About Magnolias

185 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
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Igniting a culinary renaissance upon opening in 1990, Charleston's most popular restaurant is located at the site of the city's original Customs House (circa 1739). Led by chefs Don Drake and Kelly Franz, Magnolias remains a forerunner in upscale Southern cuisine, blending traditional ingredients and cooking techniques with a modern flair for artful presentations.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Southern, Low Country

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Saturday starts at 11:30am
Dinner starts at 4:00 pm daily
Sunday Brunch starts at 10:00am

Cross Street:
located between Cumberland & Queen Streets

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 577-7771

Website:
http://www.magnoliascharleston.com/

Parking Details:
Private parking lot adjacent to the restaurant is available weekdays after 5:00pm & all day Saturday & Sunday. **Please note:This lot is not open during lunch Monday-Friday. However, public parking is available in the garage at the corner of Cumberland & Concord and rates will apply.

Public Transit:
Charleston CARTA to and from Visitors Center can be picked up 1/2 block from the restaurant on the quarter hour. There are also local cab companies and Charleston's famous Rickshaws that will transport guests to their hotels.

Executive Chef:
Kelly Franz

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Magnolias, Charleston, SC
buttermilk fried chicken - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Pimiento Cheese - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Hummingbird Cake - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
House Lager - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Fried Green Tomatoes - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Shellfish Over Grits - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Spicy Shrimp And Sausage With Grits - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Seafood & Grits w/sauteed Spinach - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Fried Green Tomato B.L.T. - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
fried catfish sandwich - Magnolias, Charleston, SC
Pan Fried Pork Chops - Magnolias, Charleston, SC

Private Dining

Magnolia's private upper level dining rooms can be reserved for parties of 16 to 140 guests.

Magnolias Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Southern
South Carolina
Most Booked
South Carolina
Southern
Charleston
1 More
Most Booked
Charleston
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Special Occasion (198)
Fit for Foodies (153)
Good for a Date (147)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (135)
Romantic (126)
Local Ingredients (105)
Neighborhood Gem (94)
Creative Cuisine (94)
Historic (87)
Good for Birthdays (87)
Comfort Food (81)
Authentic (76)
Notable Wine List (65)
Business Meals (58)
Worth the Drive (54)
Great for Lunch (53)
Quiet Conversation (47)
Hot Spot (45)
Good for Groups (42)
Cozy (38)
Great for Brunch (31)
Casual (29)
Sunday Lunch (29)
Fun (28)
Handcrafted Cocktails (27)
Pre/post Theatre (25)
Bar Seating (23)
Outstanding Value (23)
Seasonal (20)
People Watching (20)
Modern Decor (17)
Vibrant Bar Scene (12)
Tasting Menu (12)
Good Vegetarian Options (9)
Kid-friendly (8)
Happy Hour (8)
Scenic View (8)
Healthy (7)
Tapas (7)
Family Style (6)
Great Beer (5)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Waterfront (4)
Afternoon Tea (4)
Open Kitchen (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Molecular Gastronomy (4)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Private Room (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Spicy (2)
Vegan (2)
Fireplace (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Organic (1)
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6758 reviews
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Outstanding food in a great atmosphere! ...

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined 2 days ago

Outstanding food in a great atmosphere! Highly recommended!!

Tags: Historic, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I've been here before and had the shellf ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 3 days ago

I've been here before and had the shellfish and grits. My server recommended the breaded fried chicken. It was insane!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Staff was attentive but not overbearing, ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 4 days ago

Staff was attentive but not overbearing, the food was excellent, and interesting local fare.

Free parking and a very welcoming parking attendant.

Absolutely worth the visit.

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Great food Great appetizers

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined 4 days ago

Great food Great appetizers

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food5
ambience5
service5

It was wonderful as expected and will co ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 5 days ago

It was wonderful as expected and will continue to be a favorite.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The macoroni,collard green & pork starte ...

 
 (Indiana)·Dined 5 days ago

The macoroni,collard green & pork starter is to die for. One of the best dishes I've ever had.

Tags: Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a great meal, great service and a ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined 6 days ago

We had a great meal, great service and atmosphere. Magnolias is always consistent and truly Southern at it's best!

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

We recently dined at Magnolia's and had ...

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 26, 2016

We recently dined at Magnolia's and had a very good meal, and an great time overall.

For starters we had the Housemade Pimento Cheese (very good, with their own twist on a classic), Fried Green Tomatoes (very good as well), Southern Fried Mac & Cheese (outstanding, and very unique), Spicy Shrimp and Sausage (probably the best shrimp and grits we had in Charleston).

