So many weird reviews here! I feel the need to state the following before I share my review: 1) I am not a "Kiawah Snob." I'm a multi-generational middle-class Islander, ok? 2) Get over the location. Mondo's on James Island is ASTOUNDING and they're located in a "strip mall."
So, onto what's really important: THE FOOD. On one occasion, my friends and I share the reasonably priced apps: Mushroom Toast (sounds GROSS, but it's delicious) and the Roasted Apple. The apple was stuffed with this really delicious dressing that was neither too dry, nor two "glue-y." (I've been the victim of stuffing with a paste-like Consistency and was thrilled to find that not to be the case here.)
After a few more drinks, we ordered another round of that damn mushroom toast and I ordered this apple/onion tart. (A very apple-centric menu?) Delicious, delicious, delicious.
During this trip, our service was EXCELLENT. Our waiter was attentive, friendly and really nice. . .especially considering that we were just there for drinks and apps.
I tried Sweeny's again during lunch hours. My lunch-buddy, a visiting Long Islander, took on the Lobster Roll. . .which, I will admit, is too rich for my blood in regards to what I'm willing to spend on lunch. However, my LI buddy said the lobster was delicious and just as good as anything he's had at home. I took on the $10 barbecue chicken sandwich and found it pretty good. My chicken was a teeeeeny bit dry for my taste, but it was really good. Fries = DELICIOUS. Hot, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.
Drinks/beers = cold and never without one!
Service = the first time, it was stellar! The second time, totally passable, but not up to the previous visit's standards.
Location = despite the yammering on about how it's located in a lowly strip mall, they've done a fantastic job with renovations and it's really very lovely. Anyone bitching about the location needs to get over it, get out and travel a little. I've eaten some of the most delicious food in some of the ugliest surroundings.
I'm looking forward to getting back there and trying other things on the menu. I suppose if you have to travel a long way to get there, it might not be your thing. But it's SO NICE to have another "on the nicer end of casual" restaurant on John's Island (even if it's practically across the street from the OTHER "nicer and of casual" [Fat Hen] restaurant on John's Island and not too far from the OTHER-OTHER nice restaurant [Wild Olive]).
If you're out that way, it's definitely good enough to give it a try. The prices aren't hot-dog cart low, but they are NOT as high as some people have suggested. (Not everything on the menu is a lobster roll.)
I've only been to Sweeney's once so far, but it seems like a great addition to John's Island. They've worked wonders with Normandy Farm's old space, and the menu items my table tried were nice, too (crab salad, scallops). It has a nice mix of meaty and veg-friendly dishes. It's also pretty flexible in terms of price. You could go big with fairly expensive entrees, or order a sandwich for a modest dinner out. I hope it gets enough support to keep opening for lunch - with Fat Hen and Wild Olive both shuttered during the day, it really fills a gap, then!
Dined over the weekend at Bistro 536 with my wife. Food was fantastic! Started off with the crostini which were generously topped with spinich and mushrooms in a delicious cream sauce. My wife had the vegetable risotto and I ordered the Osso Bucco. The Osso Bucco was delicious and fell off the bone from the long slow roast. Many wines by the glass gave us both a chance to pair a separate wine with our meals. All-in-all, this was a very nice dinner and I highly recommend.
I tried the Macintosh during Restaurant Week 2013 and thought everything was really well done. The Orange Ghost and Honey Badger cocktails were inventive without being precious, and the server was professional and enthusiastic. The portion sizes were surprisingly large for a 3/$30 menu. I had a beautiful carrot salad and the seasonal vegetable plate, which was even better the next day.
I really adore the food at this place; it's comforting and unpretentious but there's enough imagination in it to keep things interesting. It's true that the service isn't especially smooth, but it's never detracted from my experiences and the waitstaff is always, at least, pleasant. The vegetable stew is one of my favorite things to eat in Charleston.
pretty good food.. excellent service. a bit more pricy than bohio, but i don't mind if its local ingredients.. worth a try!
Despite the negative reviews, my husband and I decided to try this place out. It was good as was the service. We tried the sausage for an appetizer ($8) my husband had the pork belly ($11) and I had their soup special ($8) which was butternut squash with shrimp-I was disappointed that they didn't let me know it would be served cold but it was still good. The menu that day (Friday) had really good looking stuff. We will go back for sure! Oh, and their prices are definitely not expensive for dinner. We had a couple of beers each and I had a glass of wine. With tip our bill was about $50. Oh and Matt Lee (Lee Brothers) was there, wonder what he thought...
Angel Oak is the latest occupant of this cute little spot on Savannah Highway just south of Main Road, and I have to say it is definitely my favorite so far. The husband and wife couple that have moved in here have really made it their own with lots of personal touches that really make the dining area feel like home. If you have been into this space previously, be prepared to enjoy a complete makeover. The main space now looks like a proper dining room and the servers are all well versed and friendly. We were warmly greeted by Nicole, one of the owners, and promptly seated.
