By Laura Medina
Left, Cypress Restaurant, https://www.tastemade.com/places/cypress-167-e-bay-st-charleston-sc/UoQL8a6-SiGRsrnPnjaylw
Right, The Ordinary, https://www.tastemade.com/places/the-ordinary-544-king-st-charleston-sc/EklSk8tZQC2cVhrnYveCRw
Starving yet stylish Los Angelenos curiously asked this stylish, shapely scribe, "How you stay in shape when you eat out so much?"
Easy, copy the French.
First, portion control. This scribe loves the variety and size of gourmet finger food concocted by Bravo's "Top Chefs" and Food Network stars.
Second, this scribe is a "Typical Charleston Girl," what Angelenos and New Yorkers call, "a Charlotte," a classy, cultured, but chic Southern Belle who was raised on nothing but seafood, especially oysters. After a lifetime of shucking on mouth-watering bivalves, she quickly learned, you can have it all and eat it all because oysters are mainly seawater in a protein casing.
Third, once full...stop!
So, let's "Typical Charleston Girl" list her weight-controlling Charleston Christmas Diet.
Back home in Charleston, this scribe is glad that her hometown has kept it's gourmet, dressed oysters but continues to elevate and evolve the concept of stuff oysters, the ultimate finger food.
The Roasted Oysters at Pacific Asian/Southern-Chic Cypress and The Ordinary both coined their stuffed oysters with flavored butter and mayonnaise oysters "Roasted," which makes for a lighter yet still fulfilling oysters. The carb-heavy bread stuffings have been replaced with flavored sauces. My Los Angeleno girlfriend is so jealous that I ate so well yet stayed so slim. This is one of the secrets.
The oyster trend hits at The Ordinary, Charleston's hottest seafood hall. It's an oyster menage a trois of oyster bisque (threatening the Charleston classic, She-Crab Soup), again their butter/flavored mayo stuffed Roasted Oysters, and their Fried Oyster Sliders, giving beef burger sliders a run for their money. Again, nobody gets fat eating oysters!
What's really fair, every Friday night, The Ordinary offers a 3-course Lobster Dinner!
Speaking of lobster, the more humble but still so chic (everything about Charleston is chic, right down to the tiniest details), Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar has Stuffed Hush Puppies which are hush puppies cracked opened then Lobster Thermidor spooned in. Down-home dress-up.
Speaking of "Down-Home, Dressed-Up," Tavern did a 5-course Charleston Dinner for last night's New Year Eve's dinner, themed, "Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil."
Don't be misled by the Savannah reference, the starter is definitely Charleston...Buttermilk Fried Chicken and an Oyster.
The Granary, https://www.tastemade.com/places/the-granary-624-long-point-rd-mount-pleasant-sc/Rg36_fK7QgCn3Pw81apPJw
For all my antioxidant/fat-free/Raw Vegan Angeleno friends who have this misconception that Charleston isn't health/fitness-conscious, The Granary in Mt. Pleasant (where ex-Angelenos settle in Charleston) has a side dish they consider just a side dish but it's big enough as antioxidant Raw Vegan dish-the lightly pickled Red & Golden Beets. See, fine dining does do Raw Vegan!
Oscar's of Summerville's Pecan Brittle Basket,
Yes, people do think of pecan pie when they think about the South. The Peninsula Grills' decadent Coconut Cake does take the title of "Charleston's Cake" away from Hugenot Cake.
But, only in Charleston or in the great area of Summerville, South Carolina, you'll find and discover the singular Pecan Brittle Basket.
Basically, a huge Pecan Tuile Cookie turned upside-down on a greased bowl, so you flip out as a candy bowl holding chunks of fresh fruit (see, there's something for Raw Vegans) and ice cream, drizzled with dark chocolate sauce. This is a dessert form of health folks.
Like this shapely scribe has said before, nobody gets fat eating oysters.
Charleston Chic, folks. Eat well to be good and live good.