Fleet Landing (Charleston, SC)

Setting

Charleston’s Best Waterfront Restaurant has a view that is a distinctive destination unto itself. Housed in a 1940s retired naval building on the east side of the Charleston peninsula, Fleet Landing Restaurant features classic and contemporary Southern seafood fare in a setting that celebrates the area’s waterfront heritage. The restaurant’s “maritime chic interior” caught the eye of Food & Wine Magazine which featured Fleet Landing in their trend spotting “Where to Go Next” column.

Encased in a hurricane proof, 6,000 square foot concrete maritime structure, Fleet Landing juts out over the marsh on a reinforced pier and boasts oversized windows that offer an unobstructed view of the Charleston harbor. Built in 1942 by the US Navy as a debarkation point for sailors, the building lay vacant after World War II until it was acquired by the South Carolina Port Authority in the 1960s and used for storage. In 1988, when a 21-year-old Tradd Newton pointed out the unique building to his mother and made the prediction “One day, I’m going to put something in that building,” the structure was in disrepair. Fast forward 16 years and Newton, with the guiding vision of Charleston architect Reggie Gibson and Newton’s wife/business partner Weesie, is seeing his dream realized.

About Section – Fleet Landing Website

The Main Event

We tried to get into Fleet Landing during our past trips to the Holy City but no reservations equals no food. The front is currently obstructed by construction but they’ve installed a wooden walkway for foot traffic.

With the pandemic, we were able to make reservations via Open Table for a Friday night. It was comfortably full. The server gave us a few off menu options but recommended the award winning stuffed hushpuppies to begin.

The menu describes the Fleet Landing Hush Puppies as being filled with a Veloute of Lobster, Rock Shrimp, Leeks and Corn over Creole Tomato Sauce. Basically, corn chowder and seafood in a giant hushpuppy. They were tasty but very filling. I could have eaten them as a meal.

Chris selected the Lowcountry Seafood Pasta (Fettuccine, Shrimp, Scallops, Crawfish, Mussels, Andouille Sausage, Asparagus, Tomatoes, Parmesan and Creole Butter Sauce). He really enjoyed it! As a friend from New Hampshire once told us it’s always best to eat seafood in sight of the ocean. I concur.

I went with the celebrated Charleston Shrimp & Grits (Jumbo Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Sautéed in a Tasso Ham Gravy over Creamy Grits). I liked the ones at Poogan’s Porch so I was eager to compare the two. The winner is Fleet Landing. It’s no contest. The clarity of the gravy paired perfectly with the density of the cream infused grits. It goes without saying that the shrimp were excellent. Perfection.

YTC Takeaway

Fleet Landing lived up to its well deserved reputation. Another one for the favorite spots in Charleston list! There is a reason travelers listed them on the Top 100 Al Fresco and Most Scenic restaurants in the US. Yum!

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