Shopping at your fingertips, great meeting space, plush accommodations, and private access floors, Belmond Charleston Place has it all. I’ve shared with you all before that they truly want to exceed a guest’s expectations. Having great tasting food steps away from your accommodations is just another perk of the Belmond Charleston Place.
I have been anxiously waiting to share my experience with dinner at one of the three restaurants located in the lobby of the Belmond Charleston Place. Located on the West Gallery hallway of the hotel, the award winning Charleston Grill welcomes every guest to enjoy their contemporary southern cuisine from Cheff Michelle Weaver.
Upon entering the doors of the Charleston Grill, the wood panneled walls and floors, with relaxing chairs, local art, and nightly jazz provide an elegant, yet relaxing ambiance. A nice bar to enjoy the live music, glass-fronted wine cellars, and courtyard views enclose the Grill. Everywhere you look, there is something that will catch your eye.
Dawson and I were immediately sat for dinner at a corner table that gave us the perfect view of the courtyard to our left and the restaurant layout around us. The view was perfect for seeing dishes come out of the kitchen and guests’ reactions to their presentations. Our table was beautfiully set with fresh linens, softly padded chairs, and a fresh rose to add to the intimite feel. There are over 400 fresh roses ordered by the Belmond Charleston place on a weekly basis to place these intimate touches in the Grill and throughout the hotel.
Seconds later, Femi, our server walked up to our table and welcomed us. Prior to asking for our beverage order, Femi took the time to ask us if we were first time guests to the grill and to ask us about our visit to the hotel. He then led us through the beverage menu and pointed out some of the drinks available.
We also noticed the glass front wine cellar filled with over 10,000 bottles estimating in over one million dollars. There are over 1,300 different labels represented in the cellar with a collection of the fines wines from the US and Europe. Due to its collection, the wine program at Charleston Grill has consistently received the “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator magazine, Wine Enthusiasts 100 Best Wine Restaurants, and Wine Enthusiast America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants, and several others. The Grill is also fortunate enough to have two full-time advanced Sommeliers on staff, Sommelier Rick Rubel and Assistant Wine Director, Andrew Marshall. Their knowledge allows for the grill to accommodate a variety of food and wine pairings. For this reason, the Charleston Grill offers more than 30 wines by the glass. Talk about options!
We both agreed on Chardonnay to go with our meal, Femi did a great job of recommending a dry wine to pair perfectly with our thoughts for dinner. The moment Femi returned, he offered us a sample of the wine before pouring and even suggested a couple of other options in case the sample he provided was not to our expectations.
He then introduced us to the Charleston Grill Menu and its layout. It took us a few minutes to decide what to order as we wanted to try everything on the menu. While we looked through the menu, we were also offered a variety of breads and spreads to enjoy. The menu, created from Chef Weaver’s four inspirations, features four different style options: Southern, Pure, Lush and Cosmopolitan. No worries, you can pick and choose from all four menus to create your meal.
We decided to begin our meal by sharing two appetizers. The first appetizer we tried was from the ‘Lush’ section of the menu which features lavish, substantial and satisfying dishes from the French tradition of extravagance. Inspired by one of the sister property’s ’21’ Club in NYC, the ’21’ Club Steak Tartare. The ingredients include capers, cornichons, quail egg, and toast points. After the first bite, the first three words that we could think of were fresh, savory and “lemony.” The tartare was filling and I made sure there was no bite left on the plate.
The second appetizer that we tried was from the ‘Southern’ section of the menu which features contemporary interpretations of regional favorites. The Tomato Pie includes goat cheese, vidalias, and an herb salad. While we savored the delicious pie, the grill manager, Julie Spiller, came over to our table to chat with us and ask us about our experience to this point. Once she saw the tomato pie on our table, she quickly asked us our opinion on it and told us that it was one of her favorite appetizers from the meal. Julie even told us that the pie was better than her mothers’ (but that stays between all of us). She told us how impressive this was, as her mother taught cooking lessons for over 10 years. We expressed to her that the pie was the perfect amount of acidity and sweet with a creamy cheese that added the perfect amount of salt to the dish. Aside from being very friendly and providing us with a great personalized experience, Julie, also lent her photography skills to us and took the typical blogger picture of our meal. It was definitely a great moment to capture.
