If readers only take away one tidbit from critic Jeff Allen's latest review for Charleston Magazine, it's that they absolutely, positively, must not pass up the bread course at Meeting Street stop Spero. The entire first paragraph of the write-up is a dedicated ode to the carbohydrate flight. Spero's menu is dedicated to gourmet small plates, yet the interiors are super casual. Allen thinks that co-owners R.J. Moody and partner Rob Laudicina are on to something, as he describes the dishes:
The less adventurous could find solace in a dish of ripe cherry tomatoes, rolling amongst fresh-pulled mozzarella and the sweet, sharp tang of pickled peaches. It may not have been the most satisfying mozzarella ever pulled in this city, but it represented an honest effort to push the boundaries of how casual dining might be defined, questioning whether fine cooking can only be experienced in the realm of white tablecloths and tinkling crystal.
The mozzarella aside, Allen thinks readers should appreciate the "half a roasted chicken with potatoes and charred cabbage for $17" or the well-executed lamb barbacoa sandwich and especially the bread flight.
West Ashley's Ms. Rose's Fine Food & Cocktails went through a bit of a revamp recently with a new chef and menu tweaks. Charleston Scene critic Hanna Raskin examines the Southern restaurant this week and finds the appetizers intriguing. The first thing Raskin notes is that the multiple television sets at Ms. Rose's are difficult to ignore — but that's not always a bad thing. If patrons think of the restaurant as their living room, then they'll feel right at home watching the big game and ordering a dish of French fries, "crispy and creamy in all the right places." Other starters, like the Caesar salad and smoked salmon receive high praise. Raskin's vegetarian companion can't find a vegetable-based entree and the cheesesteak is a letdown, but that's why the review highlights that "Starters shine at Ms. Rose's."