We had the pleasure of eating at Robert's of Charleston for the first time last night. We'd read about the restaurant several times over the years since we've been here, and finally had a chance to make it there for dinner.
Robert's is not your typical dining out experience. My first thought when I walked in was that it's a lot smaller than I expected. There is seating space for about 36 or so, and judging from when we finished dinner, only one seating per evening. A very cozy environment, although it can get a little loud at times with everybody talking over the piano playing in the background.
If you go, be prepared for a bit of a long drawn out dining adventure. Dinner is a 5 course prix fixe menu (including white and red wines), which may sound a bit daunting at first. However, courses are served with enough time in between to give you and your fellow diners plenty of time to savour each dish, and then relax and digest a bit before the next course arrives. Seating started at 7:30, and we left around 10:30. Be prepared to take your time. There's nobody rushing food to you or running you out the door so your table can be filled by the next party. You have all the time you need to enjoy and savour the food.
Then there is the singing. Chef Robert is, it seems a classically trained singer, and dinner begins with him singing in the appetizer as he walks around the room proudly displaying it to the guests. While the appetizer is being served by the rest of the wait staff, he sings a few more happy upbeat tunes. This happens several times throughout the night, making dinner almost a theatrical event and much fun.
The food is equally as good as Chef Robert's singing. Starting with a sea scallop mousse (much tastier than you might think it could be) and finishing with a decadent slice of triple chocolate tart, it was probably one of the most enjoyable dining experiences I've had in Charleton. It's a bit pricey though, so save your quarters before you go.
This is what was on the menu when we went
Sea Scallop Mousse, Maine Lobster Sauce
Fresh sea scallops blended with cream, eggs and baked
Fresh lobster broth emulsified with cream, Golden Beet relish
2001 Salmon Creek/Chardonnay or non-alcoholic California Chardonnay
Our Warm French Bread served with unsalted butter
Roasted Breast of Duckling
Oriental rice noodles - Orange ginger barbeque sauce
Mesclun Garden Greens and Radicchio
Fennel, Grape tomatoes, Calamata olives and Parmesan cheese
Virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and honey dressing
2001 R. H. Phillips Cabernet Sauvignon
Roasted Chateaubriand or our fresh fish of the day.
Port Sauce and truffle butter roasted tenderloin of beef to your liking
Port wine reduced with Beef broth
Black truffles suspended in creamery butter
Appropriate fresh vegetables seasoned with Roberts Original Seasoning
Triple Chocolate Tart, Wild Berry Sauce & Praline
A rich flourless cake infused with coffee liqueur served with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of praline powder
Lavazza Italian coffee or a selection of teas