We dined at Tempest during our last visit to Charleston, which was one of our trip’s highlights. Everything was so delicious, so fresh, and so inventive. They do an excellent job of creating new and rare flavor profiles that are unlike anything we’ve ever had anywhere else, and their fish is some of the freshest in the Holy City. If you like fresh seafood, unique yet sophisticated atmospheres, and fine dining, you’ll love Tempest as much as we did!
Location: Charleston, SC
Address: 32C N Market Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Food Type: Seafood
Dining Experience: Indoor
Price: $50+ per Person
Dress Code: Business Casual +
Special Diets: Pescatarian, Gluten-Free (not GF-dedicated)
Ambience of Tempest
Beneath a giant mosaic of an octopus, Tempest is lit by candlelight. Tall, plush booths and seats and an unfussy environment placed our focus solely where it belonged: on the food. Sophisticatedly minimalistic without being sparse or pretentious, Tempest checks all the boxes regarding the atmosphere. Though the restaurant is much bigger than I’d initially realized, it’s intimate enough for romantic evenings like ours or bigger celebrations.
After a light lunch at their sister property, Church and Union, and plenty of walking, we were famished. So, we made the most of our time here at one of our favorite restaurants in the United States and ordered plenty of food. Here are our favorites.
The 1/2 Dozen Roast Oysters from the Crystal Coast with Calabrian chili and scallion were spectacular. They had a perfectly balanced flavor and an unbelievably smooth texture. Oysters are a great source of protein, and these were delicious!
The Dynamite Tuna Tartare was unbelievably splendid. It was a work of art that blended texture and temperature, flavors and mouthfeels in a way that made it possible to make every bite a different experience. It was refreshing and satisfying and served with sushi rice, chili aioli, toasted nori, and rice crisps. This was my favorite course of the evening!
The Yellowfin Tuna Crudo was similar in concept to the above but with entirely different flavors and textures. Served with addictive leek ash, crunchy garlic, and kimchi, this fresh-as-can-be yellowfin tuna served plenty of heat and flavor. On a related note, I need to know how they made that leek ash because I’d put it on everything I eat! This was my second favorite item of the evening, following closely behind with the above.
We also ordered Roasted Shrimp, a Tempest specialty, and they were just as incredible as they were last time! They’re SO delicious!
We tried the Bok Choy side dish to add some delicious greens to our meal, and it was a very generous portion. Served with horseradish and citrus, this was complex, robust, and salty but not overpoweringly. If I see bok choy on a menu, I order it. It’s always good, but this was great.
The Mixed Green Salad was a great way to balance out the rest of our meal. We ordered one with and without croutons, which were fresh and flavorful. I’m a big fan of bitter greens, and this really hit the spot!
Everything we ate here was splendid. Our server, Ragan, did an incredible job answering our questions, giving recommendations, and guiding us through our meal. Everything about our time at Tempest was perfect, and I’m already looking forward to returning. If you’re lucky enough to get her as your server, ask about her tattoos. She hand-drew them! Spoiler alert: they’re fantastic!