Two Charleston restaurants on Esquire's list of 20 best

By:Gwen Fowler


Esquire m​aga​zine is sending more love Charl​eston’s way.

On a list of 20 best new resta​urants of 2012 are two in the Charleston area: Carter's ​Kitchen in Mount Pleasant and The M​acintosh in Charleston.

Chef/owner Robert Carter opened Carter’s ​Kitchen in I’O​n in February 2012.Esquire food columnist John Mariani says Carter “understands the slow, steady progression of southern cooking and never bucks the sacrosanct. So you nibble on crispy okra chips with a tomato-aioli dip, or fried chicken gizzards with brandy ketchup. Tuck into a hearty duck-and-pork boudin and fried onions lashed with hot Creole mustard. Or that old fish-camp staple — fried flounder and shrimp — which Carter cooks to flaky succulence, and then slaps down tangy cheddar grits and puffy corn fritters.”

Carter’s Kitchen offers small plates, main dishes and nightly blue plate specials that make me drool: fried chicken, shrimp pot pie, fish night prime rib and more.

The chef is practically a Charleston institution himself, leading Penin​sula Grill from its opening in 1997 until he left for his new venture.

The Maci​nt​osh was opened by Chef Jeremiah Bacon and the Indig​o Road restaurant group in September 2011.

Mariani writes: “Charleston is teeming with exciting chefs — like Mike La​ta at Fig, Frank​ Lee at Slightly North of Broad, Robert Steh​ling of Hominy Grill, and Se​an Brock of H​usk — who have made their historic city a culinary destination. Jeremiah Bacon (great name for a chef, it must be said) adds mightily to the city's bragging rights.”

Later he writes: “Bacon focuses on one main ingredient on the plate, then gives it a benediction of beautiful, intensely reduced sauce and accompaniments — ricotta gnudi cuddled with nubbins of stone-crab meat and tomatoes is a shining example. In the way rich, salty pork belly absorbs hot-and-sour soup shot through with kimchi, shiitakes, and bok choy, you see and taste his skill.”