The City Magazine Since 1975

New & Notable - November 2018

New & Notable - November 2018
November 2018

Our taste-and-tell guide to some of the latest food-and-beverage openings in Charleston


The former home of Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen has undergone a major makeover, transforming with pale pink dining chairs and shelves bursting with greenery (as on-trend as anything in 2018). Semilla, the new tenant, expanded its popular taco truck to take over 28 President Street. Siblings Jill Schenzel and Macready Downer offer a slate of authentic-style tacos that have already garnered a passionate following, and some new items, too. We tried soft tortillas paired with queso flamaedo, a gooey dip that gets torched table-side, leaving the cheesy crust deliciously scorched. The beloved Brussels sprouts taco remains a crowd pleaser, but don’t miss rice bowls, nightly specials, or barbacoa and tempura-fried catch-of-the-day folded into a fresh corn tortilla, with a crisp house sangria to wash it all down.


Business partners Brooks Reitz and Tim Mink’s reputations precede them. The two already own the wildly successful Leon’s and Little Jack’s Tavern. Now the restaurant triumvirate is complete with the arrival of Melfi’s, the Italian arm of their empire that’s situated kitty-corner on King Street to the aforementioned properties. Named after a pharmacy it once housed, the space today is anything but clinical. Beautiful green banquettes face a long mirrored bar. Adjacent is the open kitchen turning out wood-fired pizzas. We began with the honey and ricotta toast, an indulgent starter for one. The rigatoni, a small portion of fat noodles in a fresh red sauce laden with a giant blop of ricotta, goes down easy as well. For dessert, don’t miss the fior di latte; or flower of milk. It’s a sweet, traditional milk gelato topped with a first-press olive oil.