One of Hanna Raskin's very first reviews was for long-standing Charleston institution Jestine's titled, "Barring dessert, Jestine’s offers up some forgettable home cooking." Fans were riled that Raskin dare speak against such an icon of the Lowcountry dining scene, while others thanked her for her honesty. This week, she takes on another Holy City institution Magnolias, and it doesn't fare much better.
Raskin's analysis starts on an ominous note with a mint julep that is a "glass of mostly simple syrup" (it supposed to be a glass of mostly bourbon). Once she finds "more competent cocktails," she finds the dining room in a festive spirit, likening it to a cruise ship — perhaps it was all the tourists.
The food gets Raskin down, as she states, "Dishes that once expressed Lowcountry soul are executed with detached obedience." The restaurant receives one star for the cuisine. She commends the "little fits of whimsy" in the desserts.
However, even if she didn't find competency in the menu, the service at Magnolias is deemed worthy of three stars.
Will the Magnolias-lovin' masses grab their pitchforks or will others rally with Raskin?