Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Grill 225, Charleston, SC

Lost In The Lobby


If you are a big fan of Grill 225 you may want to stop reading this as our experience there was about as close to mediocre as you can get.

Again taking advantage of restaurant week we made reservations at Grill 225.  They are the only restaurant that I’ve gone to since my blog began (72 restaurants ago), that required a credit card for a reservation.  No explanation was given as to what would be charged to my credit card.  There was no other way to make a reservation, so we thought we’d give it a try.

Grill 225 is located in the lobby of a hotel. Despite the fact that we were seated in the world’s largest, circular six-flag-ride-like booth, we still felt like we were sitting in a hotel lobby.  The ambience was certainly lacking.

The service started out great with a pleasant server recommending the restaurant week menu saying that there were some very nice items featured and it was “a deal”. So that’s the route we took.

Their 4 for $40 menu selections had to be the largest we’ve seen during restaurant week visits.  Four first course options, six second course options and four third course options.  So far, so good. 

We made our entrée selections and unfortunately that was about it for any additional visits from our server.  His ‘assistant’ was very nice and also attentive, but we never saw him again.  For an automatic 20% gratuity that was added to all parties, I guess he can come and go.  He’s tipped the 20% regardless of the service.

Our first course – chopped Caesar’s, Lowcountry Blue Crab Chowder and the chilled wedge were awesome.  Chilled plates, crisp lettuces, tangy dressings, were a win even though the plating wasn’t that great (see pix)!
Chopped Ceasar

Wedge

Lowcountry Blue Crab Chowder
Our entrees arrived in short order and were very disappointing.  My USDA Prime veal chop was so full of fat and gristle that it was inedible. The USDA Prime rib eye was a sub-par cut of meat and over cooked.  The salmon was somewhat flavorless, but the filet got raving reviews.  We would have told the waiter had we seen him. Although the salmon was served with sautéed organic spinach the only item accompanying any of the meat items were deep fried onion strings.  Really not a side at all, but rather a less-than-warm garnish.
Veal Chop

Filet Mignon

Ribeye

Salmon
With this in mind we felt like we had to order a few side dishes. Oddly enough they became the  highlight of the meal. Fire Roasted Brussels Sprouts with orange and soy ($10.00) and Grilled Tomatoes with Creamed Spinach and warmed Havarti cheese ($12.00), were without a doubt a large enough portion for the four of us and in the end became my dinner.

The dessert items, the Classique(sic) Napoleon and Cinnamon Beignets and Vanilla bean gelato (I passed and took mine home), were a real crowd pleaser.  Coffee with your dessert?  Not so much.  The only time we saw our server again was when he dropped the check and so we were never offered coffee, tea, after dinner drinks… nothing.
Banana Bread Pudding

Classique Napolean

Cinnamon Beignets and Vanilla bean gelato
I still feel like restaurant week is beginning to zing of ‘sticker shock’.  All in, for the two of us, our bill was close to $160.00 with the mandatory, not-worth- it tip.  Plus, did I mention you are sitting in a hotel lobby?  Dress it up as they might, it’s still feels like you’re sitting in a lobby.


We gave Grill 225 3 out of a possible 5 plates.



Grill 225 on Urbanspoon

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