Back in May, Charleston Scene critic Hanna Raskin gave hotel restaurant Barony Tavern two stars out of five for chef Bob Carter's fare. Raskin concluded her review with, "So go for lunch. And order the farro salad." The farro salad was one of the few items she enjoyed at the Wentworth Street eatery (she liked the Thousand Island dressing salad too).
This week, City Paper writer Katherine Connor explores Barony Tavern and has a similar experience to Raskin's — lunch is a delight, but dinner is discouraging.
Let's see how the dishes stack up in each review:
Connor: "... it was hard to find the actual crab amidst the filler and grated carrot."
Raskin: "... swamped with a tad too much mayonnaise."
Connor: "... arguably the most creative dish on the menu."
Raskin: "... such a clean salad is pure critic’s bait."
Conclusion: Thumbs up — they would eat again.
Connor: "The filet mignon ($32) was cooked expertly to medium-rare ..."
Raskin: " Although the salty steak lacked beefy flavor, it was cooked correctly."
Conclusion: The kitchen will get your steak's temperature right.
Rack of Lamb
Connor: "I've never seen such an unappetizing plate of meat."
Raskin: "The server’s response to my unfinished fried lamb chops, encircling a desolate caved-in pot pie with just a few mushrooms for innards, was telling: “Would you like to take that to a dog or cat?,” he asked brightly."
Conclusion: Maybe don't order the lamb.
Connor: "... this dish would have been better served as a salt lick for the mounted deer encircling the room."
Raskin: "... that menu section is something of a salt hangout."
Conclusion: Not every dish is over-salted, but beware of the sides and carpaccio.
Connor: "I knew one sure-fire bet on the menu would be the coconut cake ($8), arguably Mr. Carter's signature dish. The cake is good, of course. Nothing has changed there."
Raskin: " It’s as buttercreamy as ever, so wise to pair a slice with coffee."
Conclusion: Save room for cake.
Connor: "I returned for a third visit to see if the more notable lunch menu was worth the trip, and I found it was pleasant and featured much more of a Southern slant."
Raskin: "Barony Tavern is at its best at midday, when sunlight streams through the open windows and the staff is relatively perky. That’s great news for downtowners who want to lengthen their list of sit-down lunch options."
Conclusion: Go for lunch.
The critics are pretty much in agreement: hit Barony Tavern for an afternoon meal and don't miss the farro salad or coconut cake.