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Comment Archives: Locations: Restaurants: Modern American

Re: “17 North Roadside Kitchen

WOW!
I ate at 17 North for the 1st time last night! Unbelievable!!! The chef accommodated my vegetarian tastes beautifully and my non-vegetarian husband said the meat was cooked to perfection! Our service was fast and friendly and we had plenty of attention! I'll be back as often as possible!!

Posted by Banner Radin on January 28, 2011 at 7:15 AM

Re: “Graze

I "spotted" Graze restaurant in the free Charleston paper (think that is the name) and my husband and I decided to try it for lunch. Oh my gosh--"perfecto"--from the service to the food and everything in between. We have been vacationing at the Isle of Palms for 18 years now and over time, have tried hundreds of restaurants. This is my first review because I just wanted to share the exciting news with the "locals", if they haven't tried this jewel! Do yourself a favor, and make your next lunch or dinner outing to Graze! I had the chicken livers and my husband had the Korean beef. You say chicken livers--NEVER will you have chicken livers taste sooo good, as was the Korean beef. Oh, and don't forget to order the lobster mac and cheese--to die for!!!

Posted by RLP on January 16, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Re: “17 North Roadside Kitchen

Oh and we never got bread??

Posted by ALEYEAST on January 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Re: “17 North Roadside Kitchen

New Years Eve- quite disappointing

Went with the family on NYE (went last year and had a great meal), assumed it would be quite crowded, it wasn't (first alert).

We were seated and given a four course menu and told nothing of the menu. There were no prices and my wife was not informed over the phone that the menu would be altered for NYE. Noted on a table talker was information on a wine pairing with each course for $75 total (actually not bad). When we inquired about the regular menu, our server told us they were only serving this menu, but she would check if the kids menu was available. After several discussions, the chef agreed to a kids menu which we did not want, and also to allow the kids to order just an entree (no four course). As we sat, we noticed just about everybody coming in not knowing anything about the change in menu and most would get there menus and look at it puzzled, we saw at least one couple be seated and after several minutes and discussions leave. The owner finally came out and had the hostesses explain the menu upon arrival.

We should have walked when our gut told us too. Service for a non packed restaurant (which most time this place is quite packed) was pitiful, and noted not only in our table, but others around us. A table close by actually called the waitress over to order dessert during dinner. We opted for the wine pairing, the wine was gone before each course got to the table, but the worst was the dessert, 40 minutes after delivering our wine pairing no dessert, no server. Finally my wife went into the back and asked for it to go. No server apologies and we were thinking that table close by that ordered there dessert during dinner knew more than us, they had a better view of the server station in the back.

On the food, the prime rib was cooked right and tasty (was overcooked last year when they had their full menu), creamed spinach was watery and not up to par. Osso bucco was good but could have used more of the base sauce as it tended towards dry especially with the white bean accompaniment.

Overall, a failure for this usually solid restaurant. One suggestion is to put one of the herd of hostesses in the back to help bring the food out quicker.

It will take a while for this sting to heal.

Oh and if you did bring your kids to a nice meal on NYE, and they did want an entree, it was $30. ended up being $50 for the four course (w/o wine).

Brett has some work to do.

Food 3 stars
Service no stars


Posted by ALEYEAST on January 13, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Re: “17 North Roadside Kitchen

Never had a problem. Great food and friendly staff. Excellent experience. High five to them!!!

Posted by horse girl on January 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Re: “17 North Roadside Kitchen

Color Me Disappointed...Just past Charleston National Golf Course lies 17 North Roadside Kitchen, Chef Brett McKee’s (formerly of Oak Steakhouse), newest innovation and a big disappointment at that.

If you don’t know where it is you run the risk of driving by it. The design of a “distressed” logo makes it difficult to read and see. But it’s not stopping people from coming, as the parking lot appeared to be somewhat full.

We had early reservations and were seated at a nice table by the window. The restaurant is deceiving. It’s much larger than it looks – about 80 tables including two dining areas and an outside patio. Parking is free, but tricky. I felt like I was parking at a church lawn fete as folks were everywhere! Be that as it may, we began our journey.

We were warmly greeted by the hostesses, although one was so inappropriately clad it made your head spin… Upon being prompted our waiter, Jonathan, said that he had been there about a month and that business was good. The waiters wear white long sleeve oxford (or similar), shirts and jeans, very casual. That’s where the confusion started for me. 17 North seems like it’s in search of a theme.

