About The Darling Oyster Bar

513 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
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The Darling Oyster Bar is a casual seafood restaurant and raw bar. The Darling's menu features fresh seafood and creative ingredients, served with an approachable style. The Darling Oyster Bar’s atmosphere promotes comfortable hospitality; with a lively, neighborhood feel.

Anchoring The Darling Oyster Bar is a stunning raw bar showcasing fresh, made-to-order seafood. Guests can enjoy the lively raw bar scene while overlooking historic King Street from The Darling’s iconic storefront. The Darling raw bar also offers full service dining.

Located in the heart of Upper King Street, The Darling Oyster Bar is housed in a 115-year old historic building that enjoys a storied past. A mix of the original 1900’s reclaimed wood, whole exposed brick walls, classic tile, antique molding, and nautical theme combine to create a setting that is all at once convivial, charming, and comfortable.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Seafood

Hours of Operation:
Monday- Thursday, 4pm to 10pm; Bar open late
Friday- Saturday, 4pm to 11pm; Bar to 2am
Sunday, 11am to 10pm; Bar open late

Cross Street:
Morris Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 641-0821

Website:
http://www.thedarling.com/

Parking Details:
There is a private lot for our customers

Executive Chef:
Joe Dimaio

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Restaurant Photos

  • The Darling Oyster Bar
The Darling Oyster Bar

The Darling Oyster Bar Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.5

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Seafood
South Carolina
Seafood
Charleston
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Fit for Foodies (93)
Hot Spot (71)
Vibrant Bar Scene (58)
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Good for Groups (56)
Neighborhood Gem (55)
Special Occasion (47)
Romantic (28)
Great for Brunch (22)
Good for a Date (22)
Great for Lunch (16)
Fun (13)
Local Ingredients (11)
Casual (10)
Late-night Find (10)
Creative Cuisine (9)
Scenic View (9)
Good for Birthdays (8)
People Watching (8)
Bar Seating (7)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Happy Hour (6)
Authentic (5)
Outstanding Value (5)
Comfort Food (4)
Kid-friendly (4)
Great Beer (4)
Modern Decor (4)
Notable Wine List (4)
Business Meals (3)
Open Kitchen (3)
Cozy (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Tapas (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Family Style (2)
Historic (2)
Healthy (2)
Spicy (2)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Seasonal (1)
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The Darling Oyster Bar was recommended t ...

 
 (New Orleans)
·Dined 4 days ago

The Darling Oyster Bar was recommended to us by the airbnb host that we stayed with and it was outstanding! Excellent choice of oysters from salty and large to small and sweet. The ambiance was perfect for dining and conversation. Good selection of beer on tap from local to surrounding breweries, good wines and crafted cocktails. Will go again when we are in Charleston.

Tags: Great Beer, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Authentic, Gluten Free Options, Notable Wine List, Modern Decor
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Ben was the best server ! Such a doll. P ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined 4 days ago

Ben was the best server ! Such a doll. Perfect ending to a fun bachelorette weekend !

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I was dying to LOVE The Darling. And the ...

 
 (Charlotte)
·Dined 5 days ago

I was dying to LOVE The Darling. And the food was good, but it was just, 'good'. Maybe there was too much hype and my expectations were too high. I would return to sit at the bar and have oysters, not sure if I'd come for dinner again.

Tags: Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Jill, our server several times, is fanta ...

vip
 (Charleston)
·Dined 5 days ago

Jill, our server several times, is fantastic. Very good knowledge / suggestions and extremely personable. Excellent!

Fantastic Raw Bar and Ambiance if you enjoy either Raw Bars or People Watching. The street view is quite remarkable and fairly unique to Darling.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Happy Hour, Cozy, Good for a Date, Scenic View, Comfort Food, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, People Watching, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great Beer
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Well located, right on King Strret. Yo ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on September 20, 2016

Well located, right on King Strret. You can watch the shuckers in the front window, excellent wine selection, excellent raw bar delection, food was so good! Loved it, would def return to dine again!

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Open Kitchen, Outstanding Value, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I loved every thing about this place, th ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 19, 2016

I loved every thing about this place, the food was incredible, loved the shrimp creole! And the ambiance was killer, loved it! It's a keeper!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I took my visiting daughter and 4 year o ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

I took my visiting daughter and 4 year old grand daughter for Sunday brunch, and could not have been more pleased! The oysters we shared were fresh, clean and mild, and the Captains Bloody Mary's were exceptional! (Grand daughter had a virgin, and ate every bite of her lobster claw, crab, shrimp and hush puppy-that's why we got her her own!) We shared the unique shrimp and grits with a fried egg as well as the chowder fries-all great.

The service was prompt, and our waitress, Heidi, was very knowledgable and pleasant.

Yet another great Charleston experience!

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food5
ambience5
service5

The food was good, but we felt our serve ...

vip
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

The food was good, but we felt our server was rushed, we had to ask her to take a minute, explain the menu and oysters etc. The bar area is really gorgeous and that is were we would eat next time. It is amazing to us how important the wait staff is especially when the foods are so intracate and special.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching
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food4
ambience5
service2
value3

The was delicious and the service was e ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 17, 2016

The was delicious and the service was exceptional. Wonderful dining experience. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Late-night Find, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

Energetic, Lively, Great Selection Of Oy ...

vip
 (Calgary)
·Dined on September 16, 2016

Energetic, Lively, Great Selection Of Oysters. Cocktails Tended To Be Too Sweet For Our Tastes. Oyster Spaghetti May Sound Strange But It Totally Works. Service Was Great

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food4
ambience4
service5

Was not pleased to be seated next to a c ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

Was not pleased to be seated next to a concrete wall with no view and next to a group of 12 loud college girls. Especially when the other half of the restaurant was mostly open. Was also disappointed that our waitress appeared hungover and not wanting to be at work. Was expecting a lot more for a brunch from a highly rated place. However, we may give it a second chance to see if things are different.

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food2
ambience1
service2
value2

Came here for Sunday brunch with a group ...

 
 (Miami)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

Came here for Sunday brunch with a group of 12 ladies. The food and service was fantastic. Highly recommend it!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Historic, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We loved the building, decor, and overal ...

 
 (Jacksonville)
·Dined on September 9, 2016

We loved the building, decor, and overall atmosphere. The chairs are uncomfortable, like they do not want you to stay to long, but that was my only complaint. Cocktails were unique and delicous and the food was outstanding! This is a great addition to King St.

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food5
ambience5
service5

We had oysters, oyster spaghetti, and a ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 8, 2016

We had oysters, oyster spaghetti, and a shrimp salad appetizer. All of it was fabulous. We will be back!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

There are many god restaurants in this c ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 8, 2016

There are many god restaurants in this city. The Darling should rank right up near the top! We had been meaning to try it, and our niece's visit prompted us to get reservations for an early dinner before attending a concert. What a joy and memorable experience! We will be back!

Tags: Happy Hour, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is where the Charleston Jeunesse Do ...

vip
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 6, 2016

This is where the Charleston Jeunesse Dorée gathers to play adult after a beach day. If you are young, young at heart, or like watching young people, this is the spot; bachelorette parties and all. Everybody is well behaved tough so that the noise level is overall moderate.

Great interior architecture! They really worked with the historic building. Crisp and sleek, yet cozy.

Food is unpretentious raw bar and fried sea-food. Difficult to mess up and great quality. Fried oysters were a tad dry. Not really cheap but not offensively overpriced either.

Very poor wine variety, yet interesting choices.

