181 Palmer
181 Palmer

181 Palmer

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.tridenttech.edu/culinary_institute_of_charleston_16608.htm
  • Phone: (843) 820-5087
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch : Tuesday & Thursday: 12:00pm - 12:45pm
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Executive Chef: Scott Stefanelli
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Non-Smoking Restaurant, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Cross Street: East Bay Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking off campus in local area.
A word from 181 Palmer
181 Palmer is the Culinary Institute of Charleston’s dining room on its downtown campus. The facility’s design, highlighted by bold lines and bright colors, garnered LS3P Associates an Honor Award, the American Institute of Architect’s highest. Inside 181 Palmer’s sparkling glass walls, tables are… dressed in crisp linens and Stolzle stemware, state-of-the-art technology streams in action from the kitchen, and skilled CIC students produce and serve a seasonal prix fixe menu for a value that Southern Living magazine labeled “How to Save Money on Fine Cuisine.” (Please note: Because both the dining rooms and the student-run kitchens of 181 Palmer and our sister restaurant The Relish Restaurant Group® Restaurant are classrooms, the days and hours of operation are determined by the college’s calendar.)
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181 Palmer reviews from OpenTable diners
18 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for lunch (18)fit for foodies (16)neighborhood gem (7)good for groups (3)special occasion (2)Show More
  • Wildbill
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    the food selection and preparation was as good or better than many of the fine dining experiences at regular restaurants. The staff was very accommodating and friendly. The ambiance is excellent for where it is situated, in a culinary school. A great experience that We can't wait to go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    As always, it was an outstanding experience. The food and the service were excellent. The menu was interesting and introduced us to some unusual foods.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    We look forward to dining at 181 Palmer every semester. We thoroughly enjoy the wonderful, creative food selections, as well as, the excellent service. It's definitely a treat to have lunch there.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The kids are alright!
    DisappointedlocalVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Best priced deal in town, one of Charleston's hidden gems. Student chefs hone their craft as adventurous foodies enjoy a meal at only $15. Fried oyster appetizer was excellent, as was wine poached Asian pear tart. Meat and fish a little too well done, but hey it's a learning experience with comments by diners welcome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful birthday,
    luv2din
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    We were a party of four. Food, service, and ambiance were all excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wonderful
    luv2din
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    My guests could not stop talking about what a wonderful experience they had. The ladies thoroughly enjoyed the whole meal, service, staff was professional and gave personal attention. This was my third visit, I will be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We'll be back!
    Jacksjoyce1
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    There were four of us women traveling from Nashville to experience Charleston. We had a wonderful lunch complete with personal service here. We even got to meet the chef. Great experience ! We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I take foodie friends here.
    Foodwriter
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    181 Palmer works great for me when I want to take a foodie friend to lunch. The food is really good and, at $15 for 3 courses, the price is right. It's not one of those loud places where you can't hold a conversation, which is what you want when you take a friend to lunch. They are always amazed that students cook and serve the food. Also, there is free parking.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    Best kept secret for outstanding food at a reasonable price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Quite a deal
    Foodwriter
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I has a lovely salad, a large dish of shrimp and grits, and a dessert of a sweet biscuit with strawberries and custard - for $15, including tax. Quite a deal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 8 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.6
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 169 reviews are from the 181 Palmer reviews archive.
  • Never Disappoints
    FrederickTheGreat
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    I dine at 181 Palmer at least once ever semester. It is always a special treat. Nothing ever disappoints...the service is great and leisurely even though the staff is finishing up a class and want to get out of there on time. And I will sum up the food in one word: FLAVOR, FLAVOR, FLAVOR that was three words but the fare is oh so good.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/15/2014
    My quest from out of town loved the entire experience. Another lovely luncheon. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • AuntieBabs
    Dined on 4/14/2014
    You can always rely on 181 Palmer for a wonderful lunch experience at a great price. The dishes are updated versions of old favorites, beautifully presented, and delicious!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food and service!
    chris
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Excellent food and service! We really enjoyed our lunch and hope to return soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A secret delight
    Sharon
    Dined on 4/1/2014
    Not many people seem to know about an excellent spot for lunch in an uncommercial location near Charleston. Trident Tech's Columbus St. campus houses the Culinary Institute of Charleston, a cooking school. At this time, for $15 they serve an excellent 3-course lunch. The service is impeccable, (fine dining quality without the usual snootiness) and the atmosphere is anything but a campus cafeteria. Open Monday through Thursday by reservation (820-5087) during the semester.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bargain at twice the price
    TheSeabrooker
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    Restaurant connected with the Trident Culinary School. Prix fixe with 5 appetizer choices, 5 entrees and 5 desserts for $15!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I had eaten at the restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    I had eaten at the restaurant two days in a row. The staff commented on seeing me the day before. This was embrassing In front of the current table. However, it is always a pleasure to eat at your restaurant!!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We love going to the 131 PALMER
    Curt
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    We love going to the 131 PALMER House for lunch! They have something special on the menu each time that we are there. The food and service is outstanding. It is better than going to a 4 Star Restaurant.!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden Delight
    SuzyQ
    Dined on 2/25/2014
    Not much publicity, a little hard to find, but well worth the effort. The food was exceptional, the atmosphere friendly, and for once, we got to enjoy our food and discuss it without shouting. SO nice to find a quiet restaurant. We would have come back the next day and the next, but they were all booked up. Advice: make reservations in advance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing the 2nd time around
    Heather
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    1. Our waitress didn't show up until the people who came in after us were getting their beverages. 2 Kelly spilled iced tea as she was pouring it, apologized, and proceeded to spill it two more times during refills until I had a puddle the size of a bread plate on the table cloth where my glass sat. 3. My appetizer, empanadas, was lackluster. My entrée, lamb was tender and tasty but the puddle of eggplant under it was muddy and non descript. Dessert, a tart, was delicious and beautifully plated although the espresso I requested be brought with it did not arrive until I was finished with my meal. I have enjoyed this restaurant in the past but feel on this occasion the chef and waitress didn't have their hearts or heads in the game.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time for business lunch.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 2/19/2014
    First time for business lunch. Great value!!! Great taste!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • hidden gem
    chris
    Dined on 2/17/2014
    Amazing lunch that is truly a well kept secret. Hidden jewel in Charleston! What a treat for a special gourmet lunch prepared by well supervised students. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best buttermilk tart ever!
