As life may have, some things just never seem to go as planned. I was quickly reminded of that a couple days before my birthday. I found myself with 72 hours to plan the perfect way to celebrate my 23rd birthday. Honestly, for a split second I had a major freak out moment, but then I remembered that I work best under pressure.
Days before my birthday, I found myself drinking Rosé (several glasses, I might add) with my friends at The Watch, a rooftop bar and restaurant inside the newly renovated Restoration Hotel. The idea came to me on the rooftop as my friend Caitlyn and I were putting together a list of guest and possibly venue options. As we looked around at the beautiful sunset and enjoyed the Watch’s signature truffle fries, we were both like, “Why wouldn’t you have it here?” At that point in time, it was our fourth day in a row visiting the rooftop bar. It was pretty clear that we loved the ambiance, the food, and the drinks! We knew they were the only place that would provide everyone with an incredible dinning experience.
That evening, when I got home, I quickly reached out to their marketing firm and to their sales office to get the ball rolling. To my surprise, the next morning I had an e-mail waiting in my inbox looking for more details and a hint of approval for the event (talk about service!). After a couple of back and forth e-mails, we had the go ahead and it was time to think about food, table setting, and the details. I was really looking forward to it because we would be enjoying a private dinner on the back terrace off of their observatory room. Even more exciting, the dinner would take place as the sun set over the King Street side of the Charleston skyline, also known as Charleston’s Fashion District. (It’s all in the details ;)).
Fast forward to the evening of my birthday as I got ready for my dinner with a couple of friends in my apartment. I decided on a black monochromatic look with my new crystal covered slippers from Steve Madden. I ended up wearing one of the outfits that I used for my birthday photoshoot. The black leather pants were stretchy around the waist and the full black ensemble would give the skinny illusion I was looking for after all the delicious food we were about to partake on.
The days leading up to my birthday had been incredibly hot, which made me worried about having the dinner outside and my guests sweating or not being able to enjoy their meals due to the weather. As we arrived at the Restoration Hotel, the sun was starting to set and there was a slight breeze, creating the perfect setting for my dinner. We made our way to the top floor of the hotel and through the main restaurant dinning room, the observatory, and out to our private terrace for the night. Immediately, we were all amazed by the 180 degree views. The light pinks skies and beautiful Charleston skyline made the perfect backdrop as they finished putting the final details together for us to enjoy dinner.
We began the cocktail hour with glasses of Rosé, Pinot Noir, and Vodka sodas. Keeping everyone refreshed as more guests arrived and the final set up occurred.
^The 180 degree views from our terrace^
Soon after, the table was fully set. It was a blogger’s dream with marble top tables and white flower centerpieces (put together by the lovely @venitaaspen, thanks V!) An overall clean and crisp look to keep the dishes the center focal point. The team at The Watch does a great job at paying attention to detail. Check out the custom menus for my dinner. Each private dinner or event held at the Watch gets these complementary for their event. These made things so much easier for me and listed everything my guests needed to know about their meal. I definitely brought several of the menus home with me as a keepsake.
As we waited for the dishes to our first course, The Appetizers, we took some time to visit the main terrace of the Watch. This terrace is open to all guests. They have done a great job with their seating so you can enjoy a full meal or a couple of drinks with your friends. And yes, the views are just as spectacular…
After a little impromptu photo-shoot with @lilysykora and @annacmathias, we sat down to enjoy three delicious appetizers…and more Rosé of course 😉
Moulin de Gassac Rosé
*There are only a few bottles of this left, so try it before its gone*
‘Bacon and Eggs’
Deviled local farm eggs, Dijonaise, Smoked Spanish paprika, and Bacon
This is not your classic Sunday after church lunch deviled egg..they are WAY BETTER! At first, I was a little hesitant about adding these to the menu, but a little persuasion made me keep them and I’m so glad I did. The fresh take on these little guys were the perfect bite size starter. The perfect amount of seasoning and crunch all in one bite.
House Pimento cheese & Pepper Jelly
Alright, so if you follow my snapchat, you will know I am a sucker for a good hushpuppy (or anything fried for that matter). This is not the first time I have had the hushpuppies at the Watch, but I was definitely going to put them on my menu for everyone else to enjoy. They are light, fluffy, and have the perfect crunchy outside. They aren’t greasy or over fried which makes you want every crumb on the plate. The pepper jelly and house pimento cheese are really an added bonus to the dish. I have to admit that when I run out of hushpuppies, I have been known to eat the two spreadables by themselves. Sorry, not sorry, that is jut how good they are! *insert blushing emoji*
House Truffle Frites
White truffle oil, Grana Padano, Fines herbs
I saved the best for last: My mouth literally waters over the thought of these bad boys. If anyone in Charleston has visited the Watch, even if it has just been for drinks & appetizers, they will recommend the House Truffle Frites. I, myself, have been known to have these 3 times in one week (no shame, judge away). These are probably my favorite fries of all time. They are always perfectly fried, you know, not too soggy or soft and not too hard where they hurt your teeth when you bite into them. The White Truffle Oil and Granna Padano are the perfect finishing touches for these.
