It's not often that Charleston Magazine publishes an unfavorable restaurant review, but Jeff Allen's assessment of Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House, in the October issue, is less than stellar. City Paper writer Eric Doksa critiqued the long-awaited brewpub in June, and it appears that Allen finds similar faults with the restaurant's performance a few months later.
In agreement with Doksa's opinion of Craftsmen's interior, Allen praises architect David Thompson's work for converting the old Johnson's Pub space to current "gleaming copper" and dark wood look of the bar. Then, he dives into the draft selections and menu—
"The only real question at Craftsmen is whether you're here for the beer or the food. Your answer certainly determines how you view the place."
Allen enjoys a chat with the bartenders and is "entertained by the stories of various brews on-hand." He warns, however, the same breadth of knowledge does not come from the wait staff. In June, Doksa stated, "beer knowledge is still getting up to par;" while in October, Allen reveals, "the expert knowledge and guidance so engaging at the bar seems absent from the servers on the floor."
Most of the menu falls flat for Allen. Adjectives like, "overly salted," "rather bland"(for the "Crunchy Dame") and "somewhat forgettable" plague the paragraphs, but he does repeat the descriptor "delicious" when sampling the boiled peanuts and corned beef.
According to Allen, you may want to think about about adhering to a liquid diet at Craftsmen—"I recommend a seat at one of the bars and a steady diet of the city's best beer on tap." Though, he does find a shining beacon of taste in the desserts and states the ice cream sandwiches "should not be missed."
· The Review: Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House [CM]
· Charleston's Biggest Winter Openings [-ECHS-]
· The Craftsmen Was Well Worth the Wait [CP]
· Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House [Official]