There are two moderate sized dining areas and a deck. The satellite music is an odd choice (Don Henley, Billy Joel, to name a few…) and LOUD, very loud. But the outside deck has live music. The restaurant is somewhat a mix of old and new (an oddly placed old fireplace mantel), and contemporary furnishings. Very odd. Props though, for the outside seating area which looked warm and inviting.

Now on to our meal… we started with a cocktail and a large bottle of Pellegrino. I had asked for plain water but since we were getting a large bottle, I decided to share. Imagine our surprise when we were served two bottles of Perrier. Our waiter explained that they were out of Pellegrino. I said that I would just have regular water. He then stated that he could only “ring it up one way and we had to have both bottles.” Hmmm, interesting.

We were quickly served warm, cheese and herb biscuits with honey butter. These small, bite size morsels looked great but had zero flavor – zip, zilch, not worth the calories.

We then split the gnocchi with duck and spinach appetizer. Five gnocchi swim in a small dish filled with delicate (not gamey) duck, spinach and great seasonings. But the gnocchi were more like packing peanuts than gnocchi. Jonathan explained that they were “quickly charbroiled” to sear in flavor. I am certain my Italian grandmother would have liked to know she was missing something in the gnocchi cooking process.

For dinner we decided to order each one of the two evening features - a filet and flounder special. To me, the specials of the evening usually represent “prom night” – the restaurant puts its best foot forward and they are usually very fresh. Two thumbs up for freshness, but the rest of the experience was a bust.

The filet arrived undercooked, very rare. The mashed potatoes were a #10 scoop (who thinks this is kitschy?) and cold. The four grilled asparagus halves were also cool, can they spare them, they have a garden out back! The worst thing about the meal (yes, after all of this), was that the steak tasted like it was cooked on a grill that needed to be cleaned. Bleech.

The flounder also floundered. Three nice pieces of flounder were grilled and placed over a bean succotash with lobster. Sounds inviting, right? That’s what we thought. The flounder was covered in black pepper, the succotash was tepid at best (a common theme throughout the meal), and the lobster was downright cold as it must have been added the very last minute. I get that, but really… The restaurant was not busy at all when we were there, could some attention been paid to our meals?

Perhaps the hype has been catching up with the chef. On a menu of 25 items plus side dishes his name is mentioned specifically on three dishes. “Brett’s Calamari”, “Brett’s Eggplant”, “Brett’s Whatever”. Of course they are his dishes, he’s the chef!! Were we to expect “Chuckie’s Calamari”? Seriously.

The biggest disappointment was the bill. The menu displayed on line is very, very vague. It does however, state that the entrees run between $13.00 - $19.00, which they do. At $25.00 and $28.00 for the tepid specials, we felt completely ripped off. The manager did obligatorily stop by to see how things were going – with zero eye contact and zero real interest, so why bother telling him what we really thought as he buzzed by our table?

So if you’re on 17 North, keep driving.

For more Charleston reviews visit us at http://diningaroundcharleston.com

3 of 5 people like this.
Posted by susieg on January 7, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Re: “Graze

An Unexpected Hidden Jewel! On a quick trip to Staples in the Whole Foods Plaza in Mt. Pleasant I noticed activity from a long since vacant restaurant Coco’s. I peeked in to see a welcoming, contemporary restaurant with a fairly busy lunch crowd and decided to investigate a little more.

Reading the menu posted on the window interested me enough to come back and try the place for dinner.

Arriving at 6:00 p.m. on a rainy Thursday evening, the restaurant was somewhat empty but we were about to see that change rather quickly.

Upon entering Graze we were met by a very welcoming hostess who was going to seat us, but we decided to sit at the bar instead. The bar was empty, and Mike, the bartender was happy to see us.

A little bit about Mike… Many moons ago, too many to count, I was a bartender. One of the “non-negotiables” of the place that I worked at was that you had to introduce yourself to customers and find out their names. It was literally a terminable offense not to introduce yourself and we took it seriously.

Since vacationing here over the last 5-6 years we’ve eaten at many places and often at the bar. NO ONE has ever introduced themselves or asked us our names. I have often found that very odd as it opens dialog and provides the opportunity for suggestive “up” selling. But low and behold, Mike did.

To me, Mike seemed to be the ideal bartender and employee. He knew all about the start up of the restaurant (more to follow), all about the specifics of the menu (if he didn’t he ran to the kitchen to find out), was chatty, but not obnoxious and had a great personality to boot. They are lucky to have him.

