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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM

181 Palmer

4.7
245 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Great for Lunch (354)
  • Fit for Foodies (275)
  • Neighborhood Gem (122)
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.)
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
American
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Hours of operation
Lunch : Tuesday & Thursday: 12:00pm - 12:45pm
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Phone number
(843) 820-5087
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Payment options
MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Scott Stefanelli
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Cross street
East Bay Street
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Parking details
Street parking off campus in local area.
Additional
Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access
What 245 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7  based on all time ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
5.0
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on November 14, 2017

This is Trident Tech's culinary school restaurant. The service is superb. The food is very good, but can be a little spotty. Their menus vary from week to week, so be sure to see what their menu will be before making reservations. Expect to pay less than half what you would pay for a comparable meal downtown.

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OpenTable Diner (Charleston)
4.0  Dined on October 3, 2017

Really enjoyed our lunch at 181 Palmer. Very accommodating as one of the party is allergic to seafood. Originally scheduled because of the north German menu, but was changed to Asian due to Irma.

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bfood (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on September 26, 2017

Talk about value for your money, you can't do better than having lunch at Palmer. The food was well prepared, and the server we had was just fabulous.

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OpenTable Diner (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on April 20, 2017

The food was delicious. The service wa excellent. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient.

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vipFrugalBoomers (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on April 20, 2017

Love everything about the lunches at 181 Palmer: the food, presentation, and the student staff. Incredible bargain!

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Macy (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on April 18, 2017

I invited 3 of my friends to a "mystery lunch". Over the course of several months I gave them very vague clues about where we were going. When the mystery was revealed as we drove into the parking lot, everyone was so excited! They had all wanted to go there, but never had. We had such fun describing our food to each other and sharing bites with each other. Now I want to go back with my husband! The food was simply delicious and the whole experience was just great. These students do an excellent job.

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erbdiner (Toronto)
4.0  Dined on April 18, 2017

This is an amazing value dining opportunity - $15 for 3 courses, no tipping and no tax! I realize it is a culinary school and having had lunch here a few times before, I have to say I was never disappointed until this time. Charcuiterie plate which I always get, used to be fabulous but now it is just mediocre. Very small with limited choices. Also it was served on a wooden plate which did not showcase the food but rather camoflaged it. The Lobster Ravioli entree was delicious and the presentation was outstanding but my dessert (Salted Carmel Chocolate Tart) was hard and tough to eat. Although I needed a knife to cut through the hard pastry the presentation was pretty to look at. Service, as always was excellent.
Go back to the original Charcuiterie plate from a year ago and maybe raise the price from $15 - $18!

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OpenTable Diner (Charleston)
4.0  Dined on April 18, 2017

We have been there before, always a pleasant lunch, good food.

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OpenTable Diner (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on April 13, 2017

The waitress had the greatest personality. Food and service was excellent.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on April 13, 2017

Service was impeccable. The Chef's food presentation added a certain appeal to the meal. Each meal course was enjoyable.

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vipFoodwriter (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on April 13, 2017

Really great food. For only $15 per person, you have an appetizer, main course, dessert, and iced tea and/or coffee. Since it is a student-run restaurant, the patrons get the benefit.

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vipFrugalBoomers (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on April 11, 2017

Fantastic student run operation with excellent food and nice small space. Even when full, the dining area is still a place for good conversation. We have dined here many times and are always thrilled by the quality and presentation of the food!

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David (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on April 6, 2017

Fantastic experience and great value. Food and presentation are exquisite and the price is certainly a bargain.

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Bennett39 (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on March 28, 2017

Great food along with excellent service. Best deal in Charleston for a gourmet lunch at a terrific price.
You can't go wrong. Nice and quiet so conversation is easy and surroundings are excellent. Parking is not a problem.

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OpenTable Diner (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on March 28, 2017

Food was delicious and beautifully plated. Always enjoy the variety offered on an otherwise small menu.
Our server, Chris, was very friendly and attentive. Wish we had reserved additional days before they were all filled!

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CharlestonGirl (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on March 23, 2017

What a pleasure it is to have lunch at 181 Palmer. The food is fabulous and the serve perfect.
It is an honor to meet and get to know the students and workers in our hospitality industry.

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OpenTable Diner (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on March 16, 2017

I've heard it said that 181 Palmer is the best-kept secret in Charleston. I agree! The restaurant is part of Trident Technical College's Culinary Institute of Charleston, on the Palmer campus near downtown. This was our first experience. The dining room is run by Hospitality students and the kitchen is staffed with Culinary students. Because everyone is motivated to succeed, guests end up with a first-rate experience! As you can imagine, service was stellar, food was beautiful and delectable, and the value was out-of-this-world!

Definitely planning to return!

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Bernadine (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on February 23, 2017

My husband and I are foodies and loved the idea of a culinary are school. Everyone was clearly making their best effort. The food was awesome as was the service. You Can See The Kitchen On overhead screens. The food was outstsnding & a good value. No bar, but it's lunch. I'd like to think I Even helped students By Being A Very happy, Test dummy.

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Susi (Charleston)
5.0  Dined on February 16, 2017

Lunch at 181 Palmer was delightful. Our server Nick was very helpful, patient, efficient. There was a small mixup with our reservation , but the manager very kindly was able to satisfy our needs, and everyone was happy happy. Everything was very delicious. Creative. Beautifully served.

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OpenTable Diner (New England)
5.0  Dined on February 16, 2017

This is the practice kitchen for the culinary program at Trident Tech. The cooks and servers are students, with staff supervision. Television screens even show the "action" in the kitchen. Both the food and service were excellent; comparable to what one would expect at one of the finest restaurants. The are only eight four-seat tables with one sitting at lunch, which makes the service both personable and limited. Reservations fill up more than a month in advance, so book early.

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