New Neighborhood Hot Spot—The Westendorff
August 6, 2015
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to my wonderful client, friend, and sous chef at The Westendorff, Phil Brenner, for inviting me to the soft opening of the newest, hippest, most fun, and most delicious spot in downtown Charleston. I had the pleasure of dining here during its first week opening, and here I am, two weeks later, joining again. I would love to share my experience.
Located at 114 Saint Philip St (corner of Saint Philip and Warren St), The Westendorff feels like pulling up to a swanky neighborhood spot in New York City—kind of hidden away, yet close enough to the action of King Street, with a very sexy appearance from the outside. Walking in, I was very impressed with the surprising warmth of the atmosphere, while there was also an exciting hustle and bustle from the bar and kitchen. The place is gorgeous, by the way. From the awesome lighting, mirrored back wall, vintage frames, marble bar with leather diner-esque chairs, to the good-looking staff…man, I could not complain about the aesthetic.
My friend and I opted out of sitting at the bar and chose a seat in a booth (comfy, but still a good spot to observe your surroundings—or people watch, as both times I went there was a cool crowd). The drink menu is fantastic. They’re not messing around with their cocktails, yay! It seems they pride themselves highly on their bar-tending skills, and I do appreciate that.
The Paloma features tequila, grapefruit elderflower soda, fresh lime juice, and a salted rim.
Taking a look at their menu, I loved how I recognized many items on it, but that they were switched up a bit with their own flare. The manager so kindly greeted us and explained the menu as “elevated comfort food,” which I found to be a great description! The items on the menu were familiar and approachable, but also brought something new and exciting to the table (yes—a pun!). Also, the prices were reasonable. I’m relieved that some of the newer restaurants here are realizing that we don’t need white table clothes, expensive wine, and caviar to experience fine dining.
The Westendorff feels very current, and answers Charleston’s request for a cool, sexy restaurant, with a good atmosphere and great, affordable food.
We ordered their appetizer special—Gnudi with sweet peas, mushrooms, bacon, and pesto sauce. DELICIOUS.
Tomato salad....this is honestly one of my very favorite things on the menu, and I will come back to get this many more times. Basically I would describe this fresh salad as Summer in a bowl. Fresh peaches, tomatoes, and goat cheese, all tossed in an incredible Rose vinaigrette. I swear, it’s fantastic.
Yum, yum. Fried grit balls containing grits, chorizo, mozzarella, all on top of a sweet chutney. What's not to like?
Grilled Chicken Wings! These guys are a little small, but have BIG flavor. I really enjoyed their pickled celery and okra which complemented the sweet and smoky wing flavor.
Of course had to try the Four Cheese Macaroni. Quite delish! Make sure to get a side of their hot sauce with it—makes a great combo.
This flank steak was cooked to perfection. So tender, so flavorful. Accompanied with simply dressed brussels and beautiful potato croquets.
Dessert, anyone? How freakin' cute is this mini peach pie a la mode? It’s exactly what one would be looking for when ordering an old fashioned dessert like such.
Props to The Westendorff! So happy you’re around the corner, as you’re so beautiful and so delicious!
Find out the history on the building (an old family hardware store!) as well as any other info you would like about the restaurant (hours, menu, contacts, etc.) on their website.