Not one to usually state remarks of this matter but this is the only bar in Charleston where I have ever heard of my friends getting roofied. SKETCH.
Went to Hall's for the Restaurant Week special 3 for 40. Next time I'll go to High Cotton or The Oak and pay full price.... Hell, next time I get the craving for a steak, I'll take the buttermilk chicken at Magnolias before I go to Halls. Service was plaintively agreeable, but the steak was mediocre at best and luke-warm, the potatoes and green beans tasteless and the Caesar salad was mostly Romaine stalks (was this to compensate for the lower Restaurant Week prices?) and the tables crowded together so tightly, every time a server visited the table next-door I got a butt in my face. We were bum-rushed out as soon as we had finished our plates, and then coat-check couldn't find my coat even with the tag they gave me. Waiting for them to find my coat we had an interesting encounter with Billy Hall. He gave one lame excuse after another while continually trying to shake my hand. Complained about having to participate in Restaurant Week after being yelled at by the restaurant association, and on and on. I won't be back.
A bit of advice to Billy: Son, you missed your calling - somewhere in North Charleston there's a used-car lot that needs you desperately.
Small minded? You're the one who ordered a burger medium well and then complained about getting "an overcooked dry burger".
That's beyond small minded, but I don't need to indulge in name calling to make you look foolish, you're doing a fine job yourself.
In response to Jaxx, if I go to any establishment as a paying customer, I am at liberty to order my food however I wish to have it cooked. Being small minded, as it appears you are, you must have missed the other complaints I had about Oak. My husband, who eats red meat so rare it might as well walk off the plate, was not pleased at all with his porterhouse steak, which he asked to have prepared as rare. I was not as upset about a burger not being made as requested as I was with a steak, which I thought Oak was supposed to be known for, being not edible due to how salty it was, as was a fellow diner's in our group.
I think Oak has lost it's spark, and I was just making the point, especially to visitors who may ready City Paper reviews prior to visiting Charleston, that Hall's Chophouse is a much better selection if you are looking for a good steak while in town.
Wow - the gospel music during Sunday brunch was terrific today - a cappella, moving, and the best I've heard.
Sorry, I don't see a problem with being treated warmly and graciously. We had a group dinner on Thanksgiving evening, the place was packed, and we all had one of best dinners we've ever had. My husband is a steak lover, and he ranked Hall's higher than Grill 225, Neil Jordan's and Oak. The service was outstanding, the specialty cocktails were great. This is our new go-to place.
Disclaimer: ordering a burger medium well renders the rest of your review futile.
Based on my recent dining experience at Oak, I feel that giving the restaurant one star is being generous. This was by far one of the worst dining experiences that I have had lately in Charleston.
I had the carpaccio of beef as my appetizer, which was just okay at best. With things like truffle vinaigrette and parmigiano-reggiano listed in the description, I was expecting much more flavor than what was actually there. For dinner, my husband chose the porterhouse, which he described as the saltiest piece of steak he had ever eaten. I decided the burger looked like a tasty option, but after asking for medium well for the temperature, the burger came out with a barely warm, very pink center. The waitress gladly took the burger back to be recooked, but the kitchen just put the patty that I had cut back on the grill, which resulted in an overcooked dry burger and very wilted lettuce. Not to mention, the other three people in my group had already finished eating, so the burger went untouched.
Since there were several in our dining group, we ordered the lobster mac & cheese and the bacon mac & cheese as sides for the table. I think my husband described it best when he said the bacon mac & cheese tasted like Easy Mac with imitation bacon bits, which I guess is fine for a child, but I was expecting a little bit more. The $17 lobster mac and cheese tasted more like orange powder cheese poured over orzo pasta, with imitation crab meat added. Truly a disappointment on both accounts.
The bill ended up being over $300, and I think all of us left very disappointed.
Also, Brett Mckee has been gone for a while, yet the website still mentions him as if he still works there. And, the "comment cards" provided with the check were just old wine menus that had been cut to serve as a comment card. Pretty tacky if you ask me!
