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“Excellent Food Presentations-Lots of Room for Improvement” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Breakwater Resturant and Bar

Breakwater Resturant and Bar
802 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601
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Ranked #33 of 726 Restaurants in Greenville
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: O'Neal Street
Greenville, SC
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Excellent Food Presentations-Lots of Room for Improvement”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

Six of us ate dinner at Breakwater tonight, a Friday, and overall, it was a pleasant experience. We should mention at this point that service was quite good. We were served at table by "William" who in spite of being extremely busy with many other diners, made a valiant effort to do an excellent job. He was largely successful.

To begin with, I must comment on the wine list. This is one of the poorest wine lists I've encountered anywhere within reason. Wines are apparently chosen for the wine list based on price and nothing more. My guess is that it was assembled by a salesman for one of the wine distributors, not by anyone with any in-depth knowledge of wine or the menu selections of this restaurant. For the most part, the wines on the list are obscure and/or unremarkable. Pricing on the menu appears to be mostly at multiples of three times retail and in some cases, even more. Add to this a $20 corkage fee and we have a situation abhorred by any oenophile. The management should really take a look at this and consider some changes. If the cellar is to stay as it is, at least substantially reduce the corkage fee.

The restaurant environment is not unpleasant, although the tables are like most restaurants, too many and too close together. One wall is covered with wines held in place by hooks, with tables crowded against the wall/wine rack. This results in guests having to accommodate servers trying to retrieve bottles from the wall. This is not very thoughtful treatment of the people who are paying the bills.

The menu is ok, but rather limited. There is an attempt to be all things to all diners but there really isn't much depth. For a restaurant with a name that suggests it is a seafood restaurant, there isn't a whole lot of seafood on the menu. One of our six diners had the fried shrimp tapas plate and found it a bargain, with six or seven large shrimp. On the other hand, another one had the tapas plate of lamb chops, and had two very thin, very small lamb chops. Two of us had the Mahi, whih was quite good and a generous portion. The diner who had the salmon was also quite pleased with his choice. Overall, the food is good, the presentations are excellent but the portions are barely adequate for the most part, but not priced accordingly.

The restaurant was quite crowded, largely with thirty-somethings and it was very noisy. This made for occasionally difficult communication among the dinner guests at our table and with our waiter, as well. That is not very different, as most restaurants in Greenville are crowded on weekend nights.
Breakwater is a fairly good restaurant for socializing but we would not recommend it entertaining clients. For a white table service establishment, it is having birthing pains and will continue to have growing pains but the waitstaff (in our experience) and the two executive chefs appear to have what it takes to keep it going. We will try to pay another visit on a weeknight and see if some of the problems are just a function of being crowded and very busy. The wine list, however, will only improve if a professional consultant is employed to fix the situation.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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92 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Charleston, SC
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“One of the very best in town.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

Breakwater is a very good restaurant. And the fact that I did not included the qualifier, '...for Greenville' to that first statement, should be noted. Breakwater could easily hold it own in city or town.

My wife and I recently visited for a great meal. From the wine list, which is varied and very nicely priced, straight through to dessert, we were both pleased at every turn.

She chose the blacked fish while I picked a perfectly prepared NY Strip. But after having sampled each other's selections, we wound up sharing everything. That's always good sign. By mid-meal we had already decided to return soon, with friends.

The food? Delicious. The wait staff is extrememly competent, the kitchen clearly knows what its doing, and the restaurant is beautifully and comfortably appointed. Its a bit loud, but then, so is most every place these days.

I'd wager the restaurant's designer is not responsible the foolish placement of the bar's big screen TV, the way it overpowers the dining room's lighting scheme, or the negative effect its bright flashing has on diners. But one would hope that in a restaurant like this, management will eventually notice the negative effect this distraction has on the experience of it's dining room patrons.
Note to the management; Breakwater is NOT a sports bar.

I'll say it again; Breakwater is a good restaurant. It raises the bar in Greenville's warming restaurant scene. I'm happy to know its there.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gainesville, Georgia, USA
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“What a Treat!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

We went to Breakwater for our first time and fell in love with it!! Our waiter made us feel special the moment we walked in the door. The food was excellent, the atmosphere great and we will definitely put this on our list to return to.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Lacking in attention to detail”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012 via mobile

Waiter was excellent and knowledgable. Wagyu burgers were good. Tomato pie was not heated through but had great flavor. Apple pie was more like an apple soup but also had good flavor. The men's bathroom was not as clean as you would expect from a higher priced establishment. Overall average experience and with all of the choices available in Greenville there is a very small chance of returning

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greer, South Carolina
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great West End Spot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

Breakwater is rapidly becoming our favorite Greenville restaurant (among many excellent restaurant choices). We have never been even slightly disappointed with the menu items here, and the service has always been outstanding.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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