Hotel restaurants rarely garner culinary nods, but the Vendue Hotel took steps to differentiate its 2018 opening, Revival. The airy, white-tablecloth room, overseen by suspendered waitstaff, is framed by brick walls and windows out to East Bay Street—potential diners may be drawn in without ever knowing there are high-end hotel rooms just above them. Most importantly, the classic cuisine stands alone. She-crab soup rivals shrimp and grits for Charleston’s signature dish, and the kitchen offers exemplary versions of each, featuring black rice grits in the latter. Entrees are pricey but impressive, including a pirlou, a rice-based staple of Lowcountry cuisine, that adds butter poached lobster and uses Carolina Gold rice. In its efforts to showcase historic Charleston
dishes in fine-dining atmosphere, Revival fills a void that Hominy Grill left when it shuttered dinner service. And don’t head straight out after dinner—the Vendue’s ground floor also doubles as an art gallery, presenting rotating exhibitions that rival the upscale art galleries in the surrounding French Quarter neighborhood.