In the Charleston Grill (at the Charleston Place hotel), French-trained chef Bob Waggoner adds Gallic flavors to low-country standards, like baked grits with goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.
Woodlands Inn is worth the 30-minute cab ride out to Summerville. The menu changes daily and includes a vegetable-tasting option with dishes like a Wisconsin Dante–cheese soufflé. Book the chef's table to eat whatever the kitchen staff thinks of next.
Ken Vedrinski left his job as executive chef of the Woodlands Inn to open the Italian-infused Sienna Restaurant on nearby Daniel Island in March 2004. His spin on his grandma's recipes is so good, the state legislature passed a resolution saying so.
Bowen's Island (1870 Bowen Island Rd., James Island; 803-795-2757) serves only oysters. Harvested that afternoon and roasted to order, the oysters are deposited onto your ancient table via shovel. Open only for dinner and only in months with an "R."
Bessinger's Barbeque does mail order, but locals still go to the source for obscene portions and nightly specials like catfish fries.