Not surprisingly, the waitstaff consists of college students. However, they appear well trained and are all supremely attentive. Our server Ben did an outstanding job, for instance.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Paleo Friendly, Hot Spot, Sunday Lunch, People Watching, Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun, Happy Hour, Casual
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

Great experience. We made reservations ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on September 5, 2016

Great experience. We made reservations right at 4pm. The decor was very nice, very open and even when we left with a full dining room the noise level was not bad at all. Food was very good, especially the oysters on the half shell. Good selection and if you go during happy hour even better.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food was amazing. The oyster select ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

The food was amazing. The oyster selection was good (we had a sampling of their offerings). The lobster cocktail was also very good as a starter. The entrees were just as good! The cocktails were very good and quite unique, and they had a short but very good wine list. I highly recommend this place for anyone looking to splurge a little for a night out with fantastic food and drinks.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We visited The Darling Oyster bar on a S ...

vip
 (Atlanta)
·Dined on September 3, 2016

We visited The Darling Oyster bar on a Saturday night; the restaurant was mostly filled but we got a reservation earlier in the day. The decor was chic and matched the vibe of the restaurant. We split a seafood tray of oysters, crab, clam and shrimp which was delicious. My husband and I split the Oyster Spaghetti (better than it sounds) which was the perfect portion in conjunction with the starter and cocktails. Overall a great experience and we'd definitely recommend a stop in the Darling Oyster Bar.

Tags: People Watching, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

The oysters were delicious as well as th ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 3, 2016

The oysters were delicious as well as the entrees. I would go back to this place every time I come to Charleston.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

great food, awesome service, this is a m ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on September 3, 2016

great food, awesome service, this is a must for locals and those visiting.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Went with my extended family (including ...

vip
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on August 30, 2016

Went with my extended family (including a toddler), and all agreed this was our favorite meal while we were staying at the beaches outside Charleston for the week. Food was fresh and delicious, and portions and prices were just right. The ambiance in the main dining room was lovely - stylish but not stuffy - and the service was excellent. Highly recommend! Not a single, disappointing or mediocre dish to be had!

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food5
ambience5
service5

clam strips were excellent! could use a ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 29, 2016

clam strips were excellent! could use a little help on the fish and chicken sandwiches. Oysters excellent. love the décor of the restaurant. nice oyster bar. we will go again.

Tags: Casual, Hot Spot, Open Kitchen, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

Food was great. Staff very knowledgable ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Food was great. Staff very knowledgable about menu.

Tags: Disabled Access, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Modern Decor, Family Style, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Business Meals, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Outstanding Value
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent brunch menu with well paired w ...

vip
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 28, 2016

Excellent brunch menu with well paired wine

And liquor drinks. Try the poached egg &

Salmon cake dish. Try chicken biscuit &

Shrimp & grits, great! Wonderful raw oyster

Bar

Tags: Local Ingredients, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

I've been here twice and was impressed w ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 27, 2016

I've been here twice and was impressed with the food both times. My server was much more seasoned the first time, this time was less enjoyable. The server wasn't very attentive, forgot our oyster shooters despite being reminded 2 times post the original order, and was just generally immature in his conversation (he actually swore once). I would still go back because I love the food and oysters.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Business Meals
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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

It was great. The fried clamstrips taste ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

It was great. The fried clamstrips tasted more like fried dough than clams but they were still good. The Basil Daisy drink was awesome!

Tags: Modern Decor, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Enjoyed our evening. The food was great. ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 25, 2016

Enjoyed our evening. The food was great. It was our anniversary so the booth seating in the bar area was perfect.

Tags: Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Awesome oyster offerings, friendly staff ...

 
 (Atlanta)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

Awesome oyster offerings, friendly staff and delicious simple menu.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Authentic, Good for a Date, Casual, Good for Anniversaries, Healthy, Local Ingredients, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We've been here twice for Sunday brunch. ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 21, 2016

We've been here twice for Sunday brunch. On the higher end of cost for brunch, but the quality is generally worth the money. The oysters were good. The food was very good. I don't want to go here again, though, if they make us sit in the back. It's dark, and looks like a Halloween scary area at a junior high festival. The ambience out front is great; in the back - terrible.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

Not a good experience, except for being ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

Not a good experience, except for being with the good company I came with. We had a very early reservation and there was plenty of seating in the main, seemingly well appointed, dining room the whole time we were there....but we and many others were seated in a dark, dreary sliver of a space, with overflow style seating, with a view of the capable and friendly wait staff going in and out of the kitchen. We aren't tourists and eat out very often and really I haven't had that poor of seating downtown in a upper price restaurant, ever. Service was as I mentioned capable and friendly. Food was just ok, drink a little better but neither were worth the price charged...and the awful seating made everything pale and made me feel ripped off. and I had been all set to like it.

