After a long two weeks of traveling and some amazing meals (see my full review – 12 days, 11 restaurants and 1 cupcake), I wasn’t sure I could handle one more dinner out. However, I am so glad I forced myself – it wasn’t really that hard – to go to Halls Chophouse.
This was my first trip to Halls and I’d heard nothing but rave reviews. I decided not to order off the restaurant week menu – although many of my friends did and were not disappointed – instead ordering off the regular menu.
I started with the calamari which was lightly battered and fried to perfection. The dipping sauce was amazing. Others at the table ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes (which, due to my allergy, I couldn’t indulge in) and said they were some of the best Fried Green Tomatoes they’ve had in Charleston. All of the appetizers we ordered were perfect for sharing – they were large- and very tasty. What I appreciated the most was that the server told me what I could and could not eat – without having to ask her.
Next, I had a Creaser Salad that was delicious and again, large enough to share. It came with parmesan, croutons and white anchovies. The anchovies were wonderful.
Then, for the main course, I had the duck. The server told me it was the Chef’s favorite dish, and so I was very excited. They served the Maple Leaf Farms braised duck with roasted fingerling potatoes. A half a duck sat before me, so tender and succulent that I didn’t even need a knife. The meat fell off the bone and it was mind-blowing. Yes, I said it, mind-blowing. I loved that duck. There was also so much of it that I took half home and ate it over a salad the next day.
Dessert was a tough decision. I ended up taking the server’s recommendation and got the caramel cake. It was so excessively sweet that two or three bites put me into sugar shock. It was topped with bananas and a caramel sauce and had about 21 layers of cake and caramel. It was very good, but not a dessert you could eat a lot of. I tasted the chocolate pate dessert that was on the restaurant week menu, and that was much more to my personal liking. It was sweet and bitter and much more balanced.
With a $400 magnum shared among the table, the night was lively and the food was remarkable. Halls Chophouse has to be one of the top three restaurants in Charleston. The family owned chophouse offers incomparable service and food that you would expect to find in NY or LA. In my book, Halls comes in number 2 for this food journey right behind Bouchon Beverly Hills. And picking # 1 and #2 was quite tough. Bouchon tops Halls only by a pinch.