Inside the kitchen at Bistro 536, head chef Alastair Nairn and sous chef Michael Rogers craft updated versions of American cuisine that change with the seasons. In a feature on ABC 4's Lowcountry Live!, Nairn explained that his Scottish roots surface in his cooking, whether it's in a blue crab pot pie or classic plates of fish and chips. Low lights and dark woods in the dining room wrap diners in a cozy embrace, inviting soft conversation amid the flickering table candles and wall sconces as radiant as a 5-year old that correctly spelled "sconces". While the menu changes regularly throughout the year, past specialties have included beef medallions with truffled red potatoes, bacon-wrapped scallops, and prosciutto-wrapped salmon with sundried tomato-pesto cream.
A confluence of cuisines produces signature smells and tastes at Tropical Sushi, where biculinary chefs prepare traditional Japanese entrees along with Mexican- and tropical-inspired dishes. The distinct food groups often merge with formidable results, including crab, shrimp, and scallop deluxe nachos, a meal made possible only after the tortilla chips’ father gave the union his blessing. Fresh ingredients ensure tasty meals such as the rendang, a spicy meat dish hailing from Indonesia that piles slow-cooked beef atop coconut milk, herbs, and white rice. Tropical Sushi’s seven varieties of fried sushi encourage diners to crunch their way to seafood centers.
A Snappy Event brings Charleston residents together for fun and food-centric events held throughout the year. The party-planning machinations started with the Mac Off, a no-holds-barred mac 'n' cheese cook off, and have spread to other cuisine-themed bashes such as sushi festivals, oyster roasts, and ground-beef food fights. The annual food truck hoedown beats back the February chill with satisfying food and a raging bonfire, while the Top Gun '80s party is held from the flight deck of the USS Yorktown.
Nestled on the Folly Beach pier, Locklear's Beach City Grill brings a taste of the ocean to the seashore community in its roomy, casual dining room. Outside on the expansive deck, a salty breeze flows across diners seated in the open or under the shady tent space, stirring up the aromas of steamed lobster, fresh boiled shrimp, and juicy steaks from adjacent tables and from the cologne of dolphins swimming past. Inside, hanging starfish appear to scuttle across a seafoam-hued wall toward the bar, where barkeeps pour glasses of wine and uncap bottles of imported and domestic barley pops and other refreshing tipples.
Jack’s Cosmic Dogs borrows a page or two from the playbook of the roadside hot dog stands of the past. With its fresh-cut fries, root beer floats, and vintage, long-neck bottled sodas, the restaurant whisks visitors back in time amid funky décor and an eclectic collection of props. The Jack’s experience has also caught the eye of Food Network star Alton Brown, who spotlighted Jack’s all-American eats on the Food Network show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Chef Jon Languell offers a long, winding dinner menu filled with new twists on Southern classics, such as mac 'n' cheese, fried chicken, and fried green tomatoes. Prepare mandibles for an evening of refined munching with spiced ahi tuna tataki, topped with roasted-green-tomato salsa verde, cilantro syrup, and pickled red onions ($9). Maine reunites with the South for the first time since Pangaea's puzzle-like rearrangement in a lobster mac 'n'cheese starter seasoned with tomatoes and herbs ($10). Classic pan-fried chicken hails from the free ranges of Springer Mountain Farms and comes dressed with peach chutney alongside bacon-infused succotash and buttermilk mashed potatoes. Quash two cravings at once with seafood and sausage étouffée , a savory combination of peppers, onions, okra, and stewed tomatoes filled with sausage and a maritime lineup of mussels, shrimp, scallops, and catfish.