These folks have it nailed! The service was spot on as soon as we walked in the door. It is a cozy open room with an eclectic/rustic decor. But I can tell that thought went in to every aspect of it. Right down to the re-used cork from a wine bottle used to hold a card with daily specials. The tables had vases with flowers and herbs in them, each one different than the next. The restaurant is owned and operated by a young couple. She came over and asked if it was our first time visiting and we confirmed that was. She then went through the menu with us, noting new items that had been added for the season. Our server was gracious and knowledgeable, and not over bearing or flippant. I could tell she was sizing us up as to what kind of dinners we were. (We were enjoying a nice dinner out as newlyweds). She defiantly adjusted her service style to accommodate us. She was quietly efficient but ready to answer any question or request.
The food was great, well priced and perfectly seasoned. I will say, that I really like escargot prepared the old fashioned way. No need to hide what it actually is in my opinion, so when that app came out pan fried I was a little disappointed. But other than that the food was spot on. From the pimento cheese dip down to the best mac-n-cheese I think Ive ever eaten. I had the fried chicken, which consisted of a breast, leg and thigh. It was perfect, light, crispy and not too greasy, with a hint of sweetness from the drizzle of local honey. The collards came in a separate pot, perfect for sharing, and they offered the vinegar on the side. Smart, because some folks don't like vinegar. I on the other hand love it and poured it right in. My husbands collards were so good that he actually had to stop me from helping myself to them. His country fried steak was also perfect. The beef is local and it really makes a difference. Sadly, we bith loved our entrees so much that we ate too much of them and had no room for the in house prepared desserts. Oh well, guess we will have to go back.
Long story, short. Great meal, great service and I didn't have that ripped off feeling when the bill came, that I get all too often at restaurants in the area.
It is always sad to see a business fail, because you know all of those involved are hurting in some way, most often financially. But, in Charleston there is too much competition to not be spot on. There are so many factors that go into creating a great place to eat that people will return to on a regular basis. Because there are so many options out there. It starts at the front door, and continues through every aspect of the service and food. You have got to have a happy, smiling host or hostess, that is knowledgeable, with at least an ounce of "not-so-common" sense. The server has to be a tour guide, not just an order taker. The bartender has to be animated and well trained in the art of making a great drink, pouring or opening a bottle quickly. And the food has got to be fresh, prepared with care, and priced accordingly. I have been in the industry for 16 years, and yes I can be a little critical sometimes, but the places who have a good handle on all aspects of the establishment will do the best. I don't care if you get your beef, grits, vegetables and bread locally, if the service is bad, or you serve drinks in plastic cups and charge over $20 for an entree, I'm not going back. There are really only a few places in Charleston that I frequent after trying so many places over the last three years of living here, and I am confident those will be among the last ones standing. Its so easy to get it right, but it takes thought and training and good management. Just because you get your food locally and pay your chef a lot of money, does not entitle you to being a success in the industry.
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