Sunday, January 1, 2012

Charleston Restaurant Week Preview - January 2012

Restaurant Week starts January 12th and, as you know, we are big fans.  I wanted to take the time to list all the restaurants available, along with our take on them.  We plan on eating at 5 of them (Oak, Circa 1886, O-Ku, Graze and 17 North.)  We'd like to eat at more, but I actually work this time of year.  Here we go!

(I will not use individual hyperlinks.  You can use the Restaurant Week(RW) link above for all restaurants.)
Blue names are ones I would strongly consider.

17 North: Planning to go here this RW.
39 Rue de Jean:  Tried once.  Excellent.
82 Queen: Been here several times.  Never disappointed.  High end food. 
Amen St:  Had oysters here once - excellent.
Anson:  Never had a bad experience here.  Excellent RW choice.
AW Shucks: They do have good seafood, but there are way too many other places I would go first.
Bambu: Looks cool, planning on going soon.  Some City Paper reviews HERE
Barbadoes: Trip Advisor reviews HERE
Blossom: Been several times.  Great service, food and atmosphere!
Blu: Urban Spoon reviews HERE
Bocci's:  Mixed experience.  Last few have been good.  Give it a try.
Carolina's:  Another solid Top Ten.  Awesome high end restaurant.  What RW is for!
Charleston Grill:  Another excellent RW choice!
Chai's Lounge: Mainly a tapas bar.  Not sure how this would work for RW.
Charleston Crab House:  Good place for seafood.  Sometimes hit or miss on quality and service.
Circa 1886: 2nd RW visit this season.  Review HERE.
Coast Bar and Grill: Lots of people rave about this place.  Good chef by reputation.
Cork: Another good restaurant in the restored area of Montague Ave in North Chuck.
Cypress: Easy Top Ten.  A must do on RW.  Last year RW menu was top notch!  Review HERE
Eagles Nest: No Info
Eurasia: Lots of Blog buzz about this place.  On Houston Northcutt in Mt P.
Fat Hen:  Ate here once.  Good meal and service.
Fleet Landing: A good place for visitors due to the good food and view of the harbor.
Firewater Grille:  Ate here once with good food and good service.
Fish Restaurant:  Ate here once.  Very Good.  Good reputation.  Plan on going back.
Fulton Five:  Another Easy Top Ten and excellent menu from RW last year.  Great Northern Italian cuisine!  Great place for a romantic dinner.  Very small - RESERVE EARLY!
Fuji Sushi Bar: I've been hearing good things about this place, but haven't been myself.
Gilligan's:  Very hit or miss.  Wouldn't waste RW deals here as they are inexpensive anyway.
Golf Resort: No Info
Graze:  We've been meaning to go here, so they are on our list for RW.  Heard good things about them.  Review Coming!
Grindz Burgers and Brew: Don't be confused by the Brews in the name.  The beer list is pretty limited, but the burgers sound good. 
Grill 225:  Not been, on short list.  Very fancy!
Gullah Cuisine:  These guys have been a favorite of ours for bringing visiting family for years.  We usually do the lunch buffet, but the RW menu should be excellent.
Hall's Chophouse:  Another one on the shortlist!
Hank's Seafood:  Excellent choice for great atmosphere and great seafood, well prepared.
High Cotton: Not been, but on short list to go, maybe this RW.
Huck's Lowcountry Table:  Been once.  Excellent experience.
Husk: If you do only one - this is it.  All southern ingredients, but innovative execution.  Stop in at the bar next door while you wait for your table.  RESERVATION!!  Review HERE
Hyman's:  Used to be great.  Then got complacent.  Stopped going but have heard they made a turnaround.
Iacofano's:  I can't believe we haven't eaten here yet!
Il Cortile Del Re: No Info
Jacob's Kitchen: No Info
J. Paulz:  No Info
Juanita Greenberg's:  Ate here twice.  Okay.  Review HERE
Lana: No Info
La Fourchette: No Info
Langdon's: No Info
Leaf Cafe and Bar: Stopped in here to watch Pats/Broncos before and after dinner.  Talked to many people who really enjoyed their RW menu.
Locklears:  Used to eat here a lot.  Good reliable food.  Not sure why we haven't been back in a while. 
Magnolia's:  Go here often (even Thanksgiving once!)  Great food, service and atmosphere!  Probable Top Ten!
