A few years ago I was a resident of Charleston, South Carolina and I explored the culinary offerings throughout the city for two years. It has been almost three years since I moved back to Georgia, so I was excited to visit old friends and see what had changed in the old historic town. I arrived to my dear friends house early Friday evening and we began discussing all of the changes both to the town itself as well as the food scene. Food trucks have begun making a presence in Charleston but it has not quite caught on like many of the larger cities. After a couple of hours of talking, one restaurant kept coming up: The Grocery. The owner, Chef Kevin Johnson, has made an impact in Charleston, turning everything into gold that he touched: Taco Boy, S.N.O.B, Closed for Business, and many others. The Chef took a simple concept of fresh local and seasonal ingredients combined with a warm, inviting space to make a restaurant people would to keep coming back to.
We started our meal with a few cocktails and I chose the Dirty Green Tomato at $10. This drink was so smooth and was a take on a Dirty Martini but made with pickled green tomato instead of your traditional olives. I seriously could have had this drink with breakfast it was SO good!
Next we explored the house made sausages that they called the “Piggy Plate” at $15. The meats change daily and are served with pickled vegetable garnishes, mustard and toast.
The meats were fresh and very flavorful and surprisingly the duck liver pate was my favorite. It almost had a floral taste to it and the texture was smooth. Rated: 8/10
We ordered Crispy Pimento Cheese at $4 to snack on and they were good. Pimento Cheese rolled in flour and deep fried and served in a small mason jar, Rated: 6/10
Next, we ordered the Fried Oysters, Deviled Egg Sauce, topped with Bread and Butter Pickles at $11. I was so excited about these and so was the rest of the party that we popped them into our mouths without hesitation. After talking about how delicious they were, I realized that I had not even taken a picture. These shells were all that was left of this dish. We all enjoyed the oysters and the flavor was great: oysters were rolled in cornmeal and friend and the “deviled egg sauce” tasted like the yolk mixed with mayonnaise and sriracha. If I had to be picky, I wished that there wasn’t so much cornmeal. You almost lost the flavor of the fresh oysters. Rated 8/10
For my meal, I ordered the Wagyu Bistro Steak, with Leek and Blue Cheese Bread Pudding and Fig Agrodolce at $26. The steak was cook perfectly and the fig agrodolce was a perfect addition. The most surprising touch to the dish was the leek and blue cheese bread pudding. This had the texture of a custard or an extremely soaked bread pudding but the taste was like heaven. As long as you don’t have texture issues, this meal is a MUST HAVE! Rated: 9/10
Though this restaurant is off the normal beating path of East Bay Street and King Street, it is well worth a trip. Servers were well educated on the dishes, their components and full of suggestions for first time visitors. Overall, I would rate this restaurant a 9/10. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!