In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. To kick it off in Charleston, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.
Q. What was your best restaurant meal of 2018?
Parker Milner, Eater Charleston contributor:
Stretch Armstrong pizza at Melfi’s — simplistic but perfectly executed. Most surprising meal was the smash burger at Parcel 32.
Marion Sullivan, Food editor Charleston Magazine:
A table-shared feast at Rodney Scott’s BBQ: ribs, pulled pork, fried catfish, beans, collards, cornbread, and, of corse, banana pudding.
Hanna Raskin, Food writer and critic for the Post & Courier:
I just recently learned that my phone can call up pictures of food, sorted by place, so I’m well aware of how many great meals I had in many far-flung places. But I also ate incredibly well here: I’m not sure I’ll ever have a better at-desk lunch than the spread I assembled this summer at Renzo’s bagel pop-up. At the other end of the fancy spectrum, my mother’s Spoleto visit was made by terrific meals at Charleston Grill and The Obstinate Daughter. Still, for significance’s sake, I’d reserve the best meal title for McCrady’s under Jim Stein. When Sean Brock left Neighborhood Dining Group, I assumed the tasting counter would close up soon thereafter: Instead, Stein imbued its menu with all of the creativity, place-based fun and finesse I’d hoped to find at the restaurant when it opened.
Robert Donovan, photographer and contributor to Eater Charleston:
The best anchovies i’ve ever had with olive oil and house-baked naturally leavened bread, a clam, bonito, lemon and chilies pizza and more sherry and amaro than was probably necessary at Folk in Nashville. I think about those anchovies and that pizza frequently.
Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
I finally tried a lox bagel from Holey City Bagels at the Charleston Farmers Market, and now I’m really going to miss them until the market starts again. Actual restaurant meal: a hurricane evacuation dinner at FIG to introduce my boyfriend to the tomato tarte tatin.