    Foodwriter
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    I had a great lunch at 181 Palmer, including the best buttermilk tart ever. It was accompanied by Meyer lemon jam and fresh strawberries. Backing up - my first course was a lovely lump crab and asparagus salad. I had the fish of the day, which was local swordfish with butternut squash puree and sauteed baby kale. A cappuccino to finish. All for $15.00 Super deal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Dining in Charleston SC
    FrederickTheGreat
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    In the lovely dining/classroom setting of the restaurant at the Charleston Culinary Institute, you will have a fine gourmet dining experience. Meals are prepared and served by students learning the trade and the overall results are first rate. Sure there is an occasional mix up or the server mispronounces an ingredient, but that is part of their learning experience and I've had worse occurrences at established restaurants. One chooses between four appetizers, four entree and four dessert choices and the menus can be viewed beforehand on line. I have never been disappointed. For my money it is the best deal in Charleston. Lunch only. Reservations are necessary. No alcohol is served.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always enjoy meeting friends
    joyatiop
    Dined on 11/4/2013
    Always enjoy meeting friends at this special dining room. Love watching the students at work on the video screen Food excellent and beautifully served.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Students always please
    Dede
    Dined on 10/29/2013
    It is a treat to dine with the Culinary School Students. Best value in town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • delicious new flavors
    DTres
    Dined on 10/7/2013
    Our experience at 181 Palmer, our first, certainly lived up to expectations. The variety of flavors was exciting, the server was kind and the ambiance was relaxing. Thank you to the culinary students for a fun lunch experience. I'm already thinking about what to order next time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our dining experience at 181
    Lunchpals
    Dined on 9/30/2013
    Our dining experience at 181 Palmer was wonderful. The food was delicious and beautiful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • My guests really had a good time.
    Foodwriter
    Dined on 9/24/2013
    I took very food knowledgable guests from Asheville to lunch at 181 Palmer. They were quite impressed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • July 30 Review
    FathersDayBrunch
    Dined on 7/30/2013
    From the welcoming by Lisa, to the wonderful service by Lindsey, our dining experience was exceptional
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyed another fine lunch
    181PalmerFan2
    Dined on 7/23/2013
    Enjoyed another fine lunch at your facility. Wanted to give particular kudos to the chef for preparing the Crispy Confit of Heritage Pork. I love pork normally, but this was one pork dish that literally blew my mind (and tastebuds) in regards to richness, simple preparation and nice selection of companion side dishes. Thank you for yet another wonderful dining experience!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding luncheon
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/9/2013
    Our meal at 181 Palmer was absolutely outstanding. The Quail main course was the best Quail dish I have ever eaten. The extra chocolate treats at the end were amazing. Thank you all for a memorable meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I thought our server was outstandin
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/25/2013
    I thought our server was outstanding. She was friendly and professional. The food was excellent. From the first course to the desert. A perfect meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic dining experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/18/2013
    Nice selections to choose from for each of the three entrees. Server was knowledgeable on ingredients of each dish when questions were asked. Each dish was beautifully presented and photo worthy. Pleasant dining experience where our party could converse and had the option of viewing the food preparation in the kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I am always amazed at the
    Foodwriter
    Dined on 4/10/2013
    I am always amazed at the quality of the food and service in this culinary student-operated restaurant. And it is quite a value at $15. for three courses.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ashley River Plantation Group
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/10/2013
    We recently brought our residents from an assisted living community to eat at your lovely restaurant. This was our second time there and both times went perfectly. Lunch outings can sometimes be challenging but the staff/students were very accomadating and welcomed our large group with smiles and friendly service. The food was amazing and our residents ate very well which isn't always the case. Your budget friendly restaurant also offers our residents the opportunity to participate in a fine dining experience that may not otherwise be affordable. Thank you for making this occasion wonderful for our residents and stress free for myself and my Activities Director.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome experience. The students
    Dede
    Dined on 4/2/2013
    Awesome experience. The students do an amazing job.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Above Average!
    Macaco
    Dined on 3/27/2013
    181 Palmer is the restaurant at Trident Tech's Culinary Institute downtown. The food and service are provided by the students pursuing a career in the culinary arts. We were pleased with the menu choices and the food was nicely prepared. Opted not to have any wine for lunch although it was available. The cappucino was ok, it needed to be a bit stronger. But the fish of the day was this delicious grouper, and a surprisingly nice portion for lunch. The student who waited on our table was very accomodating and did her best to answer our questions. Overall, it's a great place to have an above average lunch at a reasonable price ($15 per person) with good service to boot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous food; beautiful presentati
    Susie
    Dined on 3/20/2013
    Fabulous food; beautiful presentation. Always a pleasure to dine at 181 Palmer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent as usual. From apps
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/6/2013
    Excellent as usual. From apps to entrees to dessert. Always unique ingredients, beautifully plated. The charcuterie plate is one of the best.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet