FOOD - 2 STARS
DECOR -4 STARS
STAFF - 3 STARS
PARKING -1 STAR
I stopped eating there some time ago as there are better options in the area for similar dollars. It has the chance to be a good place with a few tweaks. 1) shrink the menu, specialize in something and make it exceptional instead of offering a huge walmart-esk menu where nothing is very good 2) Focus on being a Brew house (since it is in your name) and offer a better selection of quality beers (finding a way to separate yourself from the competition). 3) Train your wait staff to be better.
Seems simple enough, but they obviously don't get it.
Really wanted to love this place. Food and drinks were great, though took forever to get out. Service was terrible.
I read about the opening of this restaurant the other day. We have a good friend coming to visit this week and since it's an Italian restaurant and she loves Italian food, off we went.
Like Leaf, a restaurant that opened a few weeks ago, it has no social media presence. No facebook, twitter, webpage... you name it, nothing. AND, unlike Leaf it has no signage. Unless we knew that it was at 420 King Street we would have never found it. You would think a menu would be in the window for passersby to see and to draw attention to it. Nah, I guess their thoughts are, "If you build it they will come."
It is a very narrow, shot gun space with tables and high tops as you enter followed by a long bar. The tables are dark wood and the high tops were made by the owner (we overheard this). The walls have dark framed mirrors and they are waiting for framed prints for the walls to be delivered, so the walls are bare. The ceiling looks more like a floor than a ceiling created with dark salvaged wood from former homes in Charleston. The kitchen and more seating are in the back. Seating in the back is a small stucco walled room with dark beams. I really thought I was going to bump into a salad bar like I would have at Steak and Ale.
We had not heard much about the restaurant. One post stated that the ticket times were very long on the night that they were there and another liked his salad, but that's about it. We also heard that there is not a hostess to seat you and that it was somewhat confusing, which was true. It wasn't very busy and we were seated rather quickly.
We sat near the bar at a high top that was rocking. The server explained that the tables rocked because "they moved them around so much." Although she said she would get something to fix it, she didn't. Thank goodness I am a high maintenance coffee drinker and keep Sweet 'N Low in my purse. That did the trick. Can't someone pay attention to the little things?
The menu is moderate in size, but the restaurant was so dark we had to use the light from both our cell phone and the votive candle to read it. They offer 3 soups, 4 brushcettas, 3 appetizers, 6 pasta selections, 6 salad/veggies and duck confit, Cornish hen and a fish of the day. House made desserts are also available. So if you can't find their menu on line (which we couldn't), there it is.
We started with a cocktail, bottle of sparking water and an order of the artichoke brushcetta. Our beverages were served rather quickly, but with my beverage, served in a martini glass, they "Damn near missed it," as my dad would say when something was rather skimpy. My glass was literally half full.
The artichoke brushcetta was served in a pool of olive oil. With the lack of light it was hard to see if there was any pecorino romano cheese, as advertised and the garlic was overpowering. The bread was so heavily toasted it was like we were eating a large, oily crouton. I am certain that we made some noise chomping on it, but there was no way around it.
We decided to share two pasta dishes for dinner. Their pastas are made in house and were appealing. While we were waiting for our dinners to arrive we started to watch what appeared to be the owner tour the restaurant. He stopped at the table next to us who appeared to be friends of his. He poured wine, chit chatted and moved on. He then went to the table in the front of the restaurant, the lone table by the window - chit chatted and moved on. Two tables down from us and the table next to us had the same personalized visit. Ours was the only table that he did not stop at. I was beginning to get a complex.
Before we knew it our dinner was served. One thing that I can say is that our service was good and the food was served very quickly.
We ordered the Lobster Ravioli Served on Spicy Lobster and Wild Fennel Tomato Sauce "Sardinian Style". (We took a picture of the menu, so this is the exact menu copy.) We additionally ordered the Tagliatelle Served with Wild Boar Ragout Sauce. At $18.00 and $15.00 these were the most expensive items on the menu. The menu is very moderately priced.
Stem billowed from the plates as they were sat down in front of us. I thought, "Finally, very hot food." But alas, my dreams were dashed. The sauces were very hot and my lobster sauce also had a nice kick to it. The Boar Sauce had a nice flavor but the little chunks of boar within the sauce were so incredibly tough it was hard to chew them. Most disappointing was that the pastas were served tepid at best. They must have been platted ahead of time? Even the hot sauces didn't help. The Lobster Ravioli was also had somewhat of a fishy taste, so I wouldn't recommend it.
