Every new restaurant brings something different to the Charleston-area dining scene, but it’s the rare venue that doesn’t have some sort of local precedent. To celebrate the newcomers and honor the stalwarts, we’ll look at a few of them side-by-side in this column over the coming weeks. The setup isn’t competitive: While you may prefer one place over another, the idea here is to showcase the many options available to eaters and drinkers here.
The Glass Onion (2008)
Brunch at The Glass Onion is most appropriate for multitaskers who like the idea of crossing breakfast and lunch off their to-do lists at once. This beloved West Ashley fixture doesn’t slow down just because people are eating biscuits and eggs.
In fact, in contrast to the rest of the week, The Glass Onion switches to a counter-service format on Saturday mornings. Diners-in-the-know take advantage of their time at the window to supplement their orders with pimento cheese and other take-home goods.
It’s The Glass Onion’s admirable wont to change up the menu according to what’s available, but brunch typically has a few fun New Orleans-style touches, such as okra beignet with red remoulade or a French toast that’s really a bread pudding. Fans of the restaurant’s now-retired fried chicken night can ask for a fried quail on top. 1219 Savannah Highway, 843-225-1717, ilovetheglassonion.com. Brunch served 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
If brunch is supposed to be a chance to shake free of daily norms, Renzo got the memo.
Although folks who are unnerved by novelty can usually find something pizza-like and something salad-like among this upstart’s morning offerings, whimsy rules the menu. Saturday is a chance to enjoy both the sunlight, which pours through Renzo’s plate glass windows by day and the experimental streak that brightens its kitchen.
That doesn’t mean the dishes are unrefined. Chef Evan Gaudreau’s command of technique informed the first brunch menu he launched in September, featuring a French omelet and torched half grapefruit. But offerings along those lines are sometimes ditched for a fun theme, such as an Italian deli homage in early January, which included calzones, a triple-meat sub and chicken cutlet.
Because Renzo’s brunch falls between the two craziest nights for restaurant workers, it’s become a breather for the food-and-beverage crowd, but the meal’s equally enjoyable if quotidian cares are still two days away.
384 Huger St., 843-952-7864, renzochs.com. Brunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m.