We are very excited for our first post! Let’s get down to business with a post about our visit to The Chart House on the Courtney Campbell Monday night.
Total bill: $200
Breakdown: 2 cocktails each, 3 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, 1 cup of coffee
Pros: Great location, nice decor, friendly staff
Cons: Mediocre food, overpriced
Verdict: We won’t go back.
I always forgot about this place until Restaurant Week rolled around every year; Chart House has participated for the last two years. (Prior to that, Chart House was a Landry’s. Landry’s owns Chart House.) The restaurant is in a great location on a point overlooking the bay, so it had location appeal.
Despite having been out the night before (to Flamestone Grill in Oldsmar–probably a post-worthy place itself), we decided to go out to dinner that night as well, mostly because we were having plumbing issues at the house again and I needed a cocktail.
We arrived about 8:30 and noticed the bar was empty and there were only five tables seated in the dining room. We sat at the bar. The restaurant is lovely inside. The decor is modern, with dark, warm wood and lots of blue and green. We got off to a promising start with a friendly and welcoming bartender. We ordered drinks and began to peruse the menu.
Even though Chart House had a Restaurant Week deal of $35 for three courses, we decided to order from the regular menu. The food certainly sounded appetizing. For appetizers we ordered east meets west tuna ($15.99), lobster and crab spring rolls ($12.99), and crab-stuffed mushrooms ($13.99).
This is where the experience started to go downhill.
The tuna was fine. As in, generic and not special. The best part of it was that the tuna two ways is served with several crispy fried strips of plantain, for dipping the tuna with presumably. The spring rolls seemed pre-made; they didn’t taste as fresh as you would expect for a spring roll and the veggies weren’t quite crunchy. The crab-stuffed mushrooms had that flavor food gets when it’s in the freezer.
For dinner I ordered the miso-glazed salmon ($27.99). I don’t usually eat salmon but I’ve had miso-glazed salmon in the past that I really liked, and since the Chart House wraps their salmon in prosciutto I didn’t think I could go wrong.
When my fish arrived, I noticed the shape of it. The prosciutto was wrapped on it so perfectly, so tightly, I suspected immediately that it’s frozen. In retrospect, it’s possible they even buy the fish already wrapped; I didn’t ask. It was a little dry, which also made me think the fish was previously frozen. The sauce was good, though–not too sweet and a good consistency. Overall, it was ok…but not for $27.99. I must say, the best part of the dish was the side of “Asian green beans.” They didn’t taste quite Asian to me but they weren’t soggy and had a nice fire-roasted flavor.
For dessert, we ordered the hot chocolate lava cake ($10.99) and their cherry crisp (not sure what the price was as their dessert menu is not online), but they were out of cherry crisp, so we settled for the mud pie instead. I really liked the hot chocolate lava cake because it wasn’t as sweet or rich as some others I’ve had, although I know my husband wasn’t a fan. The mud pie was boring! Just a chocolate cookie crust with coffee ice cream, chocolate sauce, and chopped almonds.
I’ve never eaten at a Landry’s but if Chart House is at all similar I’m not surprised Landry’s closed. Chart House is expecting some good days during the RNC at the end of the month; the bartender said delegates have rented out the entire restaurant at least one night. Tourists may be enough to keep Chart House open but I can say with certainty we won’t be returning.
bot oh boy is she long winded… heres my review.
appearance, the inside of the restaurant is beautiful. But the night we went it was empty, i think there was 10 tables sat at 830 and there was no one, not one person at the bar. also upon entering the restaurant we were met with a sharp freezingness, like that of walking into a goddamn walk in refrigerator. OMG was it cold. im fat and i am always hot. ALWAYS but it was so cold that i was a large fat ice cube.
service. the service was good, not great. the server asked odd questions and did not know a lot about the food, partly due to her being new. when I say server i meant bar tender because we sat at the bar. she was very nice though and helpful.
drinks. they were short pours, only filling up the martini glasses 75% full. i like a nice big drink, especially at $14 a piece. the drinks were pretty good, though nothing to write home about.
food. what a disappointment… the tuna two ways app was mediocre at best. it was diced tuna with a regular old sweet chili sauce on it, the other side wa seared tuna with another bland sauce. the seared tuna was on a slaw, which was the only good part of the app. the other app we got was crab stuffed mushrooms which must have been frozen for a month… the mushrooms were rubbery and had an awful texture. they were a little watery as well… the stuffing was fair, a little too salty. the third app we had were shrimp and crab spring rolls… there was a sticky film, almost slimy, on the soy paper and these were definitely premade and stored in the fridge since there begining. they were fair as well.
THE ENTREES… the only saving grace for me. i had the crab topped grouper, the fish was good, the crab was good but it was smothered in this tasteless white sauce that brought the dish down… the fried rice was crunchy and was made in a little pyramid, which was odd. SHE had a prosciutto wrapped salmon that was so dry that I thought i was eating the sahara… definitely frozen for a while.
DESSERTS we had the mud pie, which was a giant slice of ice cream with a oreo crust. very disappointing too… the other dessert we had was the chocolate LAVA cake, which was very good, the only really good thing I had that night.
overall i give this place a 3 out of 10 and would not go back… ever.