After clearing our plates from the appetizers, our table was cleared. The crumbs, from Dawson getting a little carried away with the bread, were cleared, fresh linens were brought, and the silverware was replenished. Femi then returned to take the order for our main courses and side dishes.
As we waited on our meal, we enjoyed the live jazz in the Grill. The Grill offers nightly live music with various jazz or guitar headliners. The music and the band definitely adds to the ambience.
A few minutes later, Femi and several other servers brought our feast of a dinner to the table. As they placed each dish down in front of us, our eyes widened and our taste buds became more excited.
Photo Courtesy of Julie’s photography skills 😉
Dawson decided on a 22 oz. Ribeye with Housemade “Steak Sauce,” herb-onion salad, and of course fries from the Pure section of the Charleston Grill Menu. The dishes on the menu Pure are impressively simple dishes and are inspired by the clean, light flavors of the ingredients. He also ordered the Za’atar Roasted Carrots side dish which is served with a lemon yogurt, honey almonds, and crispy chickpeas from the Cosmopolitan section of the menu. Dishes in this selection are all inspired by exotic and imaginative dishes inspired by flavors found traveling the globe. Dawson remembers the ribeye being cooked to perfection. Every bite melted in his mouth, savory and delectable, down to the last piece.
For myself, I decided to stay with the Lush selection of the menu for my main course. My taste buds were wide eyed for the Prime Beef Tenderloin presented with the Charleston Grill baked potatoes, Bourguignon sauce, and fresh horseradish. I then also ordered the Potato Gratin to share, also from the Lush menu. Every bite was tender and full of flavor.
As we enjoyed our dishes, we were able to observe the employees of the Grill and the interactions between guests. A guest could definitely tell that the Grill works as one big team to provide an exquisite experience. From repeat guests being greeted by their first names and welcomed by the Grill staff to special surprise treats delivered to tables. Servers, assistants, and even managers alike all helped each other, regardless of if they were the ones serving a table or not. Guest needs are anticipated and one feels pampered at every minute of your time in the Grill. Throughout our meal, our glasses were never more than half empty, bread was replenished, and questions were always asked to make sure our every need was met. For example, moments after our dishes were presented, Femi came to our table and asked if the temperature on our dishes was as expected. We appreciated that he asked specific questions about our meal, paying close attention to detail, instead of generalized questions.
We both savored every bite of our dishes, but saved just enough room to share one of the sweet treats on the Grill’s dessert menu. After minutes of trying to decide over all the sweets, we finally let Femi know what delicious dish to bring out of the kitchen next. The Grill then treated us to a small dish full of sweets to clear out palate before our last course. The dish was full of mango moose, raspberry colli, toasted coconut, and macadamia nuts. A light, airy, and fresh bite after our filling main course.
When our last course was brought to the table, we knew that we had made the right decision in picking the Spiced Yogurt and Pear Panna Cotta dessert. The dessert includes a poached Forelle pear, walnut baklavah, pear coulis and a honey whiskey drizzle. As we had our first bite, we decided to take a moment to savor every aspect of the dessert. The best description we could think of is a fluffy, crunchy, salty, and fresh dish. It’s every aspect your mouth wants, but does not expect to get. The dessert was the perfect way to end our experience at the Charleston Grill.
Our experience at the Charleston Grill truly lived up to its AAA Four Diamond awards. The evening was truly filled with Southern charm: friendly staff, delicious food, great music, and exceeded expectations. The Charleston Grill has become one of our favorite restaurants, with several visits since our review. The Grill has become one of our most recommended restaurants to visit, each time describing our experience and salivating over the dishes we have tried. Each visit may come with a new dish or new server, but the warm welcome and exceptional service stays the same.
Interesting Fact: In addition to the Grill’s on-going support of several community events and local charities, the Charleston Grill has started its own community initiatives. Mickey Bakst, the General Manager of the Charleston Grill founded two major initiatives. The first in 2009, Feed the Need is a charity that mobilizes restaurants to provide meals to local soup kitchens. The second, Teach the Need is a program that pairs professional mentors with at-risk high school students to learn from the local food and beverage world.
Check out the Charleston Grill for yourself:
Inside the Belmond Charleston Place at
205 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403