Charleston’s newest oyster bar the Quinte (36 George Street) opens today, November 18, at 11 a.m. The most recent bivalve restaurant on the scene comes from Philadelphia-based hospitality company Method Co., which runs the connected boutique hotel the Pinch. Method Co. is known for its luxury details and attention to branding in all its projects, which for the Quinte, means a seductive Paris-meets-old-New-York interior with a menu full of hyper-local seafood.
The team named the establishment after the original billiards hall that opened in the George Street location in 1918, but the chef’s surname couldn’t be any closer. Chef Nicolas Quintero (formerly of Zero George, FIG, and the Ordinary) runs the kitchen. The menu is tight, but it hits the highlights one would expect from an oyster bar — from seafood towers to shrimp rolls to caviar service. Quintero says, “We want the Quinte to be an elevated oyster bar that feels very comfortable and welcoming. I believe in using a lot of local purveyors and keeping the menu as seasonal as possible, but also with fermented items to be a note to the past. Right now, we have a green tomato and Asian pear mignonette with mushrooms that we pickled last summer.”
When asked what separates the Quinte from other Charleston oyster bars, Quintero says, “Everybody has their own kind of successful formula for them, and we’re trying to develop something that’s our own. We want to be the best version of ourselves.”
Katelyn Kupiec, general manager of the Quinte (formerly of Husk Charleston and Nashville) also leads the beverage menu and says that for the most part, the drinks stay in the clear liquor lane with wines from the coastal Mediterranean region. “We want our drinks to pair with our food options, but offer something for everyone, even if it’s not an obvious choice,” she says.
The Quinte can seat 40 customers with a very handsome bar, European cafe seating, and two large booth-style tables. Method Co. has obsessed over the design, lighting, and music to create a dark, moody, and transportive vibe — one can imagine how it may have felt to be in the original billiards bar at the address.
Kupiec says, “This feels like this place that should already have existed in Charleston. And it maybe didn’t. But here it is. It feels lived in. It feels like we’ve already been in this space already for years.”
Take a look around the Quinte here, and peruse the menu before the official opening at 11 a.m.