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Restaurant Reviews

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits

November 17, 2016

I love that Charleston has had a resurgence in hotel restaurants lately. When I travel, I generally try to avoid hotel restaurants, as I find the food to usually be subpar and overpriced. The hotel restaurants downtown Charleston, however, are a totally different beast, and as a local, I’m more than happy to check in for dinner for the night.

I love The Watch because its rooftop is one of the best in Charleston. On a clear night you get breathtaking sunset views and you also get to look into the residential sector of the city and see all the steeples dotting the horizon (hence the moniker The Holy City).


Surprisingly not because we’re full of pot holes (although that’s also true).

It was raining when we visited, so we had to dine inside rather than out on one of their beautiful patios, but the space was still bright and airy, with lots of khakis, whites, and blues throughout. We started with cocktails. I opted for the Hugo’s Punch (Striped Pig Rum, blueberry, lemonade, $12), which was fantastic. It was fruity without being overwhelming, and sweet without being cloyingly so. I would 100% order this again.


Even if it turns my teeth purple.

Caty got the The Copper Still (High Wire Vodka, brandied cherry syrup, ginger beer, $12) which was fantastic. It was basically a twist on a classic Moscow Mule, but the brandied cherry syrup gave it a nice warm feeling.

Warms you up from the inside.

Warms you up from the inside.

Our first course was the grilled oysters (with fermented garlic butter, lemon, grana padano, and house hot sauce, $ market price), which were fantastic. If you’re not a huge fan of garlic, you won’t care for these, as they don’t hold back (seriously, my breath alone after eating them could kill a vampire). I, however, love garlic and thought they were so tasty. Even Caty who hates oysters thought they were good enough to eat 2.

Meanwhile, I ate the other 10

Meanwhile, I ate the other 10

Up next, we tried the falafel (tzatziki, cucumber, radish, feta, pickled onion, $11), which I was a huge fan of. I loved that the feta was a bit on the milder side, which helped harmonize with the other flavors of the dish. It was super fresh tasting, thanks to the cucumber and radish, and the little tanginess of the pickled onion paired really well with the creaminess of the tzatziki.

This is way more greenery than I usually order with my falafel, but it really works!

This is way more greenery than I usually order with my falafel, but it really works!

We paused on the food here to get another couple of drinks. I opted for the Greyhound Cadet (Citaddelle Gin, Grapefruit. St. Germaine, $12) which was a bit sweeter than my previous drink. I liked that it was still nice and summery, and I could see myself sipping this out on the rooftop while watching the sun set over the city.

I prefer all my drinks have straws in them.

I prefer all my drinks have straws in them.

Caty got The Spoleto (Virgil Kaine Ginger Bourbon, Fernet Rinse, Lemon Shrub, $12) which was probably our least favorite of the night. It was so much stronger tasting than the beautiful and light cocktails we’d gotten earlier, and it just didn’t mesh with our main courses.

Caty likes all her cocktails in old timey champagne glasses.

And also I just don’t really like Fernet.

Speaking of main courses, I have to confess something to you: I’ve never ordered shrimp and grits in Charleston. I’ve eaten a number of them before, but on principle, I refuse to order this quintessential dish because it just feels so played out to me. If you’ve had it once, you’ve had it 1,000 times, I’ve thought to myself on more than one occasion. Well let me tell you: the shrimp and grits at The Watch (local shrimp, Geechie Boy Mill grits, caramelized Vidalias, tomato and bacon gravy, $27) were the best I’ve ever had. The shrimp were cooked perfectly, the grits were cheesy and creamy, and the tomato bacon gravy was out of this world.

Life-changing shrimp and grits.

Life-changing shrimp and grits.

You’d think because Caty’s shrimp & grits were so delicious that I’d have been disappointed in my dinner, but you’d be wrong. I opted for the fish of the moment (grilled local fish, jumbo lump crab succotash, lemon beurre fondue, $29). I’m a sucker for succotash, so I thought it was a great accompaniment, to the perfectly cooked and seasoned tilefish. But what made this dish truly amazing was the lemon beurre fondue, which was truly delectable. It had just a hint of citrus, with a depth of flavor that made me want to slurp it up by the spoonful.

I've never been so excited about fish before.

I’ve never been so excited about fish before.

