother looking. Ask for a bib and get ready to dive in. You know your dinner is a success when you leave with crab in your hair and butter on your clothes (another camera moment missed). The butter isn’t even that necessary with the freshness of the crab, but an occasional dip never hurt anyone 😉
Wanting a place to have a cocktail that has a laid back atmosphere, cushioned chairs and couches to lounge on, and a rooftop view of the city of Charleston? Henry’s House definitely has all of that and more. The bohemian decor, multiple levels, rooms, live bands, and an ambiance that forces you to take a breath, relax, and realize that life is good, will have you never wanting to leave. Henry’s offers a full food and drink menu, however, we ended up there on a whim for an after dinner drink. As a place we just stumbled upon, it was definitely a great find.
Market Pavilion is actually a hotel, however they have a beautiful rooftop bar and restaurant. After our fancy dinner at High Cotton, we ended up at Pavilion for after dinner drinks, and a spectacular view. The modern decor offers a cool atmosphere to enjoy a sunset, warm breeze, and a cocktail. The bar and tables actually surround the rooftop swimming pool, which I could see being a high attraction during the day. The restaurant is not as laid back as Henry’s, as guys must be wearing closed-toed shoes, however, it was a beautiful night and a spectacular way to end our vacation.
If you have the opportunity to visit Charleston, I definitely recommend checking out some of these places. Also, I would love to hear your suggestions as well because I know this definitely will not be my last time to this magnificent city 🙂