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Rosebank Farms Cafe? and some other Charleston questions

  • danna Aug 21, 2006 02:12 PM
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Is Rosebank Farms Cafe still open? Saturday? How is it?

I'm with my parents and inlaws and I'm debating a foodie-tour of Wadmalaw island. I thought they might enjoy seeing Leland Farms because of the historic buildings, the Tea Plantation, buy the evening's dinner at East Coast Seafood, and have lunch at Rosebank.

Does this seem like an entertaining day? Last year I selected a restaurant from a year-old Post and Courier review and discovered it closed after schlepping 8 people out to the boonies, so I want to cover myself this time !

Also, I've been to Hank's a couple of times, but I'm trying to remember the noise level. My Mom is sensitive to noise. Should I pick somewhere else for dinner on Fri night?

I'm planning on Al di La on Thurs night, Sermet lunch on Fri, and Hominy Grill for Sunday brunch. Any recent developments I need to know of for those? Thanks, much, locals and others.

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  1. I believe Rosebank is still open, but I would call to make sure if I were you. I've never eaten there, but I have heard goood things. Perhaps someone else can help you out here.

    I think your day on Wadmalaw Island sounds like fun, but I have a couple of suggestions. First you might want to change your food tour to Friday for a couple of reasons. First, you would have fresh produce to snack on while you are in town. Second, I have been to the Tea Plantation, and on a Saturday. The reason why I mention this is because they do not process the tea on weekends. They have a self guided video tour where you can look through glass and see the machines while they are working. Just know that if you do decide to go on Sat. the video does show the tea being processed. I also want to mention that if I were you I still wouldn't hesitate to go on a Sat., it is a beautiful place to spend 30-45 minutes.

    I don't know if you have considered this, but there is a vineyard on WI just down the road from the tea plantation. The Irvin House Vineyard also has tastings and free tours on Saturday's @2pm. If you want to check them out, here is there website www.charlestonwine.com

    I have beem to Hank's many times, and I would consider it noisy. Maybe it might be possible to speak to the manager, and see if he/she can offer you any help. Also, a booth might work for you. They are tall booths that curve around, perhaps they might insulate you from some of the noise...just a thought.

    On the others you mentioned, Al di La now has a wine bar and outside seating. I was just at Hominy yesterday, and they now have cookbooks for sale, 12.95 I think but don't quote me on it.

    I know my response is long, but I hope it was helpful. Please post upon your return, I am especially interested in Rosebank.

    1. We've been spending a week at kiawah just about every year for the last 10 years. The first year we ate at Rosebank Cafe three or four times. The portions were large, the food inventive and well prepared and the prices were very reasonable. Lunch in particular was a terrific bargain.

      Each year, it seems the portions get a little smaller and the prices a little higher...or perhaps thats just part of getting old and they've kept pace with inflation...I dunno. Overall, the food is still very good...maybe not "art" as my wife declared on our first visit, but still very good. I think it will be a fine lunch stop for you.

      I've had my eye on Bowen's Island Oysters for quite some time...you might consider it. The hardest part for me is convincing my wife to walk in the place...

      1. I'll second Lizzy's recs concerning Charleston Tea Plantaton and Irvin House Vinyard. I also visited the Tea Plantation on a Saturday and would like to go back on a weekday to actuallly see the tea being processed live. But like Lizzy said, it's still worth a visit on a Saturday. If you go and report back, please let me know if they are producing a loose leaf green tea now. They said they had plans for this back in May when I visited, but they were waiting for the go-ahead from higher-up.

        Also, just before you leave John's Island to cross over to Wadmalaw, don't miss the turn off for the Angel Oak on the left. I took my parents there and they were really impressed by the 1000+ year old tree. I guess know one really knows how old it is (and old oak trees can't be accurately core sampled), but it is huge and quite obviously ancient.

        Finally, I was at Hank's on Sunday, and it was very busy and fairly loud, even though we were in a booth at the very back. That being said, the food was the best I've ever had at Hank's. They really seem to be at the top of their game, or at least they were on this night. I even had to move their she crab soup up to the top of my list, bumping Tristan's version, which I sampled again the next day. Hank's soup definitely had the edge.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Low Country Jon

          Thanks Lizzie for the great tips...I'll certainly report back.

          LC Jon...I think we have similar taste. Now that I'm worried about the noise level at both Hank's and SNOB, what would you say about Tristan vs. Sienna? Do you think Sienna is different enough from Al di La that the parents won't notice I took them to an Italian place twice? Significant price difference?

          Finally, any recs for a significantly better brunch than Hominy Grill?

          While my M-I-L is a freak for historical things (i'm being forced to go look at the Hunley), my mother is the tree/flower nut. I think she goes to Angel Oak everytime she gets near Charleston, so I doubt this time will be any different!

          Thanks again, all.

          1. re: danna

            I've never noticed the noise level at Tristan's being particularly loud. Sienna, on the other hand, has a split personality. The main dining room is quite loud, but if you can get one of the groovy booths across from the wine vault, the noise level is much lower and the atmosphere is much more intimate. I have to admit I haven't yet made it to Al di La, so I can't offer a comparison between the two. The food at Sienna is very good though.

            For brunch, I actually like Tristan's quite a bit. It's more upscale and expensive than Hominy Grill of course, but they offer both a full brunch menu and their normal lunch menu, so many choices are to be had. Also, I've never had to wait for a table at Tristan's (you can actually make brunch reservations there but I've never bothered).

            I like brunch at Joseph's, too, but they are pretty much on a par with Hominy Grill as far as selection, price, and long wait for a table.

            1. re: Low Country Jon

              I haven't made it over to Tristan for brunch yet, but I have heard very good things. Actually I have heard good things about brunch, lunch and dinner at Tristan, I'm not sure you can go wrong here.

              I agree with LC Jon about Joseph's, but I will say I have always waited at least 45 minutes for a table at Joseph's while I've never waited more than 20 at Hominy Grill.

            2. re: danna

              BTW, if you are going to be visiting the Hunley and your group likes burgers, you might want to consider having lunch at Sesame, at the terminus of Spruil Avenue, between Montague and Buist, just off Park Circle. Really excellent burgers with a whole slew of toppings you can add to them. They grind their own meat (so you can go as rare as you want), make their own ketchup, mustard, and pimento cheese, use homemade buns, even make their own hot dogs. They also serve excellent steak fries and Mexican-style corn on the cob (with chipotle butter, cojita cheese, and lime).

              1. re: Low Country Jon

                Wow! I wish I had seen this before we left. (my moden at home bit the dust Wednesday) My husband and I would have LOVED to get a rare burger for once.

                I'll post a separate review of our Charleston trip. Thanks again everyone for the help.

          2. Al Di La is much less fussy and pretentious than either Tristan or Siena, although all have delicious food. We eat at Al Di La on a regular basis and it never feels like an effort. I would not want to dine frequently at either Tristan or Siena -- prices not withstanding.

            While Hominy is a nice spot, you are paying a bit extra for all their nice publicity. Joseph's is an excellent option for brunch. The Mills House (just down the street from Joseph's) is also a good option, as is The Bookstore Cafe, now in Mt. Pleasant. The one breakfast place I am addicted to (including having been there this morning) is the Marina Variety Store, which not only has a great breakfast, but the best view -- out on the water of the Ashley River (if you are lucky you can see the family of river otters that live there playing in the marsh or water).