McCrady's:  Another must do.  Same chef as Husk (Sean Brock, James Beard award, Iron Chef contestant, Rockstar!)  RESERVE EARLY!  2012 Update made with hesitation.  If I was making a cut from my RW list due to time, I might cut McCrady's.  Not because they are not awesome, but because they offer a 3 for $45 menu all the time, so you don't save a ton on RW.  I still love this place!  Wine Dinner Review HERE  Last RW Review HERE
Mercato Italian: Best New restaurant 2007, haven't heard anything negative since, and they're right on Market St.
Middleton Place:  Good choice if you're going to the Ashley River plantations.  Some shake up in the Chef area, I'll wait and see.
Morgan Creek Grill:  Glad to see these guys added to RW!  Great location on IOP and awesome food.  
MUSE: No Info
Noisy Oyster:  Hit or Miss.  Same principle as Gilligan's for RW (though they are better than Gilligan's).
North Towne/Old Towne:  We love these guys.  Everything on the menu is good and reasonably priced!
O-Ku: Will be going here this RW!  Review Coming!
Oak: First RW visit this time.  Loved it!  Review HERE.
Old Village Post House: No Info
Opal: No Info
Osteria La Bottiglia: No Info
Peninsula Grill: Super excited to see this new addition to RW.  These guys are a solid choice for awesome food on Market St.  Go if you haven't already.
Poogan's Porch:  Used to go all the time.  No reason we haven't been lately, always good food.  Nice backstory.
Queen Anne's Revenge:  Excellent pirate themed restaurant.  Awesome prime rib.  Great place for kids and guests.  Pirate museum atmosphere.  Had a Stone Beer Dinner here recently, as well as brunch.  Both were excellent.  Review HERE
Red Drum: No Info
Red's Ice House:  I would go here for a lot of reasons (crab legs, view, drink, sports) but probably not RW.
Roadside Kitchens: No Info
Saffire: No Info
Sea Island Grill: No Info.
SNOB:  We love this place.  Kari loves the vegetable plate.  Great service, great food.  View of kitchen.  Top Ten!
Shem Creek Bar and Grill: Went there once a long time ago.  No memories of disappointment, so would try it again.
Social:  Wine bar, good food.  Nice interior.  Not RW material.
Southend Brewery:  An old standby for us, especially for lunch or when you are with people who are picky about overly fancy foods.
Starfish Grille:  Excellent food and great location.  Glad to see them added to the RW list.
Sunfire Grill:  Changed a bit over the years.  Used to be slam dunk good, but now I would probably only go for lunch, and only because the salad bar has tapanede and hummus.
Swamp Fox: No Info
Tabbuli: No Info
Toast!: Good inexpensive food.  Would not waste RW deal on it.
Tsunami: No Info
The Atlantic Room: No Info
The Boathouse:  Been here many times, including a recent Beer Dinner as well as brunch.  All experiences were excellent!  Beer Dinner Review HERE
The Jasmine Porch: No Info
The Library at Vendue Inn:  Haven't been, but on short list.
The Palm Tree Grille: No Info
The Ocean Room: No Info
The Grocery: No Info
The Macintosh:  Went here recently and really enjoyed it.  Review HERE.
Tomasso: No Info
Tommy Condon's:  I really like this place.  It's a great place to stop in downtown, they're open early and have great beer and solid food.
Trattoria Lucca: No Info
Tristan:  Been once, great experience, will be back!
Two Keys Tavern: I think of this place as more of a bar than a restaurant.  I would go here to watch a game but probably not go for RW.
Vespa Pizzeria: No Info
Virginia's On King:  Ate here once.  Keep planning on going back.
Wentworth Grill:  Been once, no memory.
Wild Wing: Good wings and atmosphere.  Not a RW thing.
Woodland's Inn:  This is a tough one.  We've been here several times and it was always awesome, except...Restaurant Week.  Last year we felt they lowballed RW.  The service and food was not up to their usual high standards.  I mean, these guys are 5 star (literally) every other day.  I guess for $40 they couldn't be bothered.  Might have just been us.  Been hearing more disappointed people since last RW.  May be losing their touch.
Yokoso: Standard Japanese hibachi type restaurant
Zeus Grill: No Info

I know it's short on details, but it's a long list.  I would go to any one in blue on a moments notice.  Don't waste this!  The next one's not until September.  Go out every night!!

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