* Click here for rating key
Carter's Kitchen Restaurant Review: After 14 years at the helm of Charleston's renowned Peninsula Grill, chef Robert Carter hung out his own shingle in the tony Mount Pleasant neighborhood of I'On Village. Beadboard and blue checkered napkins set the cozy tone as much as Carter himself, who affably plies patrons with hearty handshakes and platters of mini sandwiches made from the meatloaf special. A casual tavern menu offers such snacks as truffled popcorn and crispy okra chips, served hot from the fryer. Generous jars stuffed with pimento cheese or pickled shrimp, the latter a coastal classic, are re-created from his mother's recipes. The dinner menu features small and main plates. On the light side: seared scallops paired with a refined dab of bacon marmalade; a heartier house-made tortellacci stuffed with butternut squash. Entrées satisfy with comforting flavors and fine execution: grilled lamb chops slathered in bootleg barbecue sauce; duck leg confit on lentils; tender pork shoulder over fresh pasta moistened with the braising jus. Crispy, well-seasoned flounder and shrimp please with fresh, local tastes. A favorite dessert is the simplest --- warm chocolate pudding and buried bites of dense chocolate cake served with a large sidecar of whipped cream. The mostly American wine list fields many of the big name icon wines, such as Silver Oak and Duckhorn, and offers a fair selection by the glass. Rarely seen on wine lists in the east is the highly regarded Leonetti Merlot from Washington State.