For mains we had the Bourbon Fried Catfish (this dish was outstanding), the Parmesan Crusted Market Catch (very good), and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast (the chicken itself was OK, but the sausage herb gravy it with it was fantastic)

For dessert we had the Southern Pecan Pie, which was undoubtedly the best I've ever had.

The service was also very good.

I would definitely return to and recommend Magnolia's.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The seafood shellfish with grits was fl ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 25, 2016

The seafood shellfish with grits was flavorful and succulent.

Tags: Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Beautiful restaurant and good service, b ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 25, 2016

Beautiful restaurant and good service, but we were disappointed with the food - some dishes were decent, but others were way too salty and not enjoyable, particularly considering it is not a cheap spot.

Tags: Romantic, Historic
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

Excellent service and delicious food. G ...

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on November 25, 2016

Excellent service and delicious food. Good, varied menu. Wait staff was extremely helpful with selections and kept an eye on the table. Looking forward to next time!

Tags: People Watching, Seasonal, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I booked a table for Thanksgiving at 7:3 ...

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 25, 2016

I booked a table for Thanksgiving at 7:30 pm. I was told the attire was "business casual".

Nearly every table had people who were properly dressed for Thanksgiving. Then I see a guy at the bar with a dumb T shirt and a couple with a a window table who were nowhere near your dress code requirement. Look it's a holiday please uphold your standard . No worn out shorts, T shirts etc

Thanks!

Tags: Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

The food was excellent. Loved the scall ...

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 24, 2016

The food was excellent. Loved the scallops and the trout. We were there for Thanksgiving and the turkey/dressing was also outstanding. Not so great for children or picky eaters. I guess because it was Thanksgiving the chef wasn't willing to make changes to things and they ran out of the pasta from the kids menu so no chicken alfredo for our daughter. She survived and the pumpkin spice cheesecake was totally amazing!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
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service4
value4

We get to Magnolia's at least once a yea ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 24, 2016

We get to Magnolia's at least once a year when we travel to visit friends who live on Daniel Island. We are never disappointed.

This year we went for Thanksgiving dinner. It was absolutely lovely. And, we didn't have to cook!

Service was, as always, excellent.

I think of all the restaurants we've eaten in in the area, this is by far the best. No surprises. Always excellent.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Everything from the service to the dinne ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Everything from the service to the dinner was excellent. Would go back anytime we are in Charleston.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great service. Manager Jaywas very helpf ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Great service. Manager Jaywas very helpful and accommodating. He even made me a reservation for another restaurant for the next day.

Tags: Kid-friendly
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Loved the small plate options! Everythi ...

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Loved the small plate options! Everything was tasty and presentation was superb. Very efficient staff

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

What a disappointment. Overrated. Terr ...

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on November 23, 2016

What a disappointment. Overrated. Terrible service and not very good food. Pounding of a hammer throughout lunch as stairs were being recarpeted was so bad that all of the patrons were complaining and you could hear what anyone else was saying at the table. She-crab soup arrived with a layer of skim on it because it had sat so long. Scallops in the grits were a chewy mess. Service was so slow that we missed our trip to Fort Sumter at 2:30, despite attempts to get the attention of our waiter. Husk and other restaurants were great, but this was our worse meal of our foodie trip.

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food2
ambience3
service1
value1

Nice place....bit overrated. Food was r ...

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Nice place....bit overrated. Food was ridiculously salty!! Both the bisque soup and the fried green tomatoes. This place is praised over and over again on different sites, and in magazines, and maybe that is why expectations were higher for something more. It was kind of like a TGI Friday's. Good service, though, and pleasant atmosphere. Just nothing to write home about. Skip this and go somewhere else.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience4
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Nice restaurant with a good atmosphere. ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Nice restaurant with a good atmosphere. A very nice servetriss who took care of us in a good way.

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food4
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Wonderful dining experience! The Fried G ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 21, 2016

Wonderful dining experience! The Fried Green Tomatoes were the best we found in Charleston!

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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value4

Our meal at Magnolia was fabulous. The ...

 
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on November 21, 2016

Our meal at Magnolia was fabulous. The service was impeccable. I would highly recommend Magnolias for any occasion.

Tags: Business Meals, Notable Wine List, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
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value5

We loved this place. Went to Charleston ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 21, 2016

We loved this place. Went to Charleston for vacation with our 10 and 11 year old. The kids split the low country boulbanaes. I had the braised short ribs, and my husband had the duck. Everything was excellent! Our waiter was also fantastic. We had some questions and he was able to describe items on the menu to perfection which helped us make our selections.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Creative Cuisine
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food5
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service5
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Had a great dining experience with my wi ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Had a great dining experience with my wife. Ambiance was great, food was excellent.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Awesome and tasty dinner with excellent ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 20, 2016

Awesome and tasty dinner with excellent service and relaxed atmosphere.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Food was delicious. Atmosphere was cozy. ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Food was delicious. Atmosphere was cozy. Waitress was outstanding! Wish we lived closer to go more often!

