Chef Robert Carter is resurfacing in a new Mount Pleasant dining venture nine months after splitting up with Peninsula Grill in downtown Charleston.
On Thursday, Carter will open the doors to Carter's Kitchen, located in the Inn at I'On on Civitas St. He said the restaurant is aiming for a neighborhood feel "with great food in a more approachable style."
"The idea behind this restaurant is that I'm welcoming you into my kitchen," he said.
The inn until recently housed Jacob's Kitchen, which opened in 2009 and which Carter said was not doing well. Carter made a deal with inn owners Mike Russo and Steve Speer to take over the 2,200-square-foot restaurant space, which is undergoing some renovations before reopening next week. Carter's Kitchen expects to have about 20 employees.
Changes include enlarging the bar area and adding a community table. The bar and dining room offer more than 60 seats together and an outdoor patio seats another 25. A separate chef's room seats 20 and is available for private functions.
Carter said the focal point of the I'On Village restaurant will be a display of his copper collection, including pots and pans and other cookware, in the dining room.
On the menu will be a "tavern" section of "snacks," "jars" and "boards." Carter said those might include warm cashews with sea salt and rosemary, truffled popcorn, pickled shrimp, pimiento cheese with benne wafers, a selection of cheeses or charcuterie. "They're designed to share at the table," he said.
The menu also will offer small plates, soups, salads, entrees and a plat du jour, a special that will change nightly, such as fried chicken on Sunday, seafood lasagna on Monday, etc. Those also will change seasonally, and the whole menu every two to three weeks, he said.
Prices will range from $4.50 to $12.50 for tavern fare and $6.50 to $24 for dishes on the main menu.
Craft cocktails, beer and wine also will be offered.
Carter's Kitchen will be open for dinner seven nights a week beginning at 5 p.m. Breakfast will be served from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sunday brunch beginning at 9 a.m.
Carter said he knew of rumors that he and comedian Bill Murray, a Charleston resident and part owner of the Charleston RiverDogs, are planning a restaurant in the peninsula's Wagener Terrace section.
"I don't have a business relationship with Bill Murray," he said. "I hope to open other restaurants in the future."
The chef, who spent 14 years at Peninsula Grill, said he's solely focused on Carter's Kitchen. "I've not been this excited in a long, long time."
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