My husband, friend and I dined at The Darling Oyster Bar during a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina. We made a reservation ahead of our visit, as the downtown restaurant is a popular spot, even on a weekday. The main draw for our group of three was the raw bar.
We arrived in time for our reservation and were seated immediately. Our waiter came to the table shortly after to go over the menu and take drink orders. We decided to split a bottle of Muscadet while we perused the food menu. When our waiter returned with our wine, we ordered the large seafood plateau, which came with a selection of raw oysters, crab, lobster, shrimp and the regular accoutrements of cocktail sauce, mignonette and butter. To round out the meal, we ordered smoked salmon dip and a fry basket of shrimp, catfish and oysters to share family-style.
The smoked salmon dip arrived first. The cold fish dip came with rye toast points, crème fraîche, cucumber and pickled onions. The tasty appetizer whet our appetite for the rest of the meal. Next, the main attraction: the seafood plateau. We dove in to the raw and cold shellfish tower. The oysters were among the best I’ve ever had.
I also enjoyed the crab and lobster, though those were much messier than the oysters and shrimp. We capped off the meal with the fry basket. The fried seafood came with fries and kale slaw on the side. The fish, shrimp and oysters were all perfectly cooked, though I enjoyed the oyster most, as it was a preparation I don’t typically order. The breading on the fried seafood wasn’t heavy, so the flavors of the shrimp, oysters and catfish were the standouts.
The Darling Oyster Bar is popular for a reason. It’s a must for anyone who loves seafood, especially a raw selection. Be sure to book a reservation well in advance for your next visit.
The Darling Oyster Bar
513 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
tel 843 641 0821
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