Tags: Comfort Food, Cozy, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
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service5
value5

It was hot and we were seated at a very ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on November 19, 2016

It was hot and we were seated at a very small table (I'm 8 months pregnant so being shoved in the corner wasn't the most attractive seat in the house). I really enjoyed the special that night which was a NY Strip, spinach, and potato fondue; the food was worth it. Our waitress, however, was not friendly and we were a little disappointed. My husband also wanted to know if they carried a certain liquor and she never returned with an answer; he ended up going to the bar and getting his own drink. Overall it was great food, just wish the whole experience would have been better, considering we were given such high expectations of Magnolias from friends.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience3
service3
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been visiting Charleston from the north ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 19, 2016

been visiting Charleston from the north for many years and Magnolia's is my No. 1 favorite. Low country food wonderful; parm encrusted fish, fried green tomatoes/BLT, everything just really good. we had dinner reservations and ended up at Magnolia's both for lunch and then lighter dinner of starters and salad, and drinks in the bar area.

Similar to Italy, you have to work hard to find a bad meal in Charleston, but for my tastes Magnolia's is hard to beat.

Tags: Authentic, Bar Seating, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
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food5
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value5

We came to Charleston for our first time ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 18, 2016

We came to Charleston for our first time for my husbands birthday and Magnolias was recommended by a friend. So glad we took her advice! The food was delicious and full-filling. Great experience!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic
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food5
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We really enjoyed it. The carpetbagger ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 18, 2016

We really enjoyed it. The carpetbagger was excellent, and those were some of the best fried oysters I've had. Scallop appetizer was spot on. Pimento cheese tasted like it had olives in it, so it was a turn off for me, but those in my party who liked olives enjoyed it. Ed was a great waiter.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
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service5
value4

Not just a great meal but a great experi ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 18, 2016

Not just a great meal but a great experience. Reservation honored, professional wait staff plus complimentary parking. "I'll be back".

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Worth the Drive
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food5
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Magnolias is definitely worth a visit wh ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Magnolias is definitely worth a visit when you're in Charleston. We had reservations and didn't have to wait at all. I recommend reservations as this restaurant can get crowded. Our server Erika was efficient while not being obtrusive. We ordered two fish meals, one catfish and the other a local white fish called sheepshead. Both were excellent and well described by Erika. This restaurant also has an ample wine list. We would definitely eat here again if we find ourselves in Charleston again.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Outstanding Value, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Quiet Conversation, Historic, Business Meals, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
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food5
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service5
value5

Fried green tomatoes, seafood & grits... ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Fried green tomatoes, seafood & grits...do I need to say more! Friendly staff, lively atmosphere. Well worth the visit.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We come at least twice a year. The serv ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 17, 2016

We come at least twice a year. The service is wonderful. We have never had bad service here. They are great at dealing with people with food allergies. The food is always great. I try and do one of the specials each time I go. Never disappointed in the food. A little noisy, but that should be expected with brick walls and huge ceilings.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value3

Went to lunch at Magnolias and it was de ...

 
 (Dallas)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Went to lunch at Magnolias and it was delicious. The crab bisque was great with lots of crab and the salmon salad was yummy as well.

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food5
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Magnolias is always a great choice! The ...

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Magnolias is always a great choice! The atmosphere is lovely in every detail and the food is consistently wonderful. It's a favorite of ours! A real plus is the noise level allows for a pleasant conversation. This is often a rarity around town.

Tags: Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food and service were outstanding. Best ...

vip
 (Kansas City)·Dined on November 16, 2016

Food and service were outstanding. Best meal in Charleston. Would highly recommend. Best fried chicken ever!!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We were quite disappointed. I had the cr ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 16, 2016

We were quite disappointed. I had the crabb bisque and it tasted liek the crab had walked through on stilts. There were a few threads of crab in the soup, mostly it was just a cream broth. Then I ordered the scallops for my entree. The waiter told me they were cooked medium but they were raw and hardly even warm. The brussel sprouts were very good.

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food2
ambience3
service5
value3

The food was prepared elegantly and the ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 16, 2016

The food was prepared elegantly and the wait person was very knowledgable and friendly. I like my fish very hot, so I requested to have it taken back to the kitchen and they did so with no fuss. The ambience was nice. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tags: Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Despite booking reservations weeks ago, ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 16, 2016

Despite booking reservations weeks ago, we were given the worst table in the restaurant. We refused and were taken to another table but started the evening off on a sour note.

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food4
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