After this experience, I know the next time my husband or friends are craving steak, we will be visiting the boys at Hall's for a better dinner. Truly a shame that a restaurant that used to be such a staple in Charleston has ended up like this.
If not for the parents the kids would be on the unemployment line.......If you want ass kissing in a fake way this place is for you....
Ok..... Steakhouses should know their cuts of meat... Right? Neil Jordans tried to push off a NY Strip for a Ribeye. The justification from the waitress.... She pointed out the "eye" of the Ribeye for me. I wasn't buying it and neither was my friend sitting next to me who ordered the exact same piece of meat. His was a real Ribeye but believably it did not have an "eye" either. I can't believe the stupidty that went on at this restaurant on this day! I wasn't upset but I would have loved a Ribeye because that is what I ordered. The manager came over and removed the meal but only after I requested his appearance. We had 6 people at my table and they were through eating by the time they were willing to bring me what I had ordered. By then I was just not willing to hold up our entire party so I could eat the ribeye I ordered.... by myself! Too bad you can't give ZERO STARS! This is a Steakhouse and has the appearance of class and elegance.... enjoy it from the outside because its not worth it!!!!
Neil's serves stellar steak dishes and the service is terrific. The wine list is appropriately varied and reasonably priced. Every time I've dined there, the bar area is lively - looks like a great gathering place for locals in the 17 North area. It's also really nice that Neil himself usually stops in at your table and checks on your meal.
Handshakes and hugs (a Halls staple) are not necessary, especially when they are false. Billy Hall made some extremely rude and derogatory comments a local customer and patron in the restaurant this week that showed his "true colors." If you're visiting Charleston, steer clear of this place and spend your money/time elsewhere.
I went back to Oak for the first time in a long time the Friday before the Bridge Run with some folks from out of town. I have to say that the recent (4/6/11) CP review is dead on. I was not really impressed with Oak under McKee's hand, but I really liked the changes Bacon has made. The restaurant itself is a wonderful location and was preserved/appointed beautifully, so I give full credit to the original ownership/management there. I had the bone-in ribeye, and my wife said her filet was as good as any she's ever had in terms of both quality of meat and preparation. One of our party ventured off the beef train and had the new snapper dish...outstanding. Unlike Grill 225, Oak wisely acknowledges the trade-off of being downtown and provides complimentary valet parking, a must for a high-end urban restaurant. With the food now on par with the rest of the experience, I will now return to Oak with greater frequency and anticipation.
This is not only the best steak, but everything else is just so perfect. If you ever have a chance to try to truffled risotto, you will never forget it. Amazing.
We recently went for my boyfriend's birthday. Yes, it's pricey, but totally worth it for the food and the experience! Great service, great view, amazing wine list!
Oak Steakhouse is unparalleled in service and fine food! As a matter of fact when we go elsewhere we are disappointed. Each item on the menu is prepared well beyond all expectations. The entire staff is involved in delivering the best hospitality, as well as premiere service from beginning to end. The food is prepared by caring chefs who are quite visible to all customers. The amount of food in each side dish is plenty for the entire table. It is not cheap nor is it intended to be. So when you want the very best food and culinary experience, Oak is the number 1 choice in Charleston. Not to mention that you never have any problem parking at this Historic restaurant because the valet staff is right on target too.
The opportunity to dine at Hall's is one to jump at. Hall's is not just "dinner out", it is an experience unlike any other in Charleston. The hostess was wearing a warm smile as we walked through the door, the owners greeted my date and I with a handshake and a genuine "thank you for coming tonight". I received this welcome once before when I had cocktails on a girl's night. Dinner was just as comfortable. Our server was not only knowledgeable but her passion for the food and wine created an anticipation for what was to come. The food is divine. We started with the lambtini which was three petite lamb chops served in martini glass with whipped potatoes, demi-glace and marble sized fried goat cheese. I could have stopped there. Our table also had the red snapper special, the bison special, the petite filet and the rib-eye filet. The meats were cooked perfectly and flavorful. Our table shared the fried potatoes with garlic, parmesan and truffle oil (who doesn't love these?), mac n cheese, braised brussel sprouts, and creamed corn. The sides alone could have made a perfect meal. My suggestion, take the time to enjoy each flavor and texture. I look forward to my next visit to Hall's so that I can try the duck, the scallops or perhaps the veal chop...or maybe just order one of each side. I could go on and on about the food but I want to emphasize how great the service and personal attention was. The service staff was like waiter ninjas filling water and clearing plates. Upon our exit we were personally thanked and our hands were shaken (shook?) once again. I will return to Hall's, maybe for dinner, maybe for drinks, maybe for an appetizer and dessert. Hall's will be in my top three recommended places for a fantastic dinner and atmosphere in Charleston.
