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Group dinner in Charleston

you could also try McCrady's - i hear their private room is really nice. also, went to a dinner for about 30 people at Cypress earlier this week - also a good choice.

Charleston Spoleto June 5-9 recs

You may want to check out Cru Cafe for bruch one of those days...you'll need reservations most likely.

Bachelorette Party in Charleston

You could try Rue de Jean (french, but also has sushi), Coast (seafood mostly), or Chai's (tapas) - all of these have a pretty young (20's, 30's ish), cool crowd, and are great food! as for dancing late night...most people would say Trio (on Calhoun)

So, I ate at Fiamma last night....

I actually ate at Fiamma on Saturday night with my sisters and a close family friend. We all thought it was fantastic. There was one dish that I was not fond of, but I think this is just poor ordering on my part - it was executed quite well, I guess I'm just not a fan of fennel (it was the striped bass, for anyone planning on going). However, the beef carpaccio was excellent, and I really enjoyed the lasanga. In addition to great food, we found the service to be impeccable.

Many of the dishes are quite heavy, so I would recommend caution in ordering - we actually wondered if the chef should decrease portion sizes based on amount ordered per person (we have seen this done before, and it works quite nicely).

If you have any questions about the 19 page wine list, the sommelier was very helpful, and her selections were greatly appreciated!

Jan 15, 2008
RDfoodie in Manhattan

banana pudding/charleston

I haven't tried many banana puddings in town...but, I will say that I had some at Home Team BBQ in West Ashley that was awesome!

Charleston for tonight

I definitely agree with Charleston Grill...one of best downtown!!!

Heading to Charleston

one more thing...your picks The Wreck and Hanks - both awesome for seafood! Last time I went (it's been awhile) to the wreck it was cash only...just something to consider

Heading to Charleston

Definitely don't go to AW Shucks OR Hyman's! High Cotton is considered excellent by many people, but I have never particularly enjoyed it - just a personal preference. On Sundays, many places have brunch - Rue de Jean, The Boathouse, Fat Hen, etc.

What to order at Fiamma

I am curious about this as well...the only negative thing I have seen in blogs/reviews was in regards to price increases...oh, and that report about the Top Chef chick getting mad when extra courses were sent to her table.

Jan 04, 2008
RDfoodie in Manhattan

Help! have to make reservations now!!

I can answer that one for you, as I was one day late in trying to make reservations...if you want to book for Jan 12, you need to call on Dec 12. When I called on the 13th, they had an opening at like 10pm, which we were not willing to take - don't know about what they would say re: the end of February...good luck!

Jan 04, 2008
RDfoodie in Manhattan

Charleston & Kiawah recs

yeah - sorry about that - meant to direct that comment to the original post just in case DC Doll didn't realize the distance...

Charleston & Kiawah recs

IOP is a little far from Kiawah...I agree with Fat Hen - fantastic restaurant that not many tourists have headed to...

Al di La - Charleston - interesting experience - Comments?

Sorry if I offended you with my comment - the purpose of the posting was to ask if others had experienced the same thing - even if at other restaurants- we almost went in to the bar to talk to Mark (yes, I know who he is, and knew the whole story re: him taking over), but decided against it for various reasons.

We just went back on Friday night -sat at the bar and had a good time - very attentive service...however, the kitchen was running a bit slow (it took almost 45 minutes for our cheese plate to arrive). The food was very good, and we will be going back - and I still recommend it....You'll notice that it is still listed as one of my top 5...

I am well aware that everyone has an off night now and then. It's hard to say about some of the prior visits in October and November - I wouldn't call them all wonderful, but wouldn't call them terrible either. I was there in varying size parties, and always with different people - and sometimes my fellow guests were the difficult ones (try having a baby shower there with women who have no perception of other people's space or timing - BAD idea, and not mine!). Sat at the bar a few times, and in the dining room a few times - I prefer the bar area as well.

We are also aware of the hours of the restaurant - and the fact that it stays busy - which is why we made reservations. Truly, our waiter was the problem - he just gave us poor service. They were aware that it was my friend's birthday...We weren't looking for a song and dance...just nicer treatment.

Perhaps the table waiting could have eaten at the perfectly good table they had in the bar (yes, they were sitting at a table in the bar)...or perhaps they could have made reservations for the dining room like we did. Or, perhaps as another responder suggested, the waiter could have asked us to move into the bar...as opposed to asking us to leave - we probably would have left anyway, but there are nicer ways to approach things.

As an aside, the very same party that we were asked to leave to accomodate at the last visit was in the restaurant on Friday -they hounded the hostess and blatantly stalked tables in the bar before finally being seated in the restaurant - obviously regulars as well, and it was amusing to watch when not being the one hovered over.

Asian Food in Charleston

Love Red Orchid! They have great food. As for sushi - I have not been to Oriental Garden in years, but remember it being good. However, our favorite place for sushi is Shi Ki on East Bay (Blockbuster shopping center) - has zero atmosphere, but the sushi is fantastic. Have been sorely disappointed in Tsunami - both locations - in the last year.

