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181 Palmer
181 Palmer
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  • Address:
    66 Columbus Street
    Culinary Institute of Charleston
    Charleston, SC 29403
    Downtown Charleston
  • Cuisine:
    Price: $30 and under

181 Palmer Details

  • 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.) Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "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. "
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "My quest from out of town loved the entire experience. Another lovely luncheon. Thank you."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "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! "
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "Excellent food and service! We really enjoyed our lunch and hope to return soon!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "Restaurant connected with the Trident Culinary School. Prix fixe with 5 appetizer choices, 5 entrees and 5 desserts for $15!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "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!!!!!!!"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "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.!"
    Dined on 3/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "First time for business lunch. Great value!!! Great taste!!!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 11/11/2013
  • "Always enjoy meeting friends at this special dining room. Love watching the students at work on the video screen Food excellent and beautifully served."
    Dined on 11/4/2013
  • "It is a treat to dine with the Culinary School Students. Best value in town."
    Dined on 10/29/2013
  • "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!"
    Dined on 10/7/2013
  • "Our dining experience at 181 Palmer was wonderful. The food was delicious and beautiful."
    Dined on 9/30/2013
  • "I took very food knowledgable guests from Asheville to lunch at 181 Palmer. They were quite impressed."
    Dined on 9/24/2013
  • "From the welcoming by Lisa, to the wonderful service by Lindsey, our dining experience was exceptional"
    Dined on 7/30/2013
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/23/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/9/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/25/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/18/2013
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 4/10/2013
  • "Awesome experience. The students do an amazing job."
    Dined on 4/2/2013
  • "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."
    Dined on 3/27/2013
  • "Fabulous food; beautiful presentation. Always a pleasure to dine at 181 Palmer."
    Dined on 3/20/2013
  • "Excellent as usual. From apps to entrees to dessert. Always unique ingredients, beautifully plated. The charcuterie plate is one of the best."
    Dined on 3/6/2013
  • "Delightful experience. Jackie, our server, was a delight! Will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 2/21/2013
  • "A pleasure to dine once again! Flavours, variety, presentation, atmosphere all above expectations!"
    Dined on 2/21/2013
  • "This was a really fun experience. There is a large screen showing the students working in the kitchen and the people in the dining room are friendly and accommodating. A great opportunity to see the formation of future chefs and hospitality workers. The food was very well prepared and interesting. Best quality/value in Charleston!!"
    Dined on 2/21/2013
  • "This is the Culinary Institute of Charleston's cooking school. I would rate the whole experience a 10+. You definitely have to try it. The food was fabulous and the waitstaff was wonderful!"
    Dined on 2/21/2013
  • "Love being there. The food is excellent and the service is excellent. Keep up the good work!!!!!"
    Dined on 2/19/2013
  • "181 Palmer is the restaurant at the Charleston CIA. The food and service are provided by the students pursuing a career in the culinary arts. We were very impressed with the quality of the food and the service was enthusiastic."
    Dined on 2/18/2013
  • "most dishes were excellent. the egg in the pea soup was not cooked enough. all other dishes were great"
    Dined on 2/18/2013
  • "Dining at 181 Palmer is always a much-anticipated event. Great food & service, always top-notch."
    Dined on 2/18/2013
  • "Hard to believe this is a teaching/learning culinary school it is so well done and nearly as good as some of the big name dining spots in Charleston. No wonder Charleston is a food paradise with all these talented chefs and hospitality people in training. This is no school cafeteria! We will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 2/14/2013
  • "Good variety of menu options. Servers were friendly and helpful. Food well prepared and presented."
    Dined on 2/13/2013