Gwen Fowler



Esquire writer touts Greenville’s food reputation

Posted 3/22/2013 12:47:00 PM

Is Greenville the next big food city of the South?

That’s the question Esquire magazine asked recently, saying that Greenville is quickly gaining on Charleston in becoming the South's best food city.

Food and travel writer John Mariani writes that while Charleston is steeped in “antebellum charm,” Greenville is a city of the future, home to BMW, Michelin, the International Center for Automotive Research, The Center for Emerging Technologies and much more.

In the blog “Eat Like A Man,” Mariani writes about the more than 110 restaurants lining Main Street, most of them locally owned and excellent.

I think Main Street is probably the biggest surprise for anyone visiting Greenville for the first time in years. This is one of the liveliest downtowns you’ll find in a city of this size. You can walk a few blocks on Main and have your choice of many great spots to eat and almost any ethnic choice of food.

A few restaurants he singles out:

Soby’s, one of the catalysts for change in the city when it opened 15 years ago, where Chef Shaun Garcia “made a stand for Southern traditions honed to a casual, fine-dining glow, as in his lobster mac 'n' cheese with truffled Parmesan streusel, and his shrimp and grits with Low Country ham and creamy wine sauce.”

Devereaux’s, where Chef Spencer Thompson serves contemporary cuisine to an upscale crowd.

The Lazy Goat, where Chef Victoria Moore, “one of the true innovators” in the city, serves Mediterranean dishes.

The gastro pub Nose Dive at the Westin Poinsett Hotel, where Chef Joey Pearson “does a sensationally good housemade pretzel lavished with devilled crab and white cheddar.” (Soby’s, Devereaux’s, The Lazy Goat and Nose Dive all are owned by the Table 301 restaurant group.)

The Green Room, for its cilantro-lime remoulade-laced crab cakes and signature meatloaf.

New restaurant The Roost, where “just about everything is as locally sourced as possible, from lettuce to pigs, from mustards to grits.”

The other place that gets some attention from Mariani isn’t a restaurant but a moonshine maker, Dark Corner Distillery

Greenville and Charleston are very different, but both are fantastic cities to visit and to live in. I’m just happy to live here in South Carolina where I can visit both of them often.