For dessert, we capped off with the Sticky Toffee Pudding (pecan crumble, ice cream, toffee sauce, $8). It was just about as sweet as it looked, but I’m glad we had the vanilla ice cream to tone it down a bit. I still thought it was delicious, and we managed to devour pretty much the entire thing, despite being extremely full from our large meal.

"Sticky toffee pudding" makes me think of Christmas for some reason

“Sticky toffee pudding” makes me think of Christmas for some reason

All in all, I would recommend trying The Watch out for dinner. Get the shrimp and grits, and try to come on a clear day right around sunset. You won’t regret it!

Just watch what happens!

Just watch what happens! Did you see what I did there??

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits
75 Wentworth St,
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 518-5115

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Weekend Roundup

Weekend Roundup: Charleston Like A Tourist

June 17, 2014

I kicked off this weekend with the Florida Georgia Line and Nelly concert at the Joe in Charleston with Cullen and Taylor, and we had a great time jamming out under the stars.

I'm not even ashamed to say I enjoyed myself.

I’m not even ashamed to say I enjoyed myself.

Friday kicked off Girls Weekend, hosted by my roommate Regina, in which a bunch of her friends and family came down to tour Charleston and experience some of her favorite restaurants and attractions in honor of her 1 year anniversary of moving down here! We started the weekend off with dinner at FIG, which was kind of a disaster, as the manager was very rude to our group and the whole situation was just awkward and uncomfortable. Lily and I finished the evening at Rarebit. I’m obsessed with the macaroni and cheese at Rarebit, and the patty melt is really good as well! You should check it out if you haven’t been.

If mac & cheese was a diet food, I'd be so skinny!

If mac & cheese was a diet food, I’d be so skinny!

Saturday was a jam packed day. We got our nails done at Tips-2-Toes on George St. downtown, Regina’s favorite nail salon (mine is Luxia in West Ashley, in case you were wondering). I picked a white-pink color, which was really pretty.

I'm as surprised as you are that I didn't pink something neon and glittery.

I’m as surprised as you are that I didn’t pick something neon and glittery.

We then drove to North Charleston for lunch at Nigel’s Good Food, a delicious soul food restaurant on Ashley Phosphate. Regina had been a couple of times, but this was my first time. We split an order of the whiskey shrimp, geechie wings, and fried green tomatoes with the table, and everything was delicious. For my entree, I ordered the Lowcountry Ravioli (Grilled Chicken, Bacon, Collards Greens, Black-eye Pea & Corn Relish & Cheese stuffed Ravioli tossed in a Whiskey Cream Sauce, $11.95) and it was super yummy. I’ll definitely be back!

I want to eat all of that food right now.

I want to eat all of that food right now.

After lunch, I joined the girls at Frothy Beard, for a quick brewery tour before we headed back downtown for my first ever Carriage Tour. I was originally dreading it because I hate being the car stuck behind the horse tours downtown, but it ended up being a lot of fun and very educational!

And only about 80% as smelly as I thought it was going to be!

And only about 80% as smelly as I thought it was going to be!

After the tour, we headed to Wadmalaw Island to see the Angel Oak Tree, which was spectacular as always. We also went out to the Firefly Distillery, but arrived too late to do any of the tastings. The man working there was really rude to us when we arrived, telling us “We’re closed. Y’all need to plan better,” even though we got there 10 minutes before they closed, and just wanted to look around for a few minutes. Having worked in customer service for a long time, being rude (even at closing time) isn’t a way to treat your loyal customers.

But the Angel Oak is always polite.

But the Angel Oak is always polite.

Sunday, we had a 4-hour long brunch at Halls Chophouse. It was my first time visiting for brunch, and it was outstanding (as usual). The service we received was top notch and everyone agreed that this was the highlight of their trip. I ordered the chicken-fried bison and waffle sandwich and split some grits with Lily. She ordered the “Lowcountry Biscuits and Gravy” which was less biscuits and gravy, and more biscuits and succotash with fried oysters, but it was delicious either way. It was an amazing meal, but I immediately went into a food coma for the rest of the afternoon.

Halls is so good it shouldn't be legal.

Halls is so good it shouldn’t be legal.

What did you guys think of that Game of Thrones finale?! I can’t believe it’s already over!

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