All of their appetizers sounded intriguing so we tried a good variety. The winners were definitely the crab cake and the fried bacon. The crab cake was pure, sweet blue crab with just enough to hold it together and bring out the natural flavors. A spicy remoulade was drizzled across the plate that gave a nice balance. The fried bacon consisted of a plate of lightly battered, smoky thick cut bacon strips, paired with a spicy buffalo dipping sauce to amp up the flavor. The port wine pate was nice and creamy, and came potted in a little glass mason jar. It was paired well with toast points and vinegary pickled radishes and a nice chow-chow. The lobster mac and cheese sounded divine, but we found the cheese sauce to be too oily for our liking.
The entrees were all very tasty, generous portion sizes and expertly cooked. We sampled the braised short rib and shrimp and grits. The short rib was cooked perfectly, it flaked away with a fork and a gentle touch. This was definitely one of the most tender pieces of meat I have had in a while, and could only have been improved if a little more of the demi-glace was present. The stone ground grits it sat atop were creamy and hearty, and a buttery sauce and some micro-herbs brought it all together. The bang-bang shrimp and grits were decent, flecked with crisp bites of smoky bacon. However this dish needed a bit more gravy and spice to live up to its bangin name. The execution of all the dishes was top notch, technique is no issue here. However I think if the chef were a little more liberal with the seasoning and sauces he would have a home-run.
The wine list is extremely short and several essential varietals were noticeably absent. I would suggest a broader range of styles and prices to better appeal to the wine drinking crowd. The beer selection was broad and even featured some local brews. It appeared that the beer selection will vary on a rotational basis, with the current offerings displayed on a chalk board.
Overall, Angel Oak shows a lot of promise and I am excited to see a passionate team at the helm of this establishment. Having not even been open for a week, I think it is fair to say that they will only get better. The owner checked in on us throughout the meal to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. The little touches, like the slate serving platters, create a wonderful ambiance. We look forward to trying them again after they have had some time to work out the fine details. It is well worth the drive to give this place a try, it is downtown quality food in a more comfortable West Ashley environment.
Despite the blazing heat we sat on the patio area Saturday night. So glad we did. The herb garden and the GIANT tomato plant are a great backdrop to this "fancy barn" space. Our server, Ashley, was on point, knowledgeable and gave us great suggestions (including going to The Cocktail Club after our appetizers and drinks). We had the Ricotta Gnudi and the Tempera Squash Blossom. Great food and service to begin our date night downtown. As we walked through the dining room to exit, we were again very glad that we sat outside. The dining room is a very loud.
I took The Critic and Stupid Mike from 105.5 The Bridge out there for lunch....read and hear all the details:
Very nice menu that changes based on what is the freshest available. We went with a group of 6 and shared a good selection of the appetizers and everyone enjoyed all, The Rabbit was very rich and tasty and the Fried Squash Blossom was unique and delicious. We also had a good selection of the various entrees with the beef Deckle being a big hit, also loved the Bone Marrow Bread Pudding as a side order. Only slight negative is that it is a very loud space which makes conversation difficult especially with a group.
I like the new chef and management. It's much better these days.
We went to Opal recently after being told there was a 1:15 wait at Basil across the street on a Tuesday night. Fine by me, as I had wanted to try Owens' latest venture anyway. We had a brief wait as walk-ins, but were soon (sort of) seated after a less-than-urgent busing of an empty table by the languorous male manager on duty. The space and the menu were impressive.
I had the housemade mozzarella appetizer and the tagliatelle described in the review in the C&P. Both were outstanding (unlike the ubiquitous susieg, I found the pasta dish to have plenty of flavor, and the portion was enough me, a male over 6' and 200lbs). My wife had the scallops, which were also very good. Despite being happy with my dinner, I still got a little bit of diner's remorse when I saw a plated version of that day's special of wreckfish...looked wonderful and was a huge portion/filet.
My only complaints were the lackadaisical manager and an earnest waitress who, unfortunately, had a profoundly funky smell to her, like she had not washed her uniform in days. Back of the house, great job. Front of the house, a few issues to "clean up" before this place is a true star. We will return.
In a blink of an eye it seems new restaurants are cropping up all over the area. Opal Restaurant and Bar is one of the newcomers and it deserves its’ just due.
We went to Opal when they were open just three weeks and I must admit I was impressed. Although I found the dining area to lack warmth and energy in its décor, the entryway is just spectacular. If Chef Patrick Owens and the Opal Dining Group wanted a “wow” factor when you enter, they hit the mark without question.
We made reservations and I wondered if we actually needed to. After all, it was a new restaurant in Seaside Farms shopping center and not too widely publicized. Thankfully we had the reservations after all. When we arrived there was already a 45 minute wait for tables and it was only 6:30 p.m.!
We were quickly seated and our server immediately approached the table. He was intimately familiar with the menu and told us that he also worked at Langdon’s, which is this restaurant’s sister concept. A recent local article about Opal stated that the “menu changed daily”. I thought this was an aggressive approach to a new restaurant opening. It was the same plan that Sean Brock had with Husk and when we dined there during the first few weeks our entrees took over an hour to hit the table. I hoped that we would not experience the same thing at Opal.
