In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. To kick it off in Charleston, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.
Q. What was your most disappointing meal of 2016?
Vanessa Wolf, food writer and critic for Charleston City Paper:
Ethiopian Pop Up Dinner at Tin Roof — couldn't get tickets. Uber disappointing. ;)
Marion Sullivan, Culinary Institute of Charleston and food editor Charleston Magazine:
Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
I need to quit getting pre-made sushi from this one popular spot downtown. It’s always dried out and a little too funky, but I keep going back hoping it will be better. I must stop.
Jenny Ouellette, writer:
Dare I say Henrietta's at the Dewberry? It wasn't bad — far from it. But I left poorer, still hungry, and wishing I hadn't departed the glorious Living Room bar for a fancy yet rather blah dinner next door. Disclaimer: I dined there early in its existence; I'd be willing to go back and try again.
Kinsey Gidick, managing editor for the Charleston City Paper:
There was a hair in a salad at certain King Street spot this year, and that's all I care to relive about that.
Peg Moore, contributor and food critic for The Mercury:
The restaurant shall be nameless but it used to be romantic. The booths were removed and the bar enlarged. We could not have a conversation. The romance was gone.
Also disappointed in Henrietta’s. Terrible. Pate not served with bread or as described by another newspaper. I was there anonymously. My friend disliked her salad. Restaurant totally empty.
Sydney Gallimore, Queen of the Food Age and Thrillist Contributor:
Honestly — and I know I'm going to offend some people here — but I'd have to say Le Farfalle. Maybe it's because my expectations were so high, but everything from service to food was just not quite where I wanted it to be
Hanna Raskin, Food writer and critic for the Post & Courier:
Anson. With so many new restaurants opening, I’m always rooting for restaurants with even a smidgen of history.
Suzanne Cohen, critic for Charleston City Paper:
Sermet's on James Island really missed the mark for me. I feel like the place is just riding on the good will earned in the 90s.
Brian Stetson, Eater Charleston photographer:
(Truthfully can't think of anything, I think I tend to go into things with the right expectations or avoid all together...)
Stephanie Barna, founding editor Charleston City Paper:
Easily the James Beard Taste of America dinner at the Cedar Room in October. Dan Barber and Sean Brock are great chefs, but they served us a highly conceptual dinner using products that are usually thrown out as waste (pig’s blood tacos that were the texture of Arby’s roast beef). We were served an array of weirdness that didn’t satisfy, leaving many attendees hungry and headed to the nearest burger joint afterwards.