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Caliente is the new word-of-mouth darling of Mexican restaurants in Charleston. The restaurant, located at 3669 Savannah Highway on Johns Island, opened July 22 in the former Charlestowne General Store location. Chef Craig Benti uses “Lowcountry” ingredients and fresh local produce to create classic Mexican dishes like enchiladas, quesadillas, and burritos. But don’t expect to find the same flavors here as you would at the usual Mexican restaurant. “It’s not your traditional Mexican food. It’s a lot fresher and healthier,” says co-owner Stephanie Benti.
The restaurant boasts fresh, homemade salsa and all-natural margaritas. Customers with a sweet tooth should try one of the desserts, which are made in house by former pastry chef Stephanie. The creative décor includes tables constructed from the hoods of old cars. “It has a great atmosphere, and it’s a really colorful place to be,” Stephanie adds.
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