As we looked over the menus it appeared I had a different menu that the other three folks at our table. The server quickly explained that I had “last night’s menu” and replaced it with the correct one. But get this… The “changing menu” only had one item changed. The fish entrée that was on the menu was switched from flounder to mahi mahi. Hmmm… interesting.
We started with 3 appetizers. It’s unusual for us to order dinner and appetizers, but things looked very interesting. The Heirloom Tomato, Basil, Purple Onion and Valdeon received rave reviews. The tomatoes were incredibly fresh and tasted as if they were picked that afternoon. The Salad of Local Herbs and Lettuces with Fresh Ricotta and Tomatoes was scooped up in a New York minute - again, a fan favorite.
My Spicy Local Shrimp Bruschetta with Chiles and Garlic could have been a meal in of itself. Two very large toasted slices of crispy crusted bread were topped with heavenly, perfectly cooked, spicy shrimp. Reluctantly I shared it. But when I go back to Opal this appetizer is definitely on my repeat list.
Our entrees were perfectly timed and served piping hot. Two diners ordered the Sweet Bay Acres Crispy Chicken Breast with Arugula, Heirloom Tomatoes, Fennel, Prosciutto and Vincotto. The gents thought this dish was superb and I had a hard time bartering for a taste. The Seared Diver Scallops, Brunoise of Local Zucchini, Tomato, Corn, Israeli Couscous and Brown Butter was a big win. Usually someone that eats half of her entrée and takes home the other half finished this - hands down!
When ordering my entrée of house made Tagliatelle with Pork Sausage, Broccolini and Marjoram our server told me that it was not a “large portion” (pasta prices ranged from $15 - $17), and he was right. My dish was the smallest of the entrees and unfortunately the most disappointing. The pasta was a bit mushy, which I could tolerate, but the dish overall was bland and lacked flavor.
I would say though that like Langdon’s this restaurant is a bit pricey. We were interested in the Charcuterie & Cheese but one small sampling was $5.00 and it went up to $41.00 when the offer was increased to 12. We saw this delivered to another table and based on the portion sizes it seemed overpriced. I can’t speak to the flavor because it looked great, just expensive.
Despite my pasta snafu we still managed to leave the restaurant very full and plan to return. I was very impressed that despite only being opened three weeks the restaurant ran like a well-oiled machine.
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.
Great food. Great staff. Great atmosphere. Went here for dinner and plan on trying the lunch menu soon.
FIG serves some of the most incredible food in Charleston. Period. The CHICKEN LIVER PÂTÉ is one of the most balanced and delicious dishes I have ever eaten. The pork trotters are incredible. The gnocchi was a little boring, but I think it is not the same as the current one on the menu. The homemade walnut icecream was absolutely terrific. I can't say enough about the food at this place. I am excited about their commitment to local food.
One major negative for me at FIG was the atmosphere. It does not match the incredible food. We were seated all the way in the back. The first thing I noticed was that the floors were laminate squares in the same color and pattern as one would find in an elementary school cafeteria. It was atrocious, and barely a step up from carpet (which absolutely no restaurant should ever entertain that idea. gross.). The space was not cozy at all. And please repaint the tan walls and replace the handmade paintings. They need to carry over the atmosphere in the bar area to the rest of the restaurant eating space. It looks like the decorator ran out of money in the first fourth of the restaurant.
I wish that our server had a little more experience and was more attentive. It is rather tacky to ask to see IDs of a married couple clearly in their 20s dining alone. We had loads of fun digging in our purse and suit coat.
I do not want FIG in anyway to become pretentious and stuffy, but I think there is a way to be tasteful and balanced. The entire restaurant needs to be thoughtful, not just the food. But in all seriousness, FIG's food is so incredible that I can ignore the atmosphere and the service. I would go again tonight.
Charming, disciplined, tasty, and satisfying.
Despite their inauspicious location behind the Sonic on Long Point Road, the Bistro 536 folks have done a good job of creating a good atmosphere for classy eating. They've ditched the white tablecloths, which was an appropriate choice, but the quality of food remains firmly at that level.
The menu is disciplined, or limited depending on your palate. However among my several meals there I've seen 10 different entrees ordered. I've had a consistently satisfied response both personally and among my dining companions. Highlights include the mushroom crostini appetizer, the baked mahi-mahi and pork tenderloin entrees, and the sumptuous cake pictured in CCP's review. My last meal, the bouillabaise hit well on everything but slightly overcooked fish; the shellfish, broth, and vegetables were great.
The service has demonstrated consistently good timing, though certainly not the elite level that one sees at the (considerably more expensive!) hot-spots downtown like Cypress.
They do have a kids' menu, and my son (toddler) enjoyed it although he has an abnormally good openness to food. However, I enjoyed it more for adult dining with friends. If you're in the neighborhood and want quality food without the noise of the Belle Hall selections... you're in good luck with Bistro 536.
Great food and great service. THe place is great but as mentioned before... it is so loud. I don't know why people forget about their "inside voice" once they get in public. You don't have to shout, you are sitting at the same table.
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