Peninsula Grill is owned & operated by Relais and Château luxury association. For those in the know, this means one thing – top-notch excellence. Peninsula Grill’s head chef, Executive Chef Graham Dailey, trained under the late famed Chef Anthony Bourdain for two years in New York City. He also has a degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, and has years of experience harvesting fish and shrimp on the Gulf of Mexico. Executive Chef Graham Dailey, who was the first American to work at three-star, Michelin-rated Hotel Lutetia in Paris, certainly knows how to cook excellent food, and I’m so excited to share more of his incredible creations with you.
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Address: 112 North Market Street
Inside Planter’s Inn by Relais and Châteaux
Executive Chef: Graham Dailey
Food Type: Lowcountry Cuisine
Dining Experience: Al Fresco or Indoors
Awards: Four Star Award, Four Diamond Award,
Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and many more
Price: $150+ per Person
Dress Code: Smart Casual +
Special Diets: Gluten-Free (not GF dedicated),
Located inside the beautiful Planter’s Inn, one of Charleston’s most iconic and luxurious hotels, Peninsula Grill is a breathtaking indoor and outdoor restaurant. We dined al fresco in the restaurant’s outdoor seating, near the hotel’s courtyard, and had the most beautiful evening. Surrounded by plants, with the sound of the courtyard’s fountain bubbling away not far from us, our dimly lit evening was as romantic as it was elegant.
Peninsula Grill’s Menu & Our Meals
Our meals here were splendid. As expected from a Relais and Châteaux property, the ingredients used in each dish are harvested fresh daily from land and sea by their team. The staff were incredibly knowledgable, accomodating, and kind, and we never sat without food or drink before us.
First, we ordered the Lobster “3 Way”, which is Lobster Ravioli, Lobster Tempura, and Sautéed Lobster combined in one tasting dish with warm tomato-basil beurre monté. This dish was one of my husband’s favorite things we ate in Charleston.
Next in our meal was the She Crab Soup with jumbo lump crab and sherry drizzle, a Lowcountry classic dish. We had She Crab Soup one other time in Charleston, and Peninsula Grill’s was far better by leaps and bounds.
For our entrées, I had the Pan Roasted Jumbo Sea Scallops with braised butter lettuce, lobster medallions, Yukon gold whipped potatoes, and citrus beurre blanc. If you don’t know what beurre blanc is, check out my guide to Essential Culinary Terms; you’ll be glad you did. This was an incredibly delicious dish that was satisfying without making me feel heavy or too full, which is, in my opinion, the perfect balance of pleasure and practicality when it comes to dining. I can’t recommend this dish highly enough!
Robin ordered the Grilled Salmon, which was prepared simply to emphasize the robust flavor and freshness of this beautiful cut of fish. We eat salmon often, it’s one of our favorite dishes, and this is some of the very best we’ve ever had.
Our server convinced Robin to try their famous Coconut Cake, and while I couldn’t have any as it wasn’t gluten-free, he said it was incredible. He still talks about how delicious it was, and coming from a man who doesn’t generally seek out coconut-flavored dishes, that’s quite something. It’s famous for a reason!
Every single bite here was phenomenal, and my only “regret” (if you can even call it that) was that we didn’t schedule our meal earlier in the day to have more light for brighter photographs to capture the full beauty of each dish. Even so, I think these photos are beautiful momentos of one of the most romantic and charming meals we’ve had in a long time. If you’re not concerned about getting photographs of your food, dining here an hour before sunset is the absolute perfect romantic evening, as the sunsets over Charleston and the courtyard of Planter’s Inn.
Final Thoughts on Peninsula Grill
I loved this restaurant so much. Charleston is known worldwide as one of the best food destinations in the nation, and this small sampling of meals we ate at the Peninsula Grill emphasizes this truth. Everything here was excellent, from the service and the atmosphere to the plating, flavors, and ingredients they used. It was a privilege to enjoy such an incredible meal made by one of the mentees of the late Anthony Bourdain, a man who inspired me to seek out beautiful new adventures wherever I find myself, and whose inspiring life was part of the reason I wanted to pursue travel writing as my career.
See what I wore to dinner at Peninsula Grill, here.
Should you be lucky enough to find yourself in The Holy City someday soon, and I hope you do, I recommend spending an evening at Planter’s Inn and enjoying an unforgettable meal at Peninsula Grill, one of my favorite restaurants I’ve ever visited. The passion for excellence shared by the staff shines through each plate served to guests who dine here, and it’s a dining experience unlike any other.