Mike explained that the two chefs and General Manager that had worked together for six years at a local restaurant decided to go out on their own. They, along with Mike, and four or five servers (and a few new hires), opened Graze about eight weeks ago. The restaurant has chosen to do very little advertising and this “soft opening” has proven to be very successful. Mike mentioned that they were much busier than they imagined they would be this early in the game. But it is no secret why. Their food is unbelievable.

We started with a 3-Cheese Flight. It was moderately priced (as the entire menu is), and was served in what seemed like record time. It included a walnut/brown sugar mix, fresh honey, grapes, Dubliner cheese with a Stout infused rind, Cheddar with cranberries a local farm Goat cheese, apple slices and toasted bread. Mike described this to a “t”, and also brought us more toasted bread when requested. Rarely do I ask for a “to go” box for an appetizer like this, but the cheeses were so extraordinary that I couldn’t resist. Plus I wanted to save room for dinner.

Since our appetizer was served so quickly we waited a few minutes to order dinner. It was also served very quickly. Our selections, Korean Beef BBQ and a Crab cake seem pretty middle of the road, but this was not the case at Graze. The Korean Beef was served with brown rice and a nicely spiced kimchi. The twist is that it is also accompanied by 4”x4” pieces of black seaweed. Mike explained that the chef recommends eating it by adding the ingredients into the seaweed and rolling it up – (like a taco). I could barely get a taste of this, as my husband enjoyed it so much. A wonderful blend of spice, and the flank steak was so tender – just A plus!

After the Cheese Flight I had decided to “downsize” my dinner decision to a Jumbo Lump Crab Cake. They are often dubbed “Jumbo”, but rarely are they served in a portion size living up to the name. Not true for Graze. This was served over a piping hot sweet corn, whole wheat grain, butter bean succotash with apple wood smoked bacon combo. It was also accompanied by a fried green tomato and onion marmalade.

My “downsized” crab cake was the largest I have ever been served. Nice, fresh crab with a terrific texture and flavor it was served on the bean/grain mixture that was to die for. But alas, it was too much to eat, and another to-go container was required.

We met the General Manager and co-owner, Bradford Bobbitt and co-owner Derek Lathan, who along with Michael Karkut also serve as co-executive chefs. We actually met Bradford when he was trying to lean in as we were served our entrees to see if we liked them. He was so close that he scared the heck out of us as we turned and saw him leaning in behind us. He explained that this was his technique to see if customer’s liked their meals since you’d know after the first bite if you did… A humble gentleman who was visiting every table and bar customer in the restaurant (the restaurant was now quite busy).

We wish them all the best and will definitely return. The service and food were excellent and the ambiance was great. The menu is priced very reasonably, will be changing seasonally and offers quite a varied selection. For more reviews visit http://diningaroundcharleston.com

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by susieg on January 7, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Graze

The best restaurant out there. It's always hard to figure out what to order because it's all soooooo yum! My coworkers and I eat lunch here often. Nice atmostphere. Great staff, great management, and the best chefs in Charleston!

Posted by Winnie Timmons on January 4, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Re: “Graze

It's too bad that it sounds like @CityGirl won't give this place another chance, the food was incredible and the quality was well beyond the price point! I tried a couple bites of everyone's plate in my party. The wild mushroom pappardelle was served in a light cream sauce that was just delicious with the sun dried tomatoes. The short rib ragu was just amazing. I had the filet of beef which was cooked perfectly to my liking and served with a nice herbed goat cheese that was just delicious when eaten with the beef. The beer and wine selection is great and the bartender made a perfect drink. Definitely a must if you're in the Mt Pleasant area.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by joshl725 on December 30, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Re: “FIG

Friendly staff, great food. Seafood is always fresh and cocktail list has a variety of interesting drinks. Upscale without being pretentious. Love it!

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by mynamewastaken on December 30, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Re: “FIG

Charles Robinson - You obviously don't know what you are talking about if you are going to name drop the wrong name. It's a shame that the floor tiles at FIG made it into your review. Maybe you should just take your $140, and with all of your talent - cook dinner for yourself at home.

3 of 5 people like this.
Posted by isidella on December 27, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Re: “FIG

Off night. Happens everywhere. Robert Carter was not the chef at Charleston Grill. That's Peninsula Grill. Also, sometimes there is no "wow." Great can be delivered in subtle ways. That goes for people, art, conversation, car rides, evening strolls, and restaurants. By the way, some of the greatest cooking in the world happens by people that are "rooted in the past." Thanks for sharing.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by asdf on December 24, 2010 at 1:53 AM

Re: “FIG

Let me start by saying I'm a self-admitted food snob. I won a scholarship from Food Network to attend culinary school just so I could learn more. I even choose vacation destinations based on the food scene. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be excellent. Awesome tacos served from a makeshift stand make me just as happy as Michelin stars, and I've had both.

