What’s The Best Kept Lunch Spot South of Broad?

By Holly Hamilton

April in Charleston means alfresco dining and strolls through the historic district.  Do you know about the best kept secret for lunch and light bites South of Broad? It’s Cafe Musique at this year’s Charleston Symphony Orchestra League Designer Show House. 

The ultimate backdrop for outdoor enjoyment, Amanda Culver Wynns, this year’s Cafe Chair, and her team of tireless volunteers have transformed a private garden into what feels like a private garden party nestled in a walled back lawn with tented rooms and outdoor tables shaded by tree and umbrella.  It couldn’t be more festive.   

From the medley of cold plates and quick bites (to eat in or takeaway) from Mosaic Catering, to the daily hot plate straight from everyone’s favorite, Burbages, there is something for everyone. The most popular item so far – the Salmon Nicoise Salad.  Here is the full menu.

Here’s the score:

  • The cafe and the SCORE gift shop are open to the public without a tour ticket.  You will want to tour the house, though, and tickets can be bought at the door.
  • The menu includes solid Southern fare like pimiento cheese and crackers as well as a charcuterie plate, salads, sandwiches plus cake.  When I went, it was ham and decadent mac and cheese.  
  • The cafe is open Monday – Saturday from 11:30 am – 2 pm.
  • Wines are available by the bottle or the glass.  We tried this adorable mini can of Jacqueline Leonne sparkling rose.  It was the perfect amount to share at lunch and we were delighted to learn that it can be purchased right at Total Wine!
  • CSO volunteers serve as wait staff.  Watch out for them, because they can talk you into a piece of chocolate cake before you know what  you’ve done. 
  • All utensils and packaging are compostable and recyclable.  The cafe is aiming for zero waste.
  • Cafe and Designer Show house run through April 28, 2019.
  • Proceeds from the Designer house, the SCORE gift shop, and Cafe Musique go to benefit the Charleston Symphony and the CSOL Music Scholarships.

Insider tip:

If you are driving, park around Colonial Lake and walk over to the house at 16 Rutledge.  Its much easier to find a spot there than on lower Rutledge.