James Island restaurant The Lot has always been a bit of an under-the-radar culinary wonder, but with Charleston Scene critic Deidre Schipani's latest rave review, that may not be the case any more. The Lot recently made changes in the kitchen and promoted R.J. Dye to replace former executive chef Alex Lira — thus prompting a new look at the farm-to-table eatery. "The restaurant itself has matured both in its look and feel and also in the dynamics between the front of the house and the back of the house," states Schipani. She is impressed with the servers ability to provide guests with a seamless evening.
She writes, "The embrace of the seasonal, sustainable and local resources of the Lowcountry shaped their offerings and inspired respect for ingredients," And while Lira may be gone, "[He] bequeathed Dye the culinary notes and scale and The Lot’s newest executive chef has made mouth music." From the wahoo with tomatillo salsa to the cnudi to the coulottee steak, the critic has nothing but praise for Dye's work at The Lot.
City Paper writer Allston McCrady visits newcomer The Westendorff to explore the handsome renovation of the Radcliffeborough building and the menu from chef Christopher "Ted" Jackson. "It's difficult to categorize the Westendorff, other than to use their own descriptor of 'elevated comfort food,'" states McCrady, "I would go beyond that to say that Jackson incorporates international culinary sensibilities into unmuddled, clean, and fresh dishes."
The critic praises the cheeseburger ("And what a burger."), the pork spareribs ("... melted off the bone ..."), and the chicken ("... a simple but delectable dish ..."). McCrady's favorite menu item is the green curry, which she describes as "... the season personified ..."
McCrady declares The Westendorff a "perfect blend of elegance and unpretentiousness" and thinks the dining room can serve as a casual dinner spot or a big night out restaurant, whichever you're looking for in your experience.