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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

DT Prime opens for lunch, The Bucket rolls to a big win

In the mood for a nice and relaxing, wine-sipping, take-your-time kind of lunch? One of Charleston’s swankiest restaurants for dinner is now open for midday meals as well.

Cajun-seared scallops appear on the new DT Prime lunch menu
Cajun-seared scallops appear on the new DT Prime lunch menu

DT Prime on the corner of Capitol and Quarrier streets downtown quietly rolled out a new lunch menu featuring appetizers like jumbo shrimp cocktail, fried calamari with banana peppers, Cajun-seared scallops with mango salsa, fried oysters Rockefeller topped with creamed spinach and Parmesan, stuffed beef rolls with green onion cream cheese and garlic ponzu, plus New Zealand lamb lollipops drizzled with housemade chimichurri.

New Zealand lamb chops from DT Prime
New Zealand lamb chops from DT Prime

There are also wedge, grilled Caesar, Caprese and summer salads – that last one featuring a mix of greens, tomatoes, avocado, strawberries, pecans and feta – and a couple of soups.

For the main lunch event, you can dig into a Wagyu burger, chicken club, Caprese club or a sliced-sirloin steak sandwich topped with sauteed onions, Dijon and a blend of three cheeses on ciabatta.

And yes, you can even get a 7-ounce center-cut filet or 8-ounce prime-cut sirloin with your choice of sauces, either cooked in the kitchen or sizzled tableside yourself on one of the restaurant’s signature hot cooking stones.

While most soups, salads are sandwiches are under $15, apps fall in the $15-22 range and those steaks run $30-45 each. That’s a pricey lunch for some, but the quality is definitely a cut above most other restaurants.

  • IF YOU GO: DT Prime at 201 Capitol St. in downtown Charleston is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and for dinner from 4-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For more information, call 304-357-5700 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

The Bucket Sweeps Pepperoni Roll Awards

What’s better than eating a pepperoni roll for dinner? How about eating 20 of them!

That’s pretty much what my fellow judges and I did at last week’s Rolls on the River pepperoni roll and craft beer festival at Haddad Riverfront Park in downtown Charleston.

Pepperoni roll judging platter 1 of 2
Pepperoni roll judging platter 1 of 2

Hundreds of attendees walked along Kanawha Boulevard doing pretty much the same thing – all in an effort to declare the region’s best pepperoni roll.

For the first time ever, the top three rolls rated by the judges were the same three rolls receiving the most people’s choice votes, meaning it was a clean sweep in both categories for these three winners.

The Bucket’s deep-fried pepperoni rolls claimed top honors in both categories – as determined by the judges and public voting – with Mardi Gras Casino’s spicy, bready roll coming in second and Oh My Greens’ creative light and fluffy “pestoroni roll” coming in third.

Believe it or not, The Bucket and Mardi Gras both finished in the top few spots on every judge’s ballot following a blind tasting of all 20 entries, which is another first for as long as I’ve been judging events like this one.

Pepperoni roll judging platter 2 of 2
Pepperoni roll judging platter 2 of 2

Although we didn’t know whose pepperoni rolls we were tasting at the time, I found out after the event that other standouts on my scorecard were Simply Sweet’s meaty roll enveloped with slightly sweet bread, Willow Creek Cottage’s fluffy and spicy roll, and Sweet Mama’s perfectly balanced entry offering a great meat-to-bread ratio in every flawless bite.

Finally, here’s another first to report about this year’s event.

There is usually a very spirited debate that takes place on “stick vs. slice” pepperoni, with purists saying a true West Virginia pepperoni roll is always made with stick pepperoni and bread. No slices, no cheese, no sauce.

But out of all 20 rolls entered this year, nary a one featured stick pepperoni inside.

La Caretta Closes in Kanawha City

In case you missed it, La Caretta Mexican Restaurant in Kanawha City has quietly closed its doors.

“We would like to thank you all for your support for the last 20 years,” a sign posted on the door reads, “but sadly we will be permanently closing our Kanawha City location as of May 28. We have enjoyed serving you all and would like to thank the community for your generosity, and for being loyal to us for so many years.”

The restaurant’s Elkview and Summersville locations will remain open.

Another Reader Recipe Request

Reader Kathy Aliff needs our help.

“We used to get an amazing ham (I think) sandwich from a small store near the Capitol called an Angie,” she wrote. “I would love to know what made it so special, because as a kid I didn’t pay attention to details but I know it was delicious. Any chance you could find out more about this sandwich? Thanks for your help, and I love reading your column!”

I know that’s not a lot to go on, but does anyone remember eating an “Angie” sandwich down by the Capitol back in the day?

• • •

Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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