I am going to be taking an extended driving vacation with my wife the last week of September thru the first week of October and will be spending time in Charleston SC, St. Pete’s Beach FL, and Asheville, NC.
I was wondering if anyone could point me to places in Charleston and Asheville that have good food and permit corkage. I don’t necessarily have to know about the high end places (although since this is an anniversary trip, we will definitely hit a few of those) and places that are local sourced, have good gluten free or vegetarian menus, or innovative chefs are much appreciated (gluten free and veg for the wife obviously). I am also interested in good places for lunch as we are driving around exploring the countryside around both cities.
I am not asking about St. Pete’s since I am familiar with the dining scene there. May or may not hit Bern’s, depends on how much I feel like having to drive home after drinking most of a bottle of wine and how much I feel like moving from the patio of the Don Cesar to drive there in the traffic.
Plenty of Uber cars in Tampa
We brought to Fig and McCradys in Charleston. Both were friendly and had reasonable corkage fees (25 or 30). Fig didnt even charge as they had some issues opening our bottle - very generous of them.
Visit the Grove Park Inn , Asheville, it has several restaurants & wonderful ambiance !
Actually we have reservations at the Sunset Terrace for your anniversary.
Being a true believer in supporting the working man, I will not use Uber until they agree that the drivers are employees and not independent contractors. Sure, screw the guy out of any benefits, etc. so you can be Uber profitable.
"MY anniversary " ? Am I invited & how many bottles should I bring ?
I can’t think of any Charleston restaurants that don’t allow corkage. Lots of great places to eat depending on what you want. I think if you do a search you’ll find plenty of info.
Considering McCrady’s but they are moving and the new place either isn’t open yet or the website isn’t. The old space will become a more casual McCrady’s Tavern. Can’t get a reservation for Fig for the days I am there except at 10:00pm, which does not work for my wife.
Did make a reservation at 492 for one of the nights we will be there.
Damon Wise opened (opening?) a few places recently in Charleston - i’m dying to check them out. some of the greatest meals i’ve had in NYC were when he was the CdC at Craft.
I don’t know if the allow corkage (and not sure you’d really want to) but I thought Sean Brock’s Mexican place was fantastic.
Curate in Asheville is very good and allows corkage.
Sorry so late reporting back, but things have been busy.
We enjoyed our trip, but maybe it was one night too long (we were there 4 nights). Couldn’t get into FIG or Husk, so we ate at 492, Circa 1886, and Lowcountry Bistro. All were good, 492 and Circa 1886 were excellent, for different reasons. Circa 1886 was very formal and the food and service were fantastic. 492 was small plates, not busy the night we were there, so the service was attentive and friendly. They use plates from a local potter on the off nights, like the one were there on, and my wife, being a potter herself, had to examine them closely. (Meaning that she was lifting here plates and mine to look at the bottom) The waiter told us who made them and we visited him the next day and ordered some for ourselves.
Lowcountry Bistro was good, but less formal and somewhat noisy. We took wine with us to all three meals and the corkage was $25 at each.
The other meal was a very forgettable (I wish) dinner at a seafood place in Beaufort that was packed and for no apparent reason (it certainly wasn’t because of the food.)
Breakfasts three days was at Sweetwater Grill. We just kept going back. The other day was at Toast of Charleston. Pretty good, but liked Sweetwater better.
Justine’s Kitchen for a snack one afternoon. Best Lemon Chess Pie I’ve had in years.
As for Asheville:
We ended up eating dinner at four different places in Asheville (we were there four nights.)
Three were excellent, one was only OK.
First night we ate at Posana (right next to Rhubarb) and the service and meal were excellent. And to make it better, any wine less than $80 on the wine list was half price. Got a 2014 Domaine Michel Cheveau Pouilly-Fuissé Les Trois Terroirs for $37.50. Went very well with the scallops and the duck.
The second night was our anniversary and we ate at the Sunset Terrace at the Omni Grove Park Inn. Service was excellent and the view is spectacular. I was offered my choice of four different knives for my steak. Unfortunately the steak, while not bad was nothing to write home about. The au poivre sauce was bland and the mac and cheese side was too. My wife’s grouper was dry and the “8 oz” fillet was more like five. The desserts we no better than what you can get at any hotel kitchen. However the service both very friendly any efficient. Too bad the food wasn’t equal to the excellent staff.
The third night we at at The Blackbird. Service was efficient and friendly. Absolutely loved the scallops with the quinoa salad. Very good coffee to end the meal.
The last night we ate at Gàn Shān Station. Absolutely fantastic. Asian fusion, wonderful service, and the chocolate ice cream with hot chili paste for dessert was a revelation.
Breakfasts were a little less special, but good. The Corner Kitchen was very good, but I had to wait half an hour to get in. Mayfel’s was pretty good, and no wait. Breakfast at a dinner called the The Hungry Bear Cafe was typical diner food, quirky though.
just wanted to throw a couple things out for prosperity sake and future visitors that might be searching:
FIG is absolutely worth the night, but they open their reservations via RESY 4 weeks to the day at 10am, and most of the prime spots are full within the first 15-30 mins. Set a phone alarm and be ready to call!
McCradys and McCrady’s Tavern are both open now. If you have been to the pre-tavern McCrady’s, it fell somewhere in the middle of the two new spots. McCradys is a 25(ish) person, two seatings per night, 13-15 course tasting menu, very creative and more modern. the Tavern is hyper local southern cuisine in a dressed-down-steakhouse type setting. Pretty similar to his main other restaurant, Husk.
In asheville, I would still second the suggestion of Curate. The same chef has a second spot, Nightbell. Both are fantastic. Nightbell was one of the better meals i’ve had in a while.
Also, if you’re driving between the two cities, stop in Greenville and say hi! we have some pretty good food in our own right.
No posts for a while, but I’m curious. I have two upcoming trips, one that will take me through Charleston in mid-March, and another to Asheville in May, which includes plans for an anniversary dinner. Any BYO recs for either place would be appreciated. Bonus points for any splurge-worthy places in Asheville that will let me bring a bottle.
Most restaurants in Asheville offer corkage. I’d recommend Bone & Broth and Asheville Proper. Vivian too!