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Charleston Restaurants

Carolina's

Updated 10/03/2014

Fodor's Review

On a quiet side street between East Bay Street and Waterfront Park, this longtime favorite occupies a former wharf building. The recently renovated decor includes romantic banquettes, and an evolving menu under chef Jill Mathias has a strong emphasis on healthful ingredients. (Owner Richard Stoney also owns Kensington Plantation, where most of the produce is grown.) Lowcountry favorites stand next to original dishes like scallops with roasted cauliflower. Local grouper

works amazingly well with a port-wine broth. Ask about the special prix-fixe dinners, including ones with beer pairings. On Sunday and Monday bottles of wine are half price. The free valet parking is another nice touch.

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Restaurant Information

Address:

10 Exchange St., Charleston, South Carolina, 29401, United States

Map It

Phone:

843-724–3800

Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • No lunch weekends
  • Reservations essential

Updated 10/03/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
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Mar 6, 2010

Carolina's Review

Outstanding and more of a local than tourist place. Wonderful food, but ask for a table in the back room unless you like the roar of other diners. Quality and innovation of the menu is fresh and wonderful. Don't miss this restaurant, but it can be pricey.

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Dec 16, 2006

Thank God for change!

Carolina's has been around forever, but it's just now getting back to the way it used to be. Apparently they have a new chef. He's English and actually came to the table to ask how our meal was. The beef carpaccio was amazing. My friend had the scallop three ways to start. Wow! Then I had the lamb rack, which was probably the least expensive in town, and it was cooked perfectly. My friend had the fried flounder which isn't usually something

I like, but it was served with peach jam and this hash with bacon and sweet potatoes. It was really good. We finished the meal by sharing their spiced chocolate trio. The service was perfect and the restaurant itself is really pretty, has a really nice vibe. I was so pleasantly surprised because Carolina's did have such a poor reputation for a while, my friend dragged me assuring me that it had improved. She was right! What a wonderful experience.

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By Paul

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Jun 18, 2005

Still OK

Excellent service and good food. Not memorable but quite good.

By Paula

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May 31, 2005

Nothin Could Be Finer than to Dine at Carolina's

This restaurant is the at located in the building housing the oldest continuing restaurant location and the only restaurant South of Broad. Carolina's opened to great acclaim some twenty years ago and raised the bar for all others in the area with it's consistently fine innovative food and beautiful, inviting ambience it was the place to see and be seen. Since then numerous outstanding restaurants have come on the scene making Charleston a true dining

destination. After a ten year or so period when they got a little tired and things slipped a bit Carolina's is under new ownership and has gone through a complete renovation. The new interior retains the open, elegant, but hip feel of the original, but has added even more elegance and updated the classic look. Soundproofing and improved ventilation thoughout make it such a pleasure that you'll be torn between eating at the bar or in the 19th century plush pampered elegance of the Perdita's room or in the sparkling sidewalk room or bar area. The acorn squash stuffed with shrimp and scallops is divine, as is the tenderloin with crabmeat, the grouper, the fruit de mer,the lamb, or the pasta with seafood in a cream sauce. Don't let the prices scare you away. They have the best burger in town--tenderloin ground in house daily--for around $9.00 and without the bun with your eyes closed you could be eating the tenderloin. Many locals consider their crabcakes to be the best in town and it's possible to make a generous meal out of the appetizers and salads alone. Don't miss the smoke tenderloin appetizer, the calamari and the Carolina's salad with fried goat cheese and champagne pecan dressing. Sunday and Monday nights are half price wines for bottles and by the glass and they have a great wine list. Parking is not a problem anymore since this management offers free valet parking every night.

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By Carol

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Sep 14, 2004

Nothing Could Be Finer?? No Way!

Had dinner there for first time on Saturday, Sep 11. Reservation for 2 was for 9:00. We arrived promptly, and were told that the table was being readied. Another couple arrived ten minutes (!) later, and were immediately seated. No explanation was offered by the hostess, whose time was spent staring boredly into space. At 9:20 we were seated in the bar room, at a table beside the steps and therefore in a high traffic pattern. Noise level from

loud music, kitchen, and other patrons was nearly unbearable. Server appeared at 9:30; we asked to move to a table out of the traffic pattern. She said we could, but that things were dying down now, the other table was just as much in the way, etc. Upon visiting the restroom later, we determined that there was a perfectly quiet back room. Why were we not offered the option of moving there, once we had made our displeasure known? Staying at our original table did afford us the opportunity to overhear the loud and ongoing conversations of the staff, as well being able to observe one server drop forks on the floor, then PUT THEM BACK, presumably for use. Our particular server failed to check back with us; water glasses were never refilled. While the food itself was superb, the overall experience was so miserable that we would never recommend this restaurant to anyone.

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By mmb

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Oct 21, 2003

The Best Fish Dinner I Ever Had!

If ever you are in Charleston, South Carolina, you must have dinner at Carolina's. And if you like fish the best fish dinner I ever had was: local Grouper in Almond-Black Sesame Seed Crust...sauteed and topped with crabmeat, lemon butter sauce and Carolina Rose Tropical Fruit Chutney. It was "to die for!!!" In fact, I'd plan a trip back just to have that meal!

By RT

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Aug 1, 2003

Great Food

Food was excellent - great seafood. Atmosphere is a bit loud and tables are very close together. Would be fun for a group but don't go expecting an intimate dinner.

By Marilyn

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Jul 16, 2003

Can't Go Wrong

Everyone at our table of 10 enjoyed their meal at Carolina's as one of the best of the week! Interesting menu options, friendly management, tasty dishes in a comfortable atmosphere. We will return here.

By olivia

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Mar 23, 2001

couldn't be finer

The food was absolutely wonderful! The service was a bit slow (but very friendly), but they were jam-packed, which should be a testimony of its own to show how popular the place is. Out of many places I've eaten in Charleston, this is one of my favorites. I definitely recommend it!

By Jen

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Aug 25, 2000

Definitely don't miss this one!

Wonderful food and great atmosphere. I crave the shrimp and tasso sauce! Service was wonderful and they fit us visitors in at the last minute.

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