Vendue hotel restaurant Revival opens at 5 p.m. this evening. The new East Bay Street dining room is pitched as a “modern Southern eatery,” but parts of chef Forrest Parker’s menu feels like customers are dining in a hotel in the early 20th century. Eater asked Parker about his inspiration for Revival.
“As a former tour guide for the city,” says Parker, “As someone who is devoted to the history of Charleston, I want to translate that through the lens of food. There’s such length and depth to the history of food here, and the ability to have a conversation about our shared historic experience is a great opportunity and great leveler.”
While Charleston’s culinary past is full of cooking in the home, Parker says that he looked at formative Lowcountry restaurants like Henry’s or Perdita’s. “If you dig deep enough, you can get the recipes, like I found the original recipe for the Edisto Motel’s fried shrimp.”
Another inspiration for the menu is the availability of nearly extinct ingredients, like the Bradford watermelon or African Runner peanut. Parker wants to bring these flavors to the forefront — he wants guests to taste flavors that haven’t been around for decades.
“The mission of Revival,” he says, “is to shine a delicious light on the shared agriculture history of South Carolina and the golden age of Charleston restaurants.”
From a hearts of palmetto salad to a Lowcountry pirlou, check out the dinner menu below before the opening tonight.
• Revival [Official]
• Get Schooled in Charleston’s Fine Dining History [CP]
• Heirloom Peanut Brought Back From Extinction Ready to Order [Free Times]