[image-1]For it’s latest seemingly bi-monthly food-focused travel piece on Charleston, the New York Times has spotlighted Edmund’s Oast, the Ordinary, Charleston Grill, and Circa 1886. Writer Suzanne MacNeille, who ended up in Charleston on a rainy weekend, reports in her “A Taste of Charleston, Old-School and New” that she managed to extract herself from Husk’s Bar to do a little restaurant crawl. She writes:

“Situated in a boxy, nondescript building on the edge of downtown, Edmund’s Oast, which is modestly described as a brew pub on the restaurant’s website, is not especially convenient (it was the only restaurant we had to drive to on our visit), but that’s not keeping people away.” MacNeille goes on to praise chef Andy Henderson’s menu, specifically his “sultry hops-smoked brisket” and the brew pub’s now famous PBJ beer.

Via a 30 minute stroll MacNeille found herself at the Ordinary. She writes, “Mike Lata, the chef and co-owner of this year-and-a-half-old seafood restaurant and raw bar, has a thing about oysters. ‘It’s amazing what you can do with an oyster,’ he said recently. ‘You can poach them, broil them, smoke them, pickle them.’ He estimates that some 7,000 oysters a week are consumed at his restaurant.’”

MacNeille liked the hubbub of the Ordinary’s downstairs bar where she “ordered house cocktails, including a Delfino Fizz — a crisp mix of Lillet rosé, blood orange liqueur, grapefruit and soda water — a perfect counterpoint to the subtly smoked triggerfish pâté.”

The stodgy feel of Circa 1886 didn’t set the writer’s cork to bobbing, but she says, “Whatever our problem was, it certainly wasn’t Mr. Collins’s food, which was, for the most part, excellent,” and was awed by the dessert which she described as if “Salvador Dalí had been reborn in the kitchen as a pastry chef.”

As for her final stop, Charleston Grill got an A rating thanks to the pleasant staff uplifting the restaurants “odd, frozen-in-time tableau, suggesting a stiff white-glove decorum.” Chef Michelle Weaver’s decadent menu wowed, but noting the restaurant’s old-school ways, the piece ends with a quote from GM Mickey Bakst:

“There’s a lot of interest in the hip, cool places these days. We’ll never be that. But sometimes people just want to feel pampered.”