To Charleston outsiders, the acronym for Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.) seems unfortunate indeed, but those in the know recognize it as a superb choice for lunch or dinner located near many of the most popular attractions in the city. In fact, I had read so many rave reviews about it, I chose it for lunch on my birthday during a recent trip to the city that Travel and Leisure declared to be #1 on its list of “The Top 15 Cities in the United States.”
The Restaurant – Slightly North of Broad
I was enchanted from the moment I walked in the door. Yes, the staff was cordial, but the profusion of patterns and colors drew me in before I even peeked at the menu. The wood floors gleamed, and the tall white columns contrasted beautifully with the beamed ceilings and the collection of traditional and whimsical light fixtures in this former 18th century warehouse building.
Because of S.N.O.B.’s reputation, I made a reservation, and my husband and I were seated within minutes of our arrival. Charleston also has made the list of “Friendliest Cities in America,” and the staff at S.N.O.B. must be a part of the reason. Our server was friendly, helpful and extremely attentive, and as I looked around, I saw that all of the patrons in the room that day were getting similar service and consideration.
Slightly North of Broad is often referred to as a Lowcountry bistro with a focus on fresh, local Southern ingredients. I can attest to the artistry of the culinary staff. They work to create exceptional goodness out of the bounty from South Carolina farms.
The Food at S.N.O.B.
A sweetgrass basket of warm, almost cake-like, cornbread appeared at the table first, along with softened butter. We then proceeded to Jumbo Lump Crab Salad with avocado toast and heirloom tomatoes.
For our main course, we selected the Southern Medley. A grilled chicken breast, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, basil pesto, a balsamic vinaigrette dressing with goat cheese croutons arrived. What could be healthier, simpler and more satisfying?
Just as we were finishing the last bites, our server surprised me with a birthday dessert of chocolate pot de crème garnished with fresh strawberries, complete with a candle. Truly a perfect ending to this delightful meal.
It was easy to imagine the produce and seafood arriving early that morning ready to be prepared and served. As a matter of fact, guests can see right into the open kitchen where the magic happens seven days a week.
Every night S.N.O.B. opens for dinner at 5:00 p.m. Lunch is served Monday through Friday from 11:30-2:30. And a brunch menu is offered on Saturday and Sunday during those same hours.
S.N.O.B.’s location at 192 East Bay Street is a short walk from Charleston Market. Or also a short walk from the starting point for the very popular horse-drawn carriage rides through the historic district. At the market, visitors can watch more than 50 Gullah craftspeople weave sweetgrass baskets of all sizes. One of those baskets along with the new cookbook, The S.N.O.B. Experience by Chef Frank Lee, are perfect souvenirs from a memorable time in Charleston.