Dec 30, 2007
RDfoodie in Southeast

Barbetta?

does anyone eat here? curious after stumbling upon the website...

Dec 13, 2007
RDfoodie in Manhattan

J Paulz, Charleston - a brief comment

I guess I should clarify my comment about the check - the waitress had already asked us if we wanted anything else prior to leaving the bill, to which we responded that we were not going to order anything else. My impression was that she was allowing us to take our time paying.

Help! have to make reservations now!!

I need recs for a very important dinner next month. Here are the criteria:

Italian in Manhattan
can be up to $150 per person
great service, but not uptight/stuffy
moderate loudness is fine, but would prefer to be able to carry on a conversation without yelling
dinner is for a group of girls, so romance not necessary
want fantastic food AND fantastic wine list!!

Please give me your recommendation for the BEST restaurant that meets those criteria - I know, there is some debate as to the best italian in manhattan, but I am overwhelmed!!!

Dec 12, 2007
RDfoodie in Manhattan

Fat Hen, Charleston - review

I know it has been open for some time, but tonight was my first experience (of what I'm sure will be many) at the Fat Hen.

Choosing restaurants for my family can be difficult. My parents don't like "loud" restaurants. My dad doesn't like pasta, ethnic cuisine, or small plates, and could care less about a wine list. My sister has eaten at a greater variety of restaurants throughout the country and world than I could dream of trying. However, in this case, I accomplished the unthinkable - a dinner where every person left with a smile on his face.

Tonight's dinner may be one of the best meals I've had in Charleston in the last four years. For the first course, the table enjoyed fried green tomatoes, BBQ scallops, seared tuna, and crab soup. No one shared a bite of their appetizer, so I can only guess they were as fantastic as mine. The crab soup had large pieces of crab and a creaminess that managed to be luxurious without being overly heavy.

The menu offers a wide range of entrees to choose from, as well as a few specials. We selected the lamb shank, the escolar (a special for the evening), the grouper, and the short rib. Each dish was fantastic, right down to the last butter bean. As for mine, I'll only say this - Earlier today, I stated in a survey that the short rib at Al di La was my favorite dish. If only I had waited until after dinner, as that dish is trumped by the short rib at Fat Hen. My plate was cleaner than my dad's in the end!

Unfortunately, we were too full to attempt a dessert for each person - so we shared a lemon tart, which was a nice end to the evening. However, given a bigger stomach, I'll be coming back for the chocolate bread pudding.

The service was great. Our waitress was well versed in the menu and obviously passionate about the food. The only blemish was in the delivery of drinks. One member of the party asked for a second glass of wine at arrival of the entrees but did not receive it until she was nearly finished with the course. Also, water glasses were only refilled once throughout the meal. We would have liked to see the runners offering refills on drinks more often. Otherwise, the timing of food was perfect. The atmosphere was lively and warm, and we had time to enjoy a leisurely dinner, without feeling as if we were being rushed or waiting for anything.

I'll have to give it another try (we'll be trying it for lunch when my other sister comes down for Christmas), but if the next meal measures up to this one, Fat Hen will become a new member of my Top Five list!

Question for Charleston, SC foodies

I am feeling a little bit lost after the recent reviews and food news in the local papers here - seems like there is a serious lack of discussion of new and upcoming restaurants. Anyone have any buzz about the current/future food scene in Charleston?

J Paulz, Charleston - a brief comment

So, following our visit to Al di La, we felt that the service left something to be desired (see post from Dec 1), my sister and I decided to head out to J Paulz for dinner.
It is difficult to compare the food between the two restaurants (one is Italian, one is tapas and sushi), so I will not attempt that. this is just a comment on service.

Upon arriving at J Paulz, we were seated promptly, and our waitress was there to take our drink order almost immediately. Being indecisive, we were not ready - not a problem, and the waitress gave us time to peruse the menu. In the end, we had a white wine from Spain (not up on my white wines, so I don't know what it was, but an excellent choice!). We proceeded to order three dishes - one sushi roll and two of the tapas dishes. The food came out in a timely fashion, in direct contrast with our dining experience at Al di La. Yes, we know there is a difference in preparation styles between the two restaurants, however, we were impressed with the time of delivery.

The icing on the cake - when the waitress brought the bill, she stated "No hurry, ladies." How nice to know that we can still go to dinner and not be asked to leave as soon as the bill is paid. I'd like to thank J Paulz for an enjoyable Monday night dinner, and for giving us respectful and friendly service.

As an aside, the food was very good - we had a Red Dragon roll, hummus with pita triangles, and shrimp flatbread - all tasty, served at the right temperature, and large enough portions to share. great atmosphere - would be fun for a crowd!

Al di La - Charleston - interesting experience - Comments?

My sister and I love Amuse as well!
Am hoping that last night was just an aberration, but I guess we will find out as the new owner makes his mark on the restaurant...thanks for the reply!

Al di La - Charleston - interesting experience - Comments?

just returned from dinner at al di la, one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston (tonight was my 6th trip in 6 weeks) - invited my best friend and her husband, for her birthday...so it was a special occasion. Needless to say the food was good, however the service was below average at best.