After all the time they waited to get this off the ground, it still needs some work. Can someone turn up the lights? Food pics can be found at http://diningaroundcharleston.com
I just left this place and have to agree with the other reviews.
Service was SLOW. The party next to us left after 30 minutes and only an appetizer.
Food was average and appeared to have been left on the counter until it was lukewarm.
Avoid this place. Pizza Hut would be just as good and a lot faster.
I was not impressed. Everything LOOKED beautiful, but the cakes, cookies, and brownies I tried (my friend and I ordered a lot) were heavy and not very flavorful. I give them points for style, but I bake stuff better than that at home all the time.
Skip it. Food isn't good. Waitstaff is not attentive. Overpriced.
Prices are too high and they changed the chips. The new stylechips are awful and talking to the waiter he confided that many people are complaining but the owners will not change back. Used to go there a couple of times a month, despite the high prices. Now we are going much less as the quality of food is slipping
Great food, but definitely not for the cost conscious.
Pretensious and not enought food for the money. Portions are small and the decorseems to be trying too hard.
Went during restaurant week. They did the dumb thing of cutting corners because it was less expensive. I won't be back. typical of Charleston.
The Coleman Public House was a visit that I was really looking forward to, and was very disappointed.
We arrived for lunch a few minutes before noon. The restaurant is rather small, but warm and inviting.
A friend had recommended the restaurant saying they serve “high end” pub food and many high quality craft and import beers. Had she not had said that we would never have known this, as this was not our experience.
We were seated in a dining area that abutted a small room that was hosting a networking group. There was one other table in the dining room and a couple at the bar.
Our server quickly greeted us and explained the day’s special. We read through the menu as we listened to the din of the networking group. We quickly placed our order.
We then waited, and waited, and waited for lunch. I understand that a small business would like to cater to a networking group, but on the days that it hosts it, the regular patrons should also be considered.
We waited 35 minutes for lunch. Bear in mind that other than the networking group of about 15, there were six customers in the restaurant.
I’m OK waiting for lunch, but when it arrives after all that time, it should be great.
The California burger (Monterey Jack cheese, apple wood smoked bacon, avocado, sprouts, tomato and creamy Dijon had great potential but it was served well done versus the medium temp that was requested.
My Southwestern salad (Field greens, chicken apple wood smoked bacon, blue cheese crumbles, egg, tomato, avocado and Dijon vinaigrette), was beyond bland. I asked for more dressing hoping it would help, but it didn’t. Although the greens were fresh and crisp the salad had ZERO flavor. I know that it may seem hard to believe, given the list of ingredients, but it’s true.
We tried to visit the Public House on a Friday evening and it was packed, so obviously it has a following - just not these two followers.
I work on Broad Street, which doesn't have that many choices to grab a quick lunch. I've eaten here plenty of times, mainly because it's just a few steps from my office. Honestly, the food isn't bad, but it's overpriced. The service, though is horrible. I went in the other day to pick up a to go order and gave the young waitress a $20 before she gave me a check. I knew my food cost $8 (not including tax) and she gave me back $9 in change, still no receipt. I told her that my meal didn't cost $11 and she said "oh, I got confused. I meant to give you back $11." So, she gave me two more bucks, no change. I'm sure tax didn't total exactly a dollar. In the same experience, I saw the other waitress sneeze into her hands twice and not bother to wash her hands afterwards. I could go on and on about other times of bad service, which is pretty much every time I go in there. Honestly, after reading that other review about the chef not washing his hands once after handling various meats, I think I'm done eating there. However, I will still go to their outdoor patio to enjoy a drink or two because let's face it, that's the best thing about that place.
Not great food but a great recovery!
In the Iron Gate Plaza on Hungryneck Boulevard is tucked a small, charming restaurant named Mosaic Café and Catering. Recently a friend of ours said it was her favorite place to take her daughter for lunch. She hasn’t steered us wrong yet, so we decided to give it a try.
The restaurant whose vision is to “effectively nourish the body and soul while preserving the highest level of quality and value” is warm and inviting. Our server, Lauren (who we also found out was one of the managers), was very knowledgeable and helpful.
