With seven new hotels on the horizon, Charleston’s hotel-dining options are about to expand. From what we’ve seen so far, these new spots are thankfully taking a cue from the city’s lauded-culinary scene and reaching beyond the a la carte breakfast buffet. Needless to say, if you’re going to have a hotel restaurant in this city, a DIY waffle iron and some iced down juice boxes isn’t going to cut it.
Over on State Street The Spectator Hotel got the hint. It’s swank Roaring ’20s-style bar — the kind that the Belmont-set should approve of — opened last month and is now serving up Church Steeple Sazeracs and Fizz-Geralds, a Hat Trick gin fizz with raspberries and housemade elderflower soda.
And, at the corner of Wentworth and Meeting Streets, The Grand Bohemian Hotel is about to open with its Élevé rooftop restaurant and lounge. There Chef Ryley McGillis, formerly of The Sanctuary’s Jasmine Porch, will head up the kitchen. McGillis says the menu takes a page out of Charleston Receipts. Dishes like a New York strip steak with “Mrs. William B. Franklin’s broiled tomatoes” was inspired by the Junior League cookbook.
“The menu is still being finalized, however, our offerings will be progressive American, simple, health-conscious, and familiar,” says Ryley. “We will focus on regional ingredients and the menu will contain higher-end proteins with a seafood inspiration.”
Élevé sits on the fourth floor of the hotel and will have 160 seats with 30 of those along the terrace, including two fire-pit lounge areas. From that vantage point, diners will be able to order breakfast, lunch, dinner, and — what suspect will be most popular — Sunday brunch.
Charleston’s Grand Bohemian is part of the The Kessler Collection which currently has 10 hotels including Grand Bohemians in Asheville, N.C. and Savannah, Ga. But unlike those two properties, McGillis says Charleston’s location will have something unique — a wine blending room.
“The wine blending program is what we are most excited about,” says McGillis. The Bohemian plans to offer 90-minute wine blending classes five days a week. The class promises to teach oenophiles how and why winemakers blend while they customize their own bottle. Fortunately this isn’t a drink-local movement — no saccharine scuppernongs will be used in the winemaking process. “The wine is already pre-aged at one of the wineries we work with, and we’ve sourced four different varieties to start: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Merlot,” says McGillis.
But if you’re more into imbibing than blending, McGillis says they’ve got that covered too. Next door to the blending room, Grand Bohemian will have a wine tasting room with 32 different wines for sampling in increments of 1-3-5 oz. pours. The hotel has hired sommelier Barbie Messa to lead both the blending and tasting rooms. “She’s currently working on getting the few remaining bottles of Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon from 1998 in South Carolina. Fingers crossed,” says McGillis.
The Grand Bohemian Hotel’s wine tasting and blending rooms, and Élevé restaurant all open on Thurs. Aug. 27.