A Charleston, South Carolina, restaurant on this list should be no surprise. With a new eatery opening what feels like every week, the Holy City is ripe for the picking.
And though it’s at the beach, everything about this place screams Charleston. It’s casual, but sophisticated. Stylish, but cheery. Wide planks of graying reclaimed wood flank the walls, monkey fist knots underscore the nautical theme, and the open kitchen is a vision in stainless and white.
Though the wood-fired pizzas conjure Italy, chef Jacques Larson relies mightily on the flavors of the Lowcountry. The pizza crust starts with flour from heritage-grain champion Anson Mills. On the Five Fathom Hole, local clams luxuriate amid roasted fennel and fiery chile flakes.
Under the Plates section, Jacques’ command of flavor as sense of place shines. Oyster mushrooms from the nearby Mepkin Abbey join earthy kale and a runny Sea Island egg. Favas and peas sit atop ricotta made with milk from Johns Island, with sea salt from nearby Bulls Bay.
It’s not “good for the beach.” It’s just good.
RESERVATIONS: Recommended. COST: $5-$19. ADDRESS: 2063 Middle Street; theobstinatedaughter.com