What follows is a review written by my friend Dixie Norris, whom I’ve literally known since we were babies. She’s lucky enough to live in Charleston with her husband Daryl, and I’m lucky enough to have a sweet friend to share the inside scoop on Charleston’s dining and nightlife scene.
By Dixie Norris
Tabbuli is a Mediterranean restaurant located at the very end of the historic market. If you are looking for a sexy, adventurous dinning experience, this is the place for you.
The evening I went we got to sit on their beautiful outdoor patio and enjoy dim lighting and live music (which was a bit too loud). Soon after we ordered a young lady came around with a large hookah and asked if we wanted to try their signature blend of tobacco. Well, sure! She had disposable mouth pieces for each of us and since the smoke filtered through water it came out smooth and refreshing with a minty peach flavor. She showed us their special menu and said we could choose any tobacco variety (cherry, mango, etc) and rent a hookah to use during dinner for $15. Fun!
I was impressed at the chef’s dedication to the quality of his food. One of my friends ordered tuna and the server explained they were out. Later the owner came by to check on us and when he discovered the tuna issue he immediately brought the chef over and questioned him. The chef confidently said, “Sir, when the tuna came in it was not fresh enough for our standards so I did not buy any.” That was the end of it, and I say “Bravo!” The best thing I ate that night was the petrossian bruschetta, but the Mediterranean dip and grilled kabobs were also excellent.
The good looking staff were on their toes to make sure we were taken care of, and the bar served cougar size glasses of wine. Our dinner ended with the bartenders putting on a fire/shot show for us. They expertly piled glasses on top of each other, lit a bottle of liquor on fire, and tossed it around before pouring it down the glasses and serving it to us. Bottoms up! I found the prices to be realistic, and while the vibe is sensual, everyone was comfortable with the families that brought their children (who in turn entertained themselves by dancing in front of the musicians).