Charleston South Carolina is one of the most beautiful places on the East Coast. The region is well known for its rich (and very long) history, vintage preserved architecture, seafood restaurants, and well mannered friendly locals. So when a business trip took me there in December for the first time I knew I had to seek out some good local seafood.
As luck would have it our work day ended earlier than planned and I went searching for some of the famous seafood the region is well known for. At the recommendation of a friend I checked out a new hot spot that had just opened a month earlier called Nico Oysters & Seafood in Mount Pleasant, SC. The reviews online were positive and multiple people I work with recommended I check it out.
Nico is owned by Nico Romo, a well known chef in the region who spent 10 years at Fish’s as the executive chef. From the restaurant’s website:
NICO is an upbeat oyster bar serving French cuisine carefully prepared in a wood-fired oven. With ingredients sourced from the waters of the Lowcountry and a curated selection of the country’s most coveted raw oysters, French Master Chef, Nico Romo offers a fresh take on seafood for Charleston’s iconic Shem Creek.
While the food was great (more on that later) what really impressed me was the staff and how friendly they were. I arrived around 4:30pm and the restaurant had just opened. There were a few people at the outdoor bar and a few people inside at the dining tables. I was met by hostess who spent 10 full minutes telling me about the establishment and giving me a full tour of the entire space both inside and outside. Great start!
I opted to sit outside at the bar since the weather was nice. The bartender (I wish I had written down his name) made my meal truly memorable. From the second I sat down to the time I left I learned about every attraction in the Charleston area, local stories, and the many of the people associated with NICO. At his suggestion I started my meal with oysters which are one of their specialties. I got detailed information and instruction on the different sauces and suggested mixtures of flavors with my oysters.
After my oysters I had to go “all in” and ordered the lobster roll with pommes frites. The last lobster roll I enjoyed was in Boston at Faneuil Hall in Boston over a year earlier so I was excited to try NICO’s roll. I was not disappointed.
The Lobster Roll at NICO was stuffed with large juicy pieces of lobster on very fresh tasting bread. It took every ounce of will power I had to not gobble the lobster roll up in seconds. I literally FORCED myself to chew slowly and enjoy every bite. Best decision I made all day!
In the end I found both the food AND the service at NICO to be excellent. I will definitely visit again and take friends. It was a enjoyable afternoon delight!