Sarah Corbitt-Intern Architect LEED AP BD+C

Posts Tagged ‘Charleston’

Brightening the Corners – Xiao Bao Biscuit on Spring & Rutledge

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Xiao Bao Biscuit exterior

 

The Holy City’s blessings are many, and not least of these is a broad palette of local produce. We have peaches, fine red tomatoes, green peanuts and greener lettuces. And our architectural stock is as colorful as our crops – pink churches, yellow mansions, wedding cake houses, blue porch ceilings, and marble checkerboard walks.

Sometimes our culinary palates and architectural palettes merge. Recently, the Elliotborough neighborhood added a delightful mix of the two, in the form of a modern cantina-cum-noodle shop. On any given night (except Sundays), diners sit outside at bright green communal picnic tables, and fish local cucumber slices out of their gin drinks. Need a substantial meal? Get flounder in lemongrass sauce. Something light? Curried eggplant may satisfy. Want something wintery? Order the aged chocolate manhattan.

When owners Joey Ryan, Josh Walker and Duolan Li leased the building, the team agreed that the collective aesthetic was to celebrate the ‘imperfect beauty’ of the former gas station rather than develop a rigid vision. This aesthetic decision meshes with their food approach – serving dishes from various backgrounds rather than pursue a single, formal line of flavor. Working with the space as it was, the design team explored a few basic concepts as the renovation progressed, and worked new findings and field conditions into the restaurant as they went along. The result is a very comfortable space which feels contextually right. (more…)

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