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An outdoor kitchen with an open flame.

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Newcomer Lost Isle Takes Backyard Barbecue to the Next Level on Johns Island

Lost Isle’s dining room and kitchen are both outdoors

It’s all about live fire at Lost Isle.
| Jonathan Boncek
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

“Indoor or outdoor dining?” isn’t a question at Johns Island restaurant Lost Isle (3338 Maybank Highway), because all the tables are al fresco. The small white building next to the Tattooed Moose on Maybank Highway looks like it could be a family home, but behind the humble structure are sparkling chandeliers hanging from the live oaks and an expansive outdoor dining area sitting next to a wood-fired kitchen.

Restaurateur T.J. Lynch from Folly Beach bar Lowlife (106 E. Hudson Avenue) teamed up with entrepreneur Thomas Wilson and chef Josh Taylor (formerly of Root Note Food) to bring a new dining experience to Johns Island. Lynch says, “Imagine if you had roommates and one was a chef and was a bartender, and you threw a dinner party in your backyard — it’s like that.”

The focus of the menu is live fire. Taylor says he drew inspiration from cultures that use open-flame cooking like Argentina and Southeast Asia. On the menu, diners will find grilled shrimp with harissa cauliflower puree and crispy chorizo, charcoal chicken with a tamarind chili glaze and lemongrass salsa verde, and roasted carrots in a brown butter hazelnut sauce. One of the early standouts from the menu is the curry braised collards. Taylor says he was inspired by a trip to Thailand when thinking about the greens, so he created a khao soi broth to simmer the collards and added bread crumbs for texture.

“The menu goes from smaller to mid-size to larger plates to shareable plates,” says Wilson, “It is really flexible, and I suggest that tables order plates to share. Everyone will have something to choose from.”

As far as the beverages, the group says they wanted the selections to be interesting and enjoyable. “We tend to try not to take ourselves too seriously,” says Lynch, “We wanted the drinks to be tasty, fun, and accessible — not too pretentious or complex. We hope you’ll have a good time and not have to worry so much about what’s in the glass.” Lost Isle has several beers, cocktails, and wines all on tap, from the outdoor bar.

Lost Isle officially opens this evening and is open daily, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Take a look at a sample menu here.

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