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.
See more of our reviews http://diningaroundcharleston.com
Love Neil Jordans. The Allen Brothers steaks are incredible. Atmosphere good and in particular, the bar area rocks, especially when Allen is holding court behind the bar. Allen is great at what he does and is the 2nd best bartender in a 2 mile radius!
Go one and you'll be hooked! Neil Jordans is a dining destrination experience-especially the bar!
Hall's Chophouse. Can't wait to go back and get some killer oysters, an incredible Filet, and my favorite - Pepperjack Cheese Grits!!! My favorite steakhouse! Great place to also post up at the Bar before dinner and watch some football. Cant wait to go back next week.
Have always wanted to eat here, and finally two weeks ago I stumbled in here one evening because I was entertaining a client who was fiending for a steak. We breezed through to a table, was sat down and was greeted VERY nicely.
My client however, was very, very picky about the wine she wanted. Honestly, she must have sent back 5 glasses. I was embarrassed, and wanted to hide, being local. But the waiter sensed this, and was ultra, ultra gracious, friendly, and very knowledgaeble on wines., and finally found my client a great glass she liked.
I ordered the scallops. HOLY COW were they GREAT! Like, seriously good. I tasted the steak, too. Outrageous. All the sides were DELISH!
I asked around...seems like Halls is doin' it right, everyone seems to have had an excellent meal there. This is really good to have on King street, a dedicated Steak House, with great staff that serves up awesome fare.
Thanks Halls...I will be back FOR SURE!!!
So easily 5 stars. Yay.
What a memorable night. We arrived just a bit early for our reservations and waited about 15 minutes in the bar. As we waited Brett Mckee introduced himself and two gentlemen uprooted from their seats for my wife and my friends wife. Wow that hasn't happened much in the last 40 years. I must say the food was great and cooked to perfection. The service was outstanding. Valet parking was great since it was raining. The restaurant is really a different flare and I personally would recommend eating at the Oaks for anyone visiting town. Best of luck to you Brett. Thanks for the memories.
Their new menu is AWESOME!! Most people I know love this restaurant, and obviously people have to enjoy it for them to stay open. They have awesome happy hour drink specials and now they are doing a special for families or groups that come in on Thursdays! I'm trying it out tonight with some friends that are in town! They are also doing wine paired 5 course dinners every third Wednesday of each month. I can't wait to try that as well!
What a disappointment!!! That's all I can say about this place. For anyone who enjoys a decent steak....DO NOT COME HERE! I saw this restaurant advertised as a USDA Prime Steakhouse so I had to give it a try. Let me start off by mentioning that I have had USDA Prime steaks all over the country. If you have never had a USDA Prime steak you are missing out. There is a reason why there are so few Prime steakhouses around. A USDA Prime steak is amazing....the meat melts in your mouth. They are truly worth the extra money you spend. I got the $33 so called "prime" ribeye. This was one terrible piece of meat. I've probably grilled a thousand Ribeye's at my house and never one this fatty. I can say for a fact that is place is getting ripped off if they are buying "prime" meat from their supplier. Maybe it's from Mexico?? I don't know but do not go here for a steak....truly disappointing.
As for the service...average
As for the decor and setting...nice but it can't be hard to keep the place looking nice when there is no one in it. There was one other guy sitting at the bar when my wife and I ate here.
I can't comment on the rest of the menu but from that joke of a steak that I had.....GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!
I went to Neil's with a few friends for lunch. We got there early....before the lunch rush. This was my first time there. I enjoyed the atmosphere of soft music and being able to hear my friends as we chatted about how good our meals tasted. I ordered one of there famous burgers. This Burger was so large I thought I would never finish it.... but I did. The meal and the atosphere was excellent. I highly recommend that you try this restaurant.
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