[image-1] Lists, lists, lists — Charleston is no stranger to topping ’em. But we think this one is particularly cool, with Thrillist curating a panel of six food experts — writers, producers, podcasters, chefs — from around the country to determine the “12 distinctive restaurants that represent American culture and are constantly pushing food forward creatively.”

Maison, Will Love and Vandy Vanderwarker’s Upper King bistro, which opened this March, made the slim list, reviewed (and vetted) by Charlotte-based food writer Kathleen Purvis. Purvis writes:

“The menu at this very grown-up French cafe is tightly focused and teems with local fish. Like a cool Parisian, the menu carelessly tosses off understated menu item names like ‘heirloom tomatoes.’ But when you see those fat slices of ripe tomatoes topped with delicate rose-flavored cream, rose-infused fleur de sel, and cubes of tomato-water aspic, you’ll want to capture that gorgeousness against the pewter bar and alabaster subway tile. Now who’s the cool Parisian?”
[content-3] To land on their final dozen winners, Thrillist had each panelist take on a different region of the country, evaluating new restaurants based on “how craveable the dishes served were” and the “overall atmosphere of the restaurant and the connection it has with the community.” The panelists chose five to seven semi-finalists, revisited their favorites, and narrowed it down even more, with the Thrillist Food team choosing the final winners.

Purvis and co. determined that the bistro checked all the requisite boxes, from the craveable vegetable tart to the Lowcountry’s French Huguenot roots. Read the full review over on Thrillist. Oh, and it’s Wednesday, so you can get their killer Wed. burger special starting at 5 p.m. [location-1]

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