Of all the excellent fine dining experiences I’ve had worldwide, The Restaurant at Zero George is easily one of the top five best meals I’ve ever had, alongside Syoka, Kin Toh, Clay, and Vegan’s Prague. This time was just as splendid as the last time we dined there, and it was yet another beautiful candlelit night to remember, surrounded by Charleston’s charming architecture.
Location: Charleston, SC
Near Zero George Hotel
Address: 0 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Food Type: Tasting Menu
Meal Duration: 2 – 2.5 Hours
Dining Experience: Indoor or Outdoor
Price: $150+ per Person
($100 cancellation fee per person)
Dress Code: Business Casual +
Special Diets: Pescatarian or Vegetarian
Ambience of The Restaurant at Zero Geroge
Located inside a historic single-row house built in 1804, The Restaurant at Zero George offers guests a six-course tasting menu with complimentary appetizers for a total of seven courses. We’ve dined outdoors each time we’ve visited, with a gorgeous view of the hotel and restaurant’s courtyard, palm trees, and the rest of the restaurant’s porch. It had just rained, and the sun was setting as we sat down, giving us a very romantic and vivid sunset over Charleston to enjoy with our first few courses.
We went for the standard six-course tasting menu. We had the option to add a caviar course, but as that’s served on one’s hand without the option to be served in a dish, according to our server, it didn’t appeal to us as I’m deeply germaphobic, haha. However, it turned out to be plenty of food without that course, and each bite was better than the last.
Some of our meal was similar to our last visit and was just as good as we remembered! Explore our previous visit here. First, we were presented with a selection of appetizers, which are pre-fixed and served together for a delightful journey through various culinary styles and techniques. Every single one of these that we tried was exceptional! Rolls, Frozen Summer Garden, Potted Plant, Oysters, Cigar with beet ash, Crab Doughnut, Prawn Toast, Buñuelo & a Century Egg comprised our appetizers. The century egg was my favorite, but the presentation of each was splendid and creative!
Our first course was Ocean Trout with shiso, nori, and apple with nasturtium leaves. This was my favorite course of the evening. It was so rich and decadent, cool and flavorful, and the fish was perfectly prepared and incredibly delectable. If they’d served me only this and the century egg, it would’ve been worth the price, but true to form, The Restaurant at Zero George had far more than that in store for us.
Next, we had the Raviolo. I love that they got the Italian correct on this, as it truly is just one giant ravioli filled with butterkin (a hybrid of butternut squash and pumpkin), chestnut, and trout roe served in a broth with gold flakes. The blend of textures, like the soft squash interior and the crunch of the chestnut, and the combination of sweet and salty was decidedly inspired. This was my husband’s favorite course; the vegetable broth was divine. It tasted like everything best about autumn, and it smelled like a soup my mother used to make when I was young, so it felt very nostalgic and comforting.
The Snapper with royal red shrimp, cabbage, and anchovy was out of this world delicious. This dish’s silky sauce had a vibrant and complex cheesy flavor that seamlessly blended the earth and sea. I’m such a fan of decadent seafood dishes like this one that effortlessly weaves temperatures, textures, and flavors.
As a supplement to the final food course, typically a beef or wagyu course, we were served a maitake mushroom dish that was smoky and complex with a sauce reminiscent of enchiladas we had in Tulum on our last visit. This was some of the best-prepared mushrooms I’ve ever had.
Sheep’s Milk was our first of two dessert courses. This blends shishito, sheep’s milk, and vanilla into a creamy, custard-like dish that’s light, refreshing and perfectly balanced.
Tres Leches is The Restaurant at Zero George’s signature dessert, which we also had on our last visit. Honeycomb, young coconut, and thick, rich handmade ice cream finish the tasting menu delicately without being too sweet or overwhelming.
To end the evening, we were given one additional farewell treat, which was chef Vinson Petrillo’s take on chips and dip, but made sweet. The chips were made of chocolate and sesame seeds, while the dip was entirely sweet and had a slight caramel flavor.
Everything here was splendid, just like last time. Each course was distinct and inventive. We were encouraged to use our hands at the start and end of the meal, so be sure to wash your hands before you dine or in between taking photos. This is a truly unique and memorable experience in Charleston, and one we won’t soon forget.