Bringing a Bit of France to the Low Country with Brasserie Gigi

By Robert J. Jenks
By Robert J. Jenks

When drawing up a list of places to eat in downtown Charleston, it is more than likely that a local’s list will differ greatly from that of an out-of-towner. Unfortunately, geography plays an integral role in determining which crowd will visit which establishments. Though there is a great deal of overlap, the Market certainly takes the cake when it comes to attracting the most out of town clientele, and because of that, locals tend to avoid the area at all costs.

One restaurant—with a unique interior reminiscent of a Parisian bistro, stands out amongst its Market Street competition to deliver delicious French food and top-notch customer service. Having only been open for just under a year and a half, Brasserie Gigi is on its way to the top of Charleston’s culinary charts. In fact, Brasserie Gigi is under the same ownership umbrella as some of the town’s long-time favorites, such as Hank’s Seafood and Peninsula Grill.

With a seasoned hospitality team behind the scenes making and implementing service standards and expert menu decisions, Brasserie Gigi sets the bar high in terms of guest satisfaction. To hear a little bit more about the great service and cuisine offered here, I sat down with the General Manager, Johanna Jenkins for an inside scoop:

Q: What are the top three things you aim for guests to take away from their dining experience at Brasserie Gigi?

A: As a manager, I don’t want my guests to ever want for anything. When they leave they should have had impeccable service and delicious food in a lovely and enjoyable atmosphere.

Q: With food culture being so prevalent in Charleston, how do you adjust your menus to remain competitive in the restaurant scene while still giving the public what they want?

A: At Brasserie Gigi we definitely face those challenges being French and on the Market. We have an extraordinarily diverse menu that will cater to almost everyone while keeping a little French flare in every dish.

Q: What changes would you like to see in Brasserie Gigi within the next year of operation?

A: For me Brasserie Gigi is top notch in all areas and because of that we have an amazing return clientele business. I just hope to reach more guests both local and visiting so we can pack the house every night.

Q: Tell me about a recent all-star experience with a guest.

A: I make a point to try and visit each table and make sure they are enjoying everything and learn a little about their visit. More times than not I hear that this is their favorite experience in Charleston. You can’t top that.

Q: What do you think sets Brasserie Gigi apart from Charleston’s other top restaurants?

A: The fact that behind closed doors Brasserie Gigi is steeped in hospitality history from the owner to the chef. It is truly a privilege to be a part of such an establishment and respected team.

As you can see the staff at Brasserie Gigi, from the owner to the front-of-house team, strive to create the best experience for their guests. In addition, the French bistro dining style is fairly unique to the area, making this establishment stand out amongst our local culture of grits and seared pork belly. Though the food is French, the hospitality and service speak with a loud voice to the Southern standard our great city is known for around the world.