During a recent culinary tour of Charleston, we met South City PR’s Angel Powell and her husband, Charleston’s famed chef Jimihatt (yes, that’s supposed to be one word) at Stars Rooftop and Grill (495 King Street) for a little rooftop imbibing and dinner. I ordered up a Margarita and slurped it down while we chatted for a bit about the Charleston food scene and Jimihatt’s Guerrilla Cuisine, a underground supper club that has been supporting low country charities for close to 7 years.
The rooftop bar has a fantastic 360 degree view of downtown Charleston. Though not as high up as some of the others, it is a great place for enjoying the evening sunset before dinner downstairs.
As the afternoon sky turned electric, we abandoned our empty glasses and made our way back downstairs for a sampling of the fare from one of Charleston’s youngest Executive Chefs, Chef Joe DiMaio. Like most of the rising star chefs of Charleston, he too has learned from and worked under Charleston’s top chefs including Sean Brock, Craig Deihl and Mike Lata. You can also add Charlie Trotter, Patrick O’Connell, Ken Vedrinski and Norman Van Aiken to that list. After Chef Joe graduated from the Art Institute of Charleston, he snagged a line chef position at the Ocean Room at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island. He worked his way to Sous Chef position at Mercato before joining the team at Stars Rooftop and Grill Room. And let me tell ya, this guy is one talented chef.
Our first course: Oysters Bulls Bay which was a baked oyster with spinach, asiago cheese, garlic and Brandy sitting on top of a bed of salt. Delicious.
Our second course was Wild Mushroom Bruschetta with house made bread, sheeps milk feta and black truffle vinaigrette. My mouth is seriously watering right now. This dish was eye-rolling good.
I have to say that if you walk into Stars and you aren’t familiar with the cuisine, the atmosphere can be a bit off-putting. It appears very high brow, and I’d say somewhere you probably wouldn’t want to take kids at first sight, but we did see some families dining. Don’t let the atmosphere deceive you. This is a great place for finer family dining.
Back to the good stuff. Our third course was a brined rotisserie filet. We were enamored with the crust.
Our fourth course was a seared tuna with peanuts, slaw and a delectable sauce. This dish had a bitter note, that made it not my fave, but it was still off the charts amazing.
Fourth course was a roasted chicken dish and oh, my heavens, it was the best chicken of my life. I tried not to moan too loud, I swear.
Of course, I was up for dessert. Out came this beautiful chocolate hazelnut mousse and a dish of strawberry sorbet.
Don’t let the atmosphere deter you. This place is a five star experience. Definitely worth sharing with friends.