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food2
ambience1
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We had reservations and they kept us wai ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

We had reservations and they kept us waiting when there were plenty of open tables. Served warm water in drinking glasses, they did not time food well, My husband got his meal 10 minutes before me and I order a dozen oysters. We were also seated very closely to another couple who were loud. This restaurant came highly recommended but I must say it was entirely overrated. The food was good enough but entirely overpriced.

Tags: Late-night Find
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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

The service was lovely, the cocktails fa ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

The service was lovely, the cocktails fantastic, but I could have made a better stew. It was the special of the evening and wreck fish is a delicate, tasty white fish. The salt completely over powered the dish and the okra was slimy and disjointed. I think this restaurant has potential but salt is not the only tool in the kitchen ...especially with delicate fish flavors. Between that and the slimy okra it was rather unpleasant. I would go again myself to Try again but at this point would not recommend it to anyone.

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food2
ambience4
service4

We were getting our daughter settled in ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

We were getting our daughter settled in at The College of Charleston and it was our last night having dinner before we left. It is a charming restaurant and the food is delicious. Good for a nice dinner.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Shrimp and Grits were delicious!

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

Shrimp and Grits were delicious!

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food5
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Raw seafood very good . Fried seafood no ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Raw seafood very good . Fried seafood not so much, over cooked.

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food3
ambience5
service5
value4

Our server was awesome, very friendly an ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Our server was awesome, very friendly and knowledgable.

Tags: Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

The food was decent; however, I am going ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

The food was decent; however, I am going to be one of those people and complain about the service/our requests. I told our hostess and who I thought was a manager that we had two birthdays at our table, he acknowledged and said they celebrate them there. I thought this meant they brought out cake and what not. At the end of the dinner we were brought dessert menus and nothing was mentioned about the birthdays. I wanted to make the night special and they ignored it. It was also FREEZING and I asked two people to turn the air down (Yes, I'm sure restaurants hate that request) but it was completely uncomfortable in there. At least tell me "we can't because of 'x, y and z'" but they said that they would. Again, the food was decent, nothing to write home about. I'm glad I tried it and can cross it off my list.

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food4
ambience2
service3
value3

As soon as we walked in we were greeted ...

 
 (Charleston)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

As soon as we walked in we were greeted with a smile and they actually had our table ready for us earlier than our reservation time! The drink list was amazing and our server was very sweet. We had fresh raw oysters, the spicy shrimp dip/spread (SOOO GOOD) and then shrimp cocktail. Everything was so fresh, super chilled when it arrived at the table and all the sauces were homemade. If we ever come back to Charleston, we will come back here! :)

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Mixed & Torn. There is a light & dark di ...

vip
 (Charlotte)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Mixed & Torn. There is a light & dark dining room, go towards the light. Service was spot on ( they refold your napkin when you get up), I appreciate the details. Ambiance in the lighter room is very nice, I loved the lighting fixtures on the wall and above the bar , but the the florescent fixtures down the middle don't jive, seemed like office lighting and made me think of work. The raw bar is very fresh. My husband had the chowder and while he loved it, I thought it tasted very olive oily. The food is good but everything was little different than I had expected. Scallops and charred corn were spot on. Daughter's chicken seemed fatty?Maybe fried with skin on, oh well, that's what she gets for ordering poultry at seafood restaurant. The Fishhouse Punch is fantastic. I give the hostess a zero, we had an early 5pm reservation and she walked us by a booth that remained open the entire time we were there for a table on the back wall ..... for that reason, I wouldn't trust this place to bring important clients to in the future. The crowd was good and I'd go back for the raw bar and to have another punch. Our server was excellent.

Tags: Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience5
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