Explore Charleston’s iconic King Street and the rest of the city’s peninsula on a complimentary bike PHOTO BY ASHLEY RELVAS
Experience European luxury in the heart of the coastal South through Zero George’s new Caviar Bar experience and other upcoming concepts.
There is something to be said about understated luxury, something that isn’t overengineered or overproduced with a try-hard mentality. In a town like Charleston, these kinds of places are hard to come by, with each hotel competing to be the best of the best in Southern stays in the cutthroat hospitality industry that has developed over the past couple of years. But, Zero George, nestled on East Bay, is what we call a French girl—one with an effortless allure, inviting charm, and an intuitive sense of self and of hosting.
The 16-room luxury boutique hotel opened in 2015 under Easton Porter Group—a luxury hospitality company helmed by husband-and-wife duo Lynn Easton and Dean Porter Andrews. The pair purchased the property and immaculately restored the circa 1804 buildings and private courtyards to— and surpassed—their previous lives, naming the retreat Zero George after its real street address (I know, how charming!). The old-world charm lends itself to a variety of experiences for guests of Zero George, most notably its award-winning culinary program led by executive chef Vinson Petrillo and its newest addition, The Caviar Bar at Zero George.
The drawing room in the main house on the Zero George property. PHOTO BY: JONATHAN BONCEK
Just through the wrought-iron gate, through the cobblestoned courtyard and up on the piazza, are four midcentury modern bar stools and four rattan porch chairs that embody The Caviar Bar experience. Paying homage to Petrillo’s previous role as chef de cuisine at Caviar Russe in New York, guests are invited to the intimate seating area and greeted with a glass (or two) of grower Champagnes hand-selected by beverage director Megan Mina. As for the caviar, only the highest grade would be acceptable for an experience such as this, so Zero George chose to work with Regiis Ova—what can only be referred to as the gold standard of the caviar world. Shaoching Bishop, co-founder of Regiis Ova, alongside chef Thomas Keller, explains the company prides itself on supporting sustainable farming practices and the mission to provide chefs with the highest-quality caviar at more affordable prices. This, of course, doesn’t mean a dip in quality. Regiis Ova sources from the same sturgeon farms that have met the standards of Keller’s three-Michelin-starred restaurants. Unlike anything Charleston has ever seen before, the Caviar Bar stand service includes a half-ounce caviar tin paired with tasty vessels such as housemade creme fraiche, brioche and potato chips, with the option to add on shareable dishes like oysters, deviled eggs and waygu beef bite-size sandwiches.
Chef Vincent Petrillo’s tres leches dessert
Easton Porter Group’s attention to detail at each of its properties—Wild Common, Cannon Green, Pippen Hill Farm & Vineyard and Red Pump Kitchen in Charlottesville, Va.; and Zero George—is admirable. The Alcove, a gourmet market and cafe, and Costa, a casual yet refined coastal Italian-inspired restaurant, will join the company’s concepts in early 2023, both housed in The Jasper, one of downtown Charleston’s most elegant and sought-after waterfront properties. Petrillo and Wild Common Executive Chef Orlando Pagán will lead the culinary programs in the new spaces. Working together with The Beach Company, the two concepts will join the 25,000 square feet of first-floor retail space alongside the already opened Spa Azure and Form Charleston boutique Megaformer studio.
The standard caviar service at The Caviar Bar at Zero George featuring Regiis Ova caviar and accoutrements PHOTO BY HACK HARGETT
While I believe there is a place for chintz, dollies and all the things that make Southern culture tick, here at Zero George you realize what the South feels like in its purest form. 0 George St., Charleston, zerogeorge.com
The original kitchen house is still the kitchen house today—and is undoubtedly the tiniest professional kitchen in the area. PHOTO COURTESY OF ZERO GEORGE