Why We Went: My friends Angie, Jo, and I met downtown for a girls’ night out. We could not wait to try Charleston’s most beautiful new urban restaurant, The Block Restaurant and Wine Cellar. We had been hearing great things about for the past few weeks.
Upscale Dining at The Block in Downtown Charleston, West Virginia
What We Had: It was a cold and drizzly evening when we arrived at the Block. We were drenched from the rain so we all ordered soups to warm us up; Lobster Bisque and Cashew Cauliflower. For dinner, we selected Crab Cakes, Sriracha Maple-Encrusted Chicken, and the Truffle Pasta. There were many delicious sounding choices to pick from.
Something Special: The Block has a gorgeous wine cellar with a huge inventory of specialty wines; over 500 bottles from around the world. They also have an old-world style cheese cave that is worth seeing. It is nice having such a gorgeous restaurant in the heart of Charleston.
Best Part of the Meal: The Block’s restaurant and bar are very eye-catching, especially the stone wall with the mirrored bar lined with liquor bottles. I was impressed that a Charleston institution finally added a charcuterie platter to their menu. Fancy.
What Needs Improvement: And here is how it all turned south. We were seated in the bar area. Though light jazz music was playing (it sounded like on the ceiling only), the room was eerily quiet. It was a strange atmosphere. Our dinner ended up taking almost two hours. It took 45 minutes to get our entrées after finishing our soups. Our waitress did not come back for over 30 minutes after delivering our meals to us.
She did not offer us dessert, drink refills, nor offer to bring a check. In fact, after our wallets were lying on the high top table for twenty minutes, Jo had to get up and find a manager to ask for our checks. In all the time we were there, not one management person came to visit any of the customers seated in the bar area (there were around 13-15 of us) to check on their food or service, though two of them were in my eyesight most of the time just standing around doing nothing.
I did not feel the Block had any real ambiance, it was sort of sterile and the menu just a hodgepodge that would be totally confusing to the average diner. My pasta was a bit overcooked. I was doubtful that the black truffle shavings would be anything like what I have had in bigger cities and I was right. The whole pasta dish was uneventful and just okay. I want the Block to succeed because the owners have invested a fortune in it. It is a great concept for Charleston, but there is much improvement needed.
Total Check Before Tip: $35.41 (only my bill)
My Rating Scale 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)= 6
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