The day we had lunch there was the first day for their February “monthly specials” menu. Lauren reviewed the menu with us and I decided to order the BBQ-ranch chicken sandwich which was advertised as a pan fried chicken breast tossed in balsamic BBQ sauce, topped with pepper jack cheese and cranberry cole slaw, on a Kaiser bun. My husband ordered a cup of white bean turkey chili and a Charleston chicken roller which was a wrap with grilled chicken, bacon, smoked Gouda pimento cheese, spinach, tomatoes and basil mustard. (This sandwich is rated as a Mosaic favorite on the menu.)
The menu itself is interesting. It offers a wide selection of salads, sandwiches, pasta and has an entire “fit” section where all of the menu items are 450 or less. It was difficult to chose.
The restaurant got busy but when we ordered it wasn’t and our lunch was served very quickly. We found the white bean chili to be very bland, but the Charleston roller was great. I again, had unfortunately ordered the wrong dish. The sandwich was as described and the cole slaw was an interesting “purple” (literally), but the sandwich was so overpowered by the taste of vinegar that it was barely edible. The pasta salad that I ordered as a side was al dente and then some, bland and tasted gritty. I had thought that by ordering one of the specials, especially on the first day would have be a win, but it wasn’t.
Lauren did everything she could to apologize. I usually temper my feedback if something is not great, but this time I found myself saying it was “simply awful”. She also offered to get me anything that I wanted on the menu, but we were on a time schedule and had to run.
A few minutes later another manager came to the table. She explained that the cole slaw and the BBQ sauce both had balsamic vinegar (no kidding), so that must be what I was tasting. I mentioned that I liked the vinegar, but it was just too much.
She really did a nice job apologizing, offering me a different lunch option – anything that I would have liked. But THEN she did something that was really unnecessary, and to me, somewhat over the top. She comp’d my sandwich AND she gave us a gift card to come back. Often times when a meal is bad the manager will comp an item but I’ve never had a manager give us a gift card to insure we came back and gave them another try. What a great recovery!
We will try Mosaic again. They really want you to have a great dining experience and it shows. I am certain next visit will be the charm.
More info at http://diningaroundcharleston.com
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
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
My husband and I tried Caliente for a meal and found it to be just okay. Our server was friendly and she started us with a basket of thick, fried corn tortilla chips. The salsa was very fresh but thin and heavy on the vinegar without any discernible heat. The wine was fair (fresh, generous pours) but the beer is overpriced ($5 for XX in the bottle!) The food in general was fresh but a bit bland. The shredded chicken in the puffy tacos was tasteless and the ground beef was seasoned very similarly to the rice, (I'm guessing sweet paprika and cumin). The black beans were a tad undercooked and lacking any seasoning at all. The servings are large, not that it is a good thing. I understand the concept - "a fresher/healthier" Mexican food. As for trying to be healthier - they miss the mark. I have been to authentic Mexican restaurants (not in Charleston) that offer alternatives to fried chips and more moderate portion sizes (and prices reflecting that). As for fresh - Caliente certainly is. As for taste - lacking.
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 $140 per person on dinner I expect to be wowed. I wasn't. I found myself comparing it to what Sean Brock, Craig Diehl and Robert Carter (formerly of Charleston Grill) were doing in 2006. They have long since moved on, but I find Chef Lata firmly rooted in the past. It's undeniably delicious, but as a culinarian it's just not all that interesting to me.
So if you're a foodie and you're looking for an inventive and inspirational dining experience, don't go to FIG. If you just want to have an excellent meal and can get past the too-casual-for-the-price-point and slightly rundown decor, it's a fantastic choice. Personally, I'll save my money for McCrady's.
My friends and I started our girls night out at husk last week, unfortunately we did not take the opportunity to taste we did spend sometime in the bar. I'm sorry to say the bartenders were not helpful in anyway shape or form. As I was waiting for the girls to arrive there were three bartenders at that time and I was completely ignored for what seemed to be an eternity. I was very thirsty! The handcrafted cocktails were good, I'm not sure they were 10$ good. Maybe if the bar service added quality to our experience I might think differently. I have reservations on the 23rd maybe the restaurant will get me warmed back up to husk again. I wasn't feeling the love in the bar. Positive is it's cozy and beautiful.
Basil chicken sounded good to me. Chopped chicken with onions, bell peppers, and basil over rice. At first I thought they had sprinkled chopped peanuts on top of everything but it was the chicken and vegetables. Their version of chopped is more like minced. Tasty but I could have left my teeth at home.
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