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New & Notable: Try tapas aplenty at Laurel and gather with friends for hearty comfort food at Berkeley’s

New & Notable: Try tapas aplenty at Laurel and gather with friends for hearty comfort food at Berkeley’s
January 2022

Our taste-and-tell guide to the latest and most noteworthy F&B offerings


Marc and Elizabeth Hudacsko, of the erstwhile pop-up We Flew South, opened Berkeley’s last summer in the former Uneeda Sicilian space on upper Rutledge Avenue after extensive renovations. Envisioned as a place to gather with friends, this casual eatery serves hearty sandwiches and suppers—think meaty melts, creamy mushroom cavatappi, and French onion soup. Reservations for the cozy interior are limited, but you can always opt for a seat on the spacious heated patio. Not-to-miss appetizers include the roasted pork belly on a bed of chili, greens, and romesco and the hummus studded with fried chickpeas and served with warm foccacia. Crispy chicken parmesan gets topped with “grandma” sauce and a blanket of mozzarella, while cheesesteaks are piled with shaved rib eye, Duke’s, and ooey-gooey house-made cheese whiz. Pro tip: make dessert a cup of Frigid Bits ice cream (featuring rotating favors like matcha white chocolate, gingersnap, and blackberry shortcake).


Last spring, chef Trae Wilson, of the beloved 1990s Granville’s on Beaufain, returned to Charleston with a new concept—Spanish and Portuguese dishes in a relaxed neighborhood spot inspired by his travels in Spain. Located in a charming corner building on Rutledge near the Medical District, Laurel exemplifies that casual yet refined European café experience. Drop into its handsome bar on the regular for sangria on draft and an array of pintxos (small plates) and tapas to share with friends. Recent standouts were the bright, herb-marinated boquerones (white anchovies) with house-made potato chips, rich lamb meatballs, and crudo del dia (when we visited, a lovely portion of tuna with good olive oil, fresh herbs, and a touch of spicy romesco). Or make it a date night for the entrees, from whole grilled fresh (ours a crispy branzino with saffron rice, butter beans, and piquillo peppers) to the Wagyu rib eye.