I have lived in downtown Charleston (Wagener Terrace) since 1997, and have dined at every restaurant worth noting. I fell so in love with McCrady's, Cypress and Charleston Grill that I just never made the time to go to FIG. I finally did so recently, and it was a disappointment. The hype simply didn't match the experience.

The service was barely adequate, the food uninspired, and the atmosphere abysmal. It was elementary school cafeteria floors, wait staff dressed in white T-shirts and ankle-length black aprons, and 80's-era paint on the walls. The food portions were adequate, and everything was prepared well, but there was no "wow". We were seated next to the service station in the back so I expected that it would be hard to be ignored. I was wrong. There were long waits between courses, and lengthy periods with empty water glasses.

I get Chef Lata's point of view and I appreciate his finesse and attention to detail. When I'm spending $140 per person on dinner I expect to be wowed. I wasn't. I found myself comparing it to what Sean Brock, Craig Diehl and Robert Carter (formerly of Charleston Grill) were doing in 2006. They have long since moved on, but I find Chef Lata firmly rooted in the past. It's undeniably delicious, but as a culinarian it's just not all that interesting to me.

So if you're a foodie and you're looking for an inventive and inspirational dining experience, don't go to FIG. If you just want to have an excellent meal and can get past the too-casual-for-the-price-point and slightly rundown decor, it's a fantastic choice. Personally, I'll save my money for McCrady's.

2 of 5 people like this.
Posted by Charles Robinson on December 23, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Re: “FIG

My husband and I ate at FIG last night with a group of friends, and the food and service were both phenomenal! They were more than willing to accommodate the size of our group, and did a great job explaining each item on the menu. We started with the Sheep's Milk Ricotta gnocchi, which had such a great flavor, and was prepared perfectly. My husband could not stop raving about the Strube Ranch Wagyu Bistro Steak, which he claimed was one of the best steaks he had eaten. We ended with a dessert of sorghum cake, with an amaretto ice cream, that came highly recommended by our server. He couldn't have been more right, as this dessert was heaven in your mouth.
Overall, wonderful experience! Our glasses stayed full all night, the food was original and full of flavor, and the service was impeccable. Can't wait to go again, and would highly recommend!

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Mayor1231 on December 18, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Re: “Graze

Great food. Great staff. Great atmosphere. Went here for dinner and plan on trying the lunch menu soon.

Posted by kris7 on December 12, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Re: “Graze

Absolutely one of the best restaurants in Mt Pleasant. Great menu, fantastic wine pricing, great service and modern decor.
Go try this place, you will not be dissapointed.
We went back on a weeknight, as last weekend there was a long wait at 9pm, and now I can see why.

Posted by eatingout on December 12, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Re: “Graze

Yuck! Awful all the way around!

0 of 8 people like this.
Posted by CityGirl on December 12, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Re: “Charleston Grill

I went here last weekend to celebrate a new job, and as such my girlfriend and I opted for the 6 course tasting menu with pairings. It was COMPLETELY worth it, and this would easily rate in my top three meals, arguably the best, I've ever experienced in Charleston (be warned... it's definitely at the top of the list from a total bill standpoint). The standout were a crab cake course and the dessert, which was a sort of sweet potato biscuit surrounding cinnamon apples sprinkled with toffee and whipped butter, but no course disappointed. The most interesting was an ahi tuna sashimi dish with a greek flair, including feta? and olives in the topping...

Our server's work was beyond reproach - knowledgeable and friendly without being overbearing in the slightest. The meal was well timed and perfectly portioned. With two amuse bouche courses (one pre-dessert) + a little celebratory chocolate at the end our six course meal was really more of a nine course feast, yet I left the restaurant feeling satisfied but not full, tipsy but not drunk...

With all the Husk's and other new restaurant parading across the pages of the City Paper and other's it's easy to forget the classics like Charleston Grill, but I'm very glad I was able to get a meal in here before moving away.

4 of 5 people like this.
Posted by dirty mck on December 8, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Re: “17 North Roadside Kitchen

I've been to 17North at least six times, and I've never had an issue with anything there. The food is always great, our wait time was short, and our server was always friendly and attentive. Yes, sometimes it can be loud, but we usually sit outside.

Posted by dowwy on November 18, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Re: “17 North Roadside Kitchen

Great in every way. We where very very pleased. Thank you!

Posted by just beachy on November 13, 2010 at 9:09 AM
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