Owner and chef Frank Kline really has something special here. On just about my tenth stop at this place for dinner, I decided to make Grace & Grit among my first write-ups on where to eat in Charleston. So many afternoons, I’ll be leaving my office on East Bay Street and be approached by visiting out-of-towners asking where to eat, where they can relax with a drink with a view, or where they can catch a Charleston sunset. Seriously, this happens at least three to four times weekly. Alternatively, I am asked about twice that many times by locals where I’m visiting from! It only goes to show that Charleston business owners, tour guides, restaurateurs want to know their clientele and they want to make certain that a visitor will come back. That’s Charleston. And the staff at Grace & Grit are no exception, with eager hosts and hostesses who set the bar for real Charleston hospitality.
Just over the bridge in Mount Pleasant, sits Grace & Grit. With Uber and Lyft available just about anywhere downtown for a quick pickup, you can be over the Ravenel Bridge and enjoying a lovingly shaken libation in no time at all. The menu is approachable, with methods of preparation original. I have found their daily specials to be excellent choices on the three occasions I’ve allowed myself to splurge. It should be stated up front that Grace & Grit is a seafood restaurant with several non-seafood options available such as a beautiful sweet tea brined pork chop and a fab smoked filet mignon which I recently ordered and found amazing. But…. you’re coming here for the market catch and for the shrimp, you’re coming here for the fried oysters, and you are definitely coming here for the grits. Say you’ve tried grits before? Not a fan? You have not had these grits, so entirely popular, diners can order a grit flight as an appetizer, a unique way for the entire table to experience four flavors without filling up before the main plates. A main course I have ordered many times now and have always been happy with are the Scallops prepared house jerk seared. The scallops are large and buttery, and come served on a bed of coconut grits with a side of pan fried Brussels sprouts and a healthy smear of strawberry fennel jam to balance out the savory, a genius combination. Also unforgettable, the market catch (the Scottish salmon is my favorite when available) prepared pan roasted with a citrus butter. This comes atop a bounty of an in-house hash recipe composed of Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, gorgeous red and yellow beets, bacon and fresh herbs.
The farm to table appeal is and has been trending in Charleston for some time now, with Chef’s keeping the footprint small and supporting not only local farmers, fishermen, and distilleries, but also the healthy diet without compromising on flavor or portion size. This is crucial for those of us seeking real food with little processing. Grace & Grit features just that. Again, it should be noted that here in Charleston and the surrounding, I have only chosen to feature the eateries that really offer quality for the price, hospitality consistently, and are venues I personally have come back to again and again because they just are that good. I know there are some who may suggest adding to this list. In the future, I likely will. For now, and trust me, this ‘short list’ are both the trending and resounding ‘thumbs up’ among locals like myself.
Thank you Adair for permission to use your photo as this post’s featured image! @adairali