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.
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I could not agree more with your comments about Nate Whiting! What a humble guy and an amazing, yet unfortunately, overlooked Charleston chef. His course during this dinner was phenomenal!
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.
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