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'Curled-up Crustaceans' at The Darling; 'Dreamily Fluffy Gnocchi' at Congress

What the critics are saying this week

The Darling Oyster Bar
The Darling Oyster Bar
Erin Perkins
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

Upper King hot spot The Darling Oyster Bar earned double the star rating of its predecessor, Union Provisions, this week in Charleston Scene. Critic Hanna Raskin applauds The Darling's decision to retain "restaurant fix-it man Nathan Thurston" to reinvent the restaurant, stating "The turnaround is miraculous." After admiring the new nautical interiors, Raskin recommends "an excellent daiquiri," tuna poke with "a decidedly tiki tilt," the "jaunty spread" of shrimp salad, "[c]urled-up crustaceans" on the fresh catch list, shrimp and grits, and "a ridiculously good $9 burger." She deems The Darling a fun and affordable option on Upper King.

Mount Pleasant newcomer Congress scores a second good review from a Charleston publication this week. Last month, Raskin gave the Mexican/Italian restaurant a winning write-up, and now City Paper critic Allston McCrady declares Congress a "... a novel, polished, interesting new restaurant ..." On tackling the "seemingly disparate culinary cultures: Mexican and Italian," McCrady says diners won't be confused once they understand the menu comes from chef Mark Ciaburri, who was born to a South Mexican mother and Italian father. "When it comes to chef-driven cuisine, I don't think it gets more authentic than this," says McCrady.

At Congress, the chili is "all muscle," gnocchi is "dreamily fluffy," arancini "offers comfort," and chocolate budino is "eyes-roll-back-in-the-head worthy."


1035 Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, , SC 29464 (843) 654-9210 Visit Website

Darling Oyster Bar

, Charleston, SC (843) 641-0821