Fresh produce has come full circle at Charleston’s two-month-old Lowcountry Bistro.
An offshoot to one of the city’s iconic restaurants, 82 Queen, the new Southern-style dining spot is a casual foil to its sister, offering quality cuisine at prices attainable to all customers. It sits in a restored brick building on South Market Street, which was previously home to local produce distributor Limehouse Produce. From the rustic farm scapes on the walls, to the chefs’ commitment to using seasonal produce and seafood, the bountiful spirit of the property’s predecessor is alive and well at Lowcountry.
Within its walls you’ll find modest, earthy decor—wide plank wood floors and wormy pine table tops, exposed wooden beams, and over-sized chalkboards listing the daily selections. The aesthetic is simple and understated, allowing the true star, the Southern fare, to take center stage.
Lowcountry prides itself on serving traditional Southern food of the highest quality, freshness, and seasonality—with a twist. Here you won’t eat overcooked vegetables or the standard “meat-and-three.” The menu, rather, is inspired and inventive featuring unorthodox, yet brilliantly developed, flavor combinations and “Southern Classics” reinventions. Take the Chicken and Waffle. Instead of the traditional buttermilk choice, Lowcountry uses a sweet potato, cornbread, and bacon waffle to cradle the crispy chicken, pecan butter, and bourbon reduction. Pure Southern heaven. Or, the strawberry shortcake, which layers grilled cornbread squares with whipped cream and brandy-macerated local strawberries.
Lowcountry operates solely as a “scratch kitchen,” even hand-grinding the grits in-house. Whether you opt for the Parmesan Chive Grits or the White Cheddar and Country Ham Grits, the quality is a cut above.
Two other must-try dishes are the Roasted Sweet Potato Fingerlings and the Imperial Crab-Encrusted Rib Eye. A blissful balance of sweet and savory, the fingerlings are finished with apple-smoked bacon, gorgonzola, and a drizzle of rosemary honey. The rib eye, slathered with a creamy crab spread, is melt-in-your-mouth buttery and sinful.
Lowcountry may be new, but word is traveling fast. From the chefs, to the management, mixologists, wait staff, and the food itself—it’s a soulful Southern experience plump with Lowcountry passion.