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“ever had a Maitre d’ yell at you??”
Review of Oak Steakhouse

Oak Steakhouse
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Ranked #20 of 947 Restaurants in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Charlestowne
Cross street: State Street
Reviewed March 2, 2009

we had heard nothing but glowing reviews of Oak so decided to try it out recently and it was a disaster.

we arrived a full 20 minutes early to enjoy a cocktail at the bar. over an hour later - and not a single proactive update from the staff - we were still waiting. other people who arrived after us (presumably friends of the owner judging from the coziness) were seated before us, so I decided to let the maitre d' know that WE knew what was going on.

with no promises that our table was even close, we let the restaurant know that we were leaving. at this point, get this - the maitre d' actually said to us, "Please come back some time and tell me more about how to run a restaurant."

we've never been treated this poorly in such a supposedly upscale dining establishment. if you're craving a steak in Charleston, we'd recommend Outback before Oak. at least they'd be friendly at Outback.

3  Thank EWH-SC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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667 - 671 of 706 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2009

4 people ran up a $300 tab and we brought wine so it ain't cheap. I'm all for fine dining and have no objection to paying for it but Oak will surely disappoint if you've had steak at a Manny's in Minneapolis or any other high end steakhouse.

Perhaps in a coastal town with abundant fresh seafood, there just isn't much call for a steak place. In any event this Ruth's Chris knockoff serves skimpy sides which arrived nearly cold. This was after the server warned us that they were family style (customary for this kind of place) and led us to believe they'd be generous. $7.50 for about a cup of mashed potatoes seems pretty stiff to me. Besides the portioning issue, on balance the food rated a C- or a D.

Service was average or below as well. We won't be going back and surely wouldn't recommend the restaurant to others.

1  Thank EasyToFeed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2009

We had a truly fabulous time on Fri, 2/13. I had read reviews pronouncing the food as overpriced and pretentious, and that the wait staff was surly -- I would like to contradict these comments. That certainly wasn't the case when we visited.

The first thing we noticed when walking in, aside from the gorgeous ambiance, was that everyone in the front of the house (with the exception of Bret himself) was 20-something and physically very attractive (although several of the girls spend too much time in the tanning bed, and the hostess proclaimed herself to be "tanorexic" -- eewwww). The female bartenders were dressed in very sexy, revealing black lace lingerie tops; one looked to me like Angie Harmon with long, dark hair and the other one was, shall we say, very "gifted". My boyfriend wanted to skip the table and just eat at the bar. We didn't get seated for quite some time because the maitre d' was trying to accommodate my request for a particular table (3rd floor window), but we didn't care because of the aforementioned bartenders. However, there was a party of 10 next to us in the bar who had been waiting 45 minutes for their table, and they were pretty steamed.

When we were finally seated, the maitre d' came immediately to our table and plopped two glasses of Champagne down, wishing us "Happy Anniversary!!!", which we found very amusing, since it WASN'T our anniversary. We didn't know if he was joking, if the bubbly was complimentary because we had waited so long for a table, or if they mistakenly believed it was our anniversary. Anyway, we got a big giggle out of that - of course, we were starting to get pretty tanked between the bubbly and all the drinks we'd started with in the bar.

I have to say, unfortunately, that the food was hit or miss, which means I can't wholeheartedly recommend the restaurant -- when you're paying $$$$$, everything needs to be perfect. The amuse bouche to start with was a bite-sized crustini topped with eggplant puree -- the bread was almost too tough to chew and wasn't helped by the eggplant topping, which was chilled instead of warm, an unpleasant surprise. We had Bret's meatballs as an appetizer. These were truly wonderful, very light and fluffy with a delicious red tomato sauce and topped with gooey, steaming mozzarella. Boyfriend's fillet was ravishing -- he picked the foie gras black truffle butter sauce as an accompaniment, which was sinfully delicious!! My entre, the 16 oz. steak pizzaiola, was beautifully presented on an oval platter, a monster of a steak surrounded by redolent veggies, but the cut, a NY strip, was riddled with tough tendons and grissly fat, and I was sawing away at my steak while Tim was effortlessly sliding his knife through his fillet. Our shared side dish of Brussels sprouts with Applewood smoked bacon was oddly, sickeningly sweet, having been finished with carmelized sugar. Now I usually love candy, but not even with my sweet tooth could I handle those candied Brussels sprouts. And if you ARE going to serve them sweet, better to warn on the menu, so you aren't expecting savory when you pop one in your mouth.

I have to admit that we were dining on a $150 gift certificate my bosses had given me for Christmas, and we hooted when they brought the bill and it came to $145!! We may not have had such a good time if we were footing the bill out of our own pockets, but because it was gratis (we left a nice tip for our lovely waiter, Brandon), we ate and drank and gawked at the beautiful waiters and waitresses and had a very good time.

Thank follygirly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2009

I have been meaning to go to the Oak several times but always returned to "my old standby's". Well, we finally went and LOVED IT! We started off with the lobster bisque and a salad. We moved on to the filet wrapped in bacon ($40) which was delicious! The sides were prepared perfectly--brussel sprouts with a sweet sauce but salty with bacon on it and the parmesan potatoe's were quite the treat! Only to finish the meal with a piece of cheesecake and a choc martini! It was a bit pricey as it was ala carte but oh so worth every fork full! If you don't mind the noise from the bar, sit downstairs near the kitchen and catch all the action!

Thank KingCharlesGM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2009

We dined here on the last night of our trip. The environment of the restaurant was nice and things seemed to start off well. The waitress was attentive in the beginning. The salads were standard and there was a nice wine selection. When our main course arrived, things went downhill. My boyfriend ordered a medium rare steak, and it came out on a sizzling fajita platter (which made no sense). The steaks were bland and potatoes were burnt. To conclude our dining experience, we were charged another table’s bill ($500) in error. The charge was reversed but pended for a week. Also, the last time we saw our original waitress was when the salads were delivered. She did not even tell us that someone else would be taking over our table. I thought this was very rude considering the type of restaurant Oak markets itself as. I live in Atlanta and this restaurant does not even compare to steakhouses I have been to like Bones, Capital Grille, Chops, etc. Service and food were subpar and not worth the price. I will stick to seafood and local cuisine next time I am in Charleston, and I will spend the money on nice steakhouses at home.

1  Thank jnwhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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