As soon as every bite of our appetizers was finished, it was time for each of us to decide on our main course. The menu for the night included five main course options. We all had a hard time deciding on which one to have because they all sounded so good. Finally, we decided to at least get two of each option, in order for everyone to have a bite or two of each dish.
Not on the new menu, but there’s a yummy replacement
So, lets start off with my favorite, the Shrimp Cocktail. I am all about a light, fresh, and savory dish…throw in a couple of chunks of perfectly ripe avocado and I am sold! The tomato base of this dish keeps the shrimp extra juicy and adds a ton of flavor to each bite. Unfortunately, this dish is not on the new dinner menu, but has been replaced by an equally savory dish, Pickled Shrimp. They have the same concept, minus the avocado. The new dish also has lots of onion and lemon incorporated. These particular dishes are great for their versatility. You could have this dish as your main course or as an appetizer. I of course, like having the best of both worlds, so I had this and split the next dish with a friend.
The Watch Burger
House ground custom blend, Brioche bun, Fixins, Truffle frites
This picture does not do this burger justice! Anyone at my birthday dinner can tell you how big this burger actually is. It is taller than your normal burger and makes for the perfect meal when you have a big appetite. Since I had already eaten my shrimp cocktail, I got the burger and split it with another dinner guest. All of my taste buds and cravings were satisfied with both dishes. Another great aspect of this dish is that it gives you the opportunity to try those Truffle frites that I can not stop talking about. Seriously, if you are not really an appetizer person or if you are not going to dinner with a big appetite, this gives you the opportunity to try both. I promise they are both worth it!
Herb Roasted Chicken
Aligot potatos, Roasted carrots & peas, Lemon tarragon jus
This chicken dish, like the rest of the dishes at the Watch, tasted very fresh. From the picture, it looks like you may be in for a heavy dish, but the truth is it is light and flavorful. The chicken has the perfectly roasted outside and a savory tender inside. The aligot potatoes are light and the perfect side to the dish. The lemon tarragon jus is the perfect “sauce” to finish off the dish. Adding to the freshness aspect of the dish, while giving it extra flavor, what more could you ask for?
Stewed vegetables, Roasted Sam Marszano’s Mozzarella, John’s Island farm egg, Grilled bread
Vegetarians, you still with me? No worries, I did not forget about you! If the image and list of ingredients did not get you salivating, then there is something wrong with you. I am not a vegetarian, but I have ordered this dish as my dinner before because, again, its so refreshing. The Ratatouille is filled with local, light, and fresh ingredients. It is most certainly not your average “stewed vegetable” dish. From the local egg to the fresh mozzarella, this dish is truly a savory one.
Now, you may think, that there was no possible way we could eat anything else…wrong! We were at a table full of foodies, bloggers, and Instagramers, of course we made sure there was room for dessert. I am sure you will be able to tell exactly why as you continue reading…
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pecan Crumble, Ice Cream, Toffee sauce
When it came to the dessert portion of the dinner, I am sure you were looking to see an extravagant birthday cake (yes, i did just admit that I do the most sometimes lol). Instead, we were presented with a feast of desserts for everyone to share. These were much better than any birthday cake. For you all with a heavy sweet tooth, this is definitely the dessert for you! Three words that describe this dessert dish perfectly: moist, rich, and nutty. It is a great portion to split with another person or your group of friends, but by all means, feel free to keep it all to yourself.
Lemon Ice Box Pie
Lemon pie, Vanilla bean whipped cream, Lemon zest
Another one of my favorites is a lemon pie. This one in particular is extra lemony and the crust is delicious. Plus, the vanilla bean whipped cream adds an extra special flavor. This was one we all ate until it was complete gone.
Whipped peanut butter, Bananas
My favorite dessert of the night was probably this banana pudding. It was obviously a winner in my book when I heard, “peanut butter.” When I took the first bite, I was not disappointed! The pudding was creamy and sweet with the perfect amount of saltiness form the peanut butter. The chunks of banana add to the great texture of the dessert. I may or may not have gone back the day after my dinner solely for this dish. *blushing emoji*
From the incredible sunset views, to every bite of every dish we consumed, and the incredible service, this was the best birthday dinner to date. Every dish incorporates the culture, nature and history of the Charleston region and brings back classic dishes with a modern twist. Combining local sourcing with a contemporary and luxurious space makes the Watch a carefully thought out concept that everyone will enjoy. Their attention to detail will bring you back again and again as their menu stays current and changes to provide the freshest and best dishes. The Watch provides an experience that is as unique as the rest of the hotel and can not be found anywhere else. I could not be more grateful to the Watch, the chef, and their entire team for helping me pull of the best 23rd birthday celebration. Finally, it was great to be surrounded by caring, supportive, and loving friends. Thank you all for coming, for your kind words, and for making 23 so special. The Watch definitely has my stamp of being #BTGApproved! Make sure to stop by and see them for a cocktail, lunch, dinner, or your next special event!
75 Wenntworth Street
75 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29403