From the outside, The Charleston looks like any other cottage on Glebe’s backstreets. But venture through the front door and you’re treated to a light and bright space, where the exposed-brick walls are washed with dusty pink paint in homage to the candy-coloured manses along the city of Charleston’s waterfront.
The rest of its interiors work hard to transport you to the enclosed porch of a stately home in high summer, all wicker furniture, clean white tables and sprightly plants populating most corners. The bar and kitchen run along the left-hand wall, visible to diners, and a vast skylight in the back half of the building opens up what would otherwise be a dark space.
The Charleston is the second venture from Rob Teitzel and Osman Misirlizade, owners of homey Balmain favourite The Cottage Bar & Kitchen. The menu here is a mix of comfort food inspired by Southern American cuisine – think hush puppies (deep fried cornbread) accompanied by a very generous dollop of creamy, spicy dipping sauce and soft tacos stuffed with shredded pork, colourful slaw and chipotle mayo. Most of the dishes are designed to share, though there are a number of bigger plates, including a Super Salad of mixed greens, roast pumpkin, quinoa and pomegranate; jumbo prawns doused with garlicky butter; and a decadent $42 lobster roll.
Even the drinks are infused with a Southern sensibility. Cocktail classic are twisted with sweet iced teas and heavy spirits: the Plantation Negroni blends pineapple-infused rum, Campari and vermouth, while the Carolina High Tea is a heady mix of rye bourbon, peach liquor, peach iced tea and a dash of lemon juice. Come early – when we visited on a Tuesday night at 6.30pm, the tables were already filling up.
Best for: Casual cocktails and dinner with a group
Cuisine: Southern American
Standout dish: Lobster roll
Open: Tuesday-Sunday for dinner and Thursday-Sunday for lunch
Address: 199 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Phone number: (02) 9660 5717