Blogger does not equal professional food critic or journalist.
Beware blogger hijacker.
A Cut Above....There is only one word that could describe our recent dining experience at Halls Chophouse – perfect! In an era where great service and unbelievable food seems hard to find, at Halls Chophouse it is plentiful.
I must admit that I’m not a big red meat eater. Even though we’ve walked by Halls and have been intrigued, I haven’t had the desire to eat there. Let me say that those words are a thing of the past.
Invited by our friends Dean and Lisa for a birthday celebration, we were looking forward to trying it out. Let me just say that Halls Chophouse exceeded our expectations.
Upon our arrival we were quickly greeted by a gentleman who not only shook our hands, offered to take our coats and offered to put the flowers that I was carrying into water (they were a gift). He also mentioned that he was Billy Hall and if there was anything that he could do for us during the evening, we should not hesitate to ask.
Since we were a tad early for our dinner reservation we met our friends at the bar and enjoyed a beverage. Service there was stellar. Beverages were delivered promptly, glassware was sparkling, frosted if needed and the bartender was friendly, yet not intrusive. When we went to inquire about being seated (since we had passed our scheduled reservation time) we were told, “When you are ready, so are we. Take your time.”
Upon departing the bar and heading upstairs to the dining area, servers were quickly called to carry our drinks for us. A large bottle of sparkling water also ordered would be, “Taken upstairs for us”.
We were quickly poured water and greeted by our server, Kara (I’m sorry if I am spelling her name incorrectly as it could be Cara). She offered some suggestions and also told us the specials. Piping hot sourdough bread and creamy butter were quickly brought to the table. Any and everyone on duty that walked by were quick to say “Happy Birthday” to our friend, which was nice.
After some deliberation we landed on what we would order. The French onion soup was served hot, with a pile of melted cheese and crispy fried onion strings, the ½ chopped salad was a cool mix of great flavors with a crisp ring of chopped bacon encircling it. My “simple salad” was fresh, lightly dressed and topped with dates, goat cheese and halved grape tomatoes. We could not wait for our entrees to arrive.
Before you knew it our table was being cleared. The service style for lack of a better analogy could be described as “ants on a cookie”. People were all over the table, and then just as quickly, they were gone.
Dinner arrived, all at once as multiple food servers descended upon the table. My Maine Lobster was steaming hot and the size of my arm, the Cedar Planked Broiled Salmon was in fact served on the plank with an accompaniment of succulent tomato and cucumber yogurt sauce.
But the crowning event had to be the steaks. The Bone in Rib Eye and the (32 oz.) Bone in Porterhouse were a sight to behold. Not only beautiful, but they were cooked perfectly. As we ate our meal someone remarked, “Oak Steakhouse should be embarrassed.” We couldn’t agree more.
We ordered a few side dishes (since a half a cow wasn’t enough…), and the servers plated them for us, coming back frequently to see if we’d like anything else. This was simply a terrific team approach.
Upon leaving Mr. Hall was at the top of the stairs shaking everyone’s hand, wishing them Happy New Year and inviting everyone back. At the bottom of the stairs Billy Hall was doing the same. I even saw him hug a few people and again wished our friend Happy Birthday.
As we walked to our cars we could not get over what a “Wow” experience this had been, truly a cut above. I can’t wait to go back.
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