Charleston Restaurants

Peninsula Grill

  • 112 N. Market St. Map It
  • Market
  • American
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 10/28/2015

Fodor's Review

Chef Graham Dailey incorporates Lowcountry produce and seafood into traditional Peninsula dishes, at once eyeing the past and the future. The dining room looks the part: the walls are covered in olive-green velvet and dotted with 18th-century-style portraits, and the ceiling supports wrought-iron chandeliers. These fixtures serve as an excellent backdrop for "sinfully grilled" Angus steaks, as well as jumbo sea scallops and Berskhire pork chops. Finish with the homemade sorbet, or try the signature three-way chocolate dessert that comes with a shot of ice-cold milk. The servers, who work in tandem, are pros; the personable sommelier makes wine selections that truly complement your meal, anything from bubbly to clarets and dessert wines. The atmosphere is animated and convivial, and the famous coconut cake still graces the menu.

Restaurant Information

Address:

Planters Inn, 112 N. Market St., Charleston, South Carolina, 29401, United States

Map It

Phone:

843-723–0700

Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • No lunch
  • Reservations essential

Published 10/28/2015

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Fodorite Reviews

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Feb 5, 2017

Try the Ultimate Coconut Cake!

My spouse and I enjoyed drinks and dessert at the Peninsula Grill on a Friday afternoon in mid-November 2016. We stayed nearby at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Guest Suites Charleston – Historic District, which shares the same block bordered by Meeting, Market, Church, and Hayne Streets. The Peninsula Grill accepts reservations online using the Open Table reservation system, but you do not need a reservation to dine at the Champagne Bar in

the lounge area. The Peninsula Grill is open daily for dinner only. The restaurant requests (although does not require) that men wear jackets. The Peninsula Grill and the Planters Inn are members of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux group; in addition, Esquire magazine has called the grill one of America’s Best New Restaurants, and the restaurant has received the AAA Four Diamond award. The Peninsula Grill is located in a restored circa-1844 building. Enter from Market Street, and follow the winding brick pathway through a wrought-iron gate, past palmetto fronds, boxwoods, fruit trees, a fountain, and a garden courtyard to a green door adorned with a gold fleur-de-lis and flanked by gas-lit copper carriage lanterns. Inside, the Champagne Bar offers several bubblies by the glass, in addition to wine, beer, and cocktails. The bar seats about eight patrons, or guests can dine at three booths in front of the hand-painted mural of a Lowcountry rice harvest (however, you may need a reservation to dine at one of the booths in the bar). The formal dining room features cream-colored velvet walls, woven seagrass accents, cypress molding, and custom-made chandeliers. You can also dine al fresco on the patio in the courtyard. The Peninsula Grill serves sophisticated Southern cuisine. The executive chef has worked in New York City, including for Anthony Bourdain. He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and became the first American to apprentice at the Michelin star-rated Hotel Lutetia in France. He has worked at the Peninsula Grill since it opened in 1997. We did not sample the reportedly delicious cuisine except for a slice of their famous coconut cake. The trademarked “Ultimate Coconut Cake” towers at five inches high and requires intricate preparation. After the pastry chef removes the cake layers from the oven to cool, she trims the brown tops (called “offshoots”) so that diners see only snowy white layers without any brown crumbs. She then toasts and crumbles the offshoots to use as the base for piecrusts. The chef cuts two round cakes into three layers each, which are eventually stacked atop each other. Fluffy vanilla filling divides each of the six layers, creating an additional six layers for a total of twelve. Cream cheese icing covers the entire cake, and toasted coconut coats its sides to add a slight crunch. Bon Appétit, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, TODAY Show, and Vogue have praised the cake. Demand for whole cakes created a mail-order business. The restaurant ships cakes overnight; each weighs approximately 12 pounds. Beginning at 6:00 am each day, the pastry chef and her assistants make at least a dozen cakes a day, 52 weeks of the year, with even more requests at the holidays. The coconut cake at the Peninsula Grill lived up to its hype! Next time, we will also try the coconut cake martini, and we’ll be sure to stay for dinner!

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