At Eli’s Table, diners not only fill up on each dish’s amalgamation of locally sourced ingredients, but they also get a taste of American history. Chef Scott and his kitchen team stoke appetites for all things Americana with breakfast and lunch entrees named after historical figures, fixing up powdered-sugar pancakes honoring Betsy Ross, as well as ham-and-brie croissants remembering Paul Revere, who famously shouted, “The British are coming!” from the back of his hobby horse. The history lessons end by dinnertime, when guests can savor bites of wet-aged Cajun rib eye in a veal demi-glace, and salmon fillets with spices and pecans. Eli’s Table also welcomes an array of musicians, including an Afro-Cuban jazz quartet, to perform on its patio as diners tap their toes and sip mojitos, martinis, and wine.
Tommy Condon's staff plies patrons with heaping portions of Irish fare paired with pints of homeland brews such as Guinness and Harp. Evening diners launch feasts with appetizers from the dinner menu, selecting dishes ranging from the irish nachos' cheese- and jalapeño-covered potatoes ($7.99) to crispy corned beef and swiss cheese blanketed in coleslaw ($6.99). Guests can sample the region's traditional beer-battered whitefish fish 'n' chips ($12.99) without the hassle of forging a sailboat from newspaper to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Red potatoes, carrots, and horseradish accompany each tender morsel of the house-made corned beef and cabbage ($12.99), which is best washed down with frothy baths of Guinness, Killian Red, or Smithwick's ($5).
This sweet shop creates satisfying fuel for the sugar-driven masses, with 22 flavors of fudge made on-site, 32 original ice cream flavors, and homemade caramel-dipped apples. Explore the expanses of the turtle fudge ($8 for a half pound), where decadent caramel canals irrigate wide expanses of thick, chocolaty, pecan-dotted terrain. Or sample the delicate balancing act of cookies and cream in a sinfully sacchariferous fudge form (about $8 for a half pound). The toasted coconut ice cream, a rich coconut base speckled with chocolate-covered toasted coconut, or the New Orleans praline, a vanilla ice cream with whimsical swirls of caramel and candy-coated pecans throughout, will quell cooler cravings ($3.95 for a cake cone, $4.25 for a sugar cone, $4.75 for a waffle cone) better than a mouthful of frozen peas. Opt for an obvious sweet-tooth satiator and bite into Kilwin's classic caramel apple ($4.95) or turtle apple ($8.95). Or try a luscious twist on an old favorite, the apple pie apple, a caramel-dipped apple doubly dunked in white chocolate and then dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Kilwin's also treats customers to homemade peanut ($8.95), cashew ($10.95), and pecan ($13.25) brittle.
Charleston is one of the country's oldest cities, its historic significance made palpable by Civil War landmarks and immaculately preserved properties, hundreds of which have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The French Quarter's cobblestone pathways wend past gothic churches and graveyards where signers of the Declaration of Independence were laid to rest. On the Battery, a short walk from the hotel, mansions commingle with Confederate cannons and oak trees along the seawall facing Fort Sumter in the Battery. More recently, Charleston has merged its Old South identity with a strong arts-and-culture scene. The streets once overrun with aristocrats and their diamond-studded butlers are now lined with top-tier art galleries and fashion boutiques. The city's reputation as a major culinary destination has been reaffirmed by the James Beard Foundation, which has named a different Charleston chef the best in the southeast three out of the past four years.
Situated in the historic downtown Market area, A. W. Shucks wrestles fresh fish from the clutches of pouched bills and musical mermaids daily and offers them a far more flavorful fate. The restaurant's dinner menu features a wide range of Lowcountry fish favorites and more crustaceans than you can waggle an ommatophore at. Start by savoring a cup of Charleston she-crab soup, a blend of blue crabmeat, fresh roe, and a hint of dry sherry($4.29), before diving into a martini glass of raw shrimp cocktail ($7.59) or a flounder fillet, breaded and fried until golden and fried ($17.99). Thrill-seeking crowds can crowd around A. W. Shucks "legendary" casserole as it tells jaw-dropping-and-closing stories of sautéed baby shrimp and scallops getting baked au gratin in a pool of lobster cheese sauce with Carolina deviled crab ($16.99).
Voted Charleston City Paper’s Best Corner Store of 2011, Queen City Grocery provides hungry patrons with a wide selection of conventional and organic groceries, crêpes, sandwiches, smoothies, and more. Toast co-workers at the morning coffee trough with a savory Wentworth breakfast crêpe loaded with banana, walnuts, and brown sugar ($7, add $1 to all crêpes for gluten-free servings), or consume the harmonious ham, avocado, red onion, and organic goat cheese quartet playing inside each Happy Houdini sandwich ($9).