Our reservations were for 7:30. After waiting more than 15 minutes for the waiter to approach the table, we ordered drinks. Waited another 10-15 minutes before our orders were taken. When the appetizers came, only 3 arrived at one time. The 4th appetizer, a salad, took an additional 10 minutes to arrive. By that time, everyone else's appetizers were cold (being well mannered women, we don't eat until everyone has their food!). Dinner progressed without much incident, although the waiter was scarce and not overly friendly.

At about 9:50 we settled our bill, and not 10 minutes later, the waiter (NOT the manager!) approached the table and asked us to leave - stating he had to seat another table and they were "getting antsy." Other tables were settling up their bills and leaving as well. The group of people waiting on the table HAD a table...in the full service bar, but still had a table.

Again, being well mannered folks, we got up and accommodated the request. However, I am dismayed at the poor service that we received, and am curious as to the protocol in this event. My sister and I have eaten at fine restaurants all over the world, and have NEVER been asked to leave a restaurant for any reason. Our only "fault" in this case was enjoying the company of our friends for a very special meal. We considered returning to the restaurant after our friends left to speak to the manager, but didn't want to make a scene or be branded as difficult customers.

Any chowhounders out there have any insight/suggestions/comments regarding this situation?

Thanksgiving in Charleston

Does anyone know what bars are open in Charleston on Thanksgiving? i.e. is moe's crosstown tavern open? not getting to see family for the holiday, so hoping for something easy and fun...and not too expensive

Quay

For my last night in Sydney, we went to Quay for a celebration dinner. Found this restaurant to be very interesting. The decor was a bit odd - sort of 70's-ish...however, the spacing of the tables was perfect, and provided some privacy...also, fantastic view of the opera house.

1st course: toro of bluefin tuna
2nd course: seafood braise
3rd course: Fillet of beef
4th course: Five texture chocolate cake

The first two courses was fantastic - textures and flavors were spot-on...The beef was good, however the spinach puree on the plate detracted from the flavor - not my favorite dish - it almost seemed greasy. The chocolate cake was a decadent way to finish the meal - tableside presentation of the dish (they pour ganache in the center to form 2 of the textures) made this a fun course.

Other recommended dishes at our table were the sea pearls and the cod. One member of the party reports that her 4th course - the snow egg - was the most innovative dessert she'd ever eaten.

My only real complaint about the restaurant is the slow timing of the service. We had our menus for about 30 minutes before the waitress took our order, and that was after a member of our party waved her down. This may be due to the fact that there was a large party being served at the same time, so I would still recommend to anyone looking for a good restaurant in Sydney...

Restaurants in the Hunter?

I think I'm late posting this, but thought I'd give my 2 cents, having just left the Hunter on the 23rd...loved Major's Lane, Leaves and Fishes, and Peterson House...had great meals at all three! We also really enjoyed Bel Posto...my sister lives there, and highly recommends Amanda's, but I did not make it there during my trip. Try visiting sometime when you can try the wine...Marsh Estates had the best I tried while in the area!

are we making any mistakes? Charleston dinners!

I personally prefer McCrady's overall - for the food, the ambience, and the service, but I don't think you can go wrong with either. The chefs are indeed young at Cordavi...but they are talented. I will say, the scallops served two ways as an appetizer at Cordavi was a memorable dish, but we felt that our server was a bit condescending.

1st home cooking date with chicken

super easy chicken recipe that is a favorite stand-by in my family:
2 c sour cream, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 4 t Worcestershire, 2 t celery salt, 2 t paprika, 1/2 t garlic salt, 1 T salt, 1/2 t pepper (mix all of these together) - marinate chicken in the previous mixture - can marinate 30 min, but is better the longer you marinate it! Roll chicken in Ritz cracker crumbs, put in baking dish,and bake at 350 degrese until done (can't remember how long this takes, but as long as any other chicken breast rec`ipe) - pour a few tablespoons of melted butter on top if you like...serve with any green vegetable and a potato...makes a fantastic, but easy meal:)

Sep 03, 2007
RDfoodie in Home Cooking

Best and Worst Recipes You Made From a Cooking Show

a few weeks ago, I made Emeril's recipe for baked ziti with sausage and eggplant...there are no words...have been dreaming about it ever since - I think the bechamel sauce is the key!

Sep 02, 2007
RDfoodie in Home Cooking

What is the best dip you ever had and the recipe?

instead of making it a dip...try this next time...spread out a layer of crescent roll dough, cover with the sausage and cream cheese mixture, layer another can of crescent rolls over that, and then follow the baking directions on the crescent roll package - I have seen men swoon!

Sep 02, 2007
RDfoodie in Home Cooking

What is the best dip you ever had and the recipe?

This is an awesome dip! I use half blue cheese dressing and half ranch dressing, and I use half blue cheese and half cheddar cheese in mine...rave reviews every time I've made it!!!

Sep 02, 2007
RDfoodie in Home Cooking