Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Charleston Edition: Bricks & Barrels
Bricks & Barrels is a new upscale restaurant located behind the Appalachian Power Park in Charleston. I've heard not super great things about the restaurant - mostly due to price - but I wanted to check it out for myself.
The inside of this restaurant is nice - a nice mixture of blacks and warm browns, with lots of natural light. Barrels make up many of the tables with glass affixed to the top. It's contemporary, yet cozy.
It's true; the menu is pricey. Entrees range from $20-$45, with vegetarian options at the bottom range and steaks toward the top. But that's on par with other fine dining establishments in the area. Albeit, those fine dining places (a la Laury's or The Chophouse) have been around a while. Appetizers get pricey with some nearly hitting $20, and a soup reaches $11. And sides, while large and ample enough to share, are in double-digit territory.
They offer mostly steaks and fish. None of the entrees struck me, so Maggie and I decided to make up our own dinner: a side of the five-cheese macaroni, an order of the smoked salmon rolls and an order of the lobster and crab cakes.
The five-cheese macaroni is really quite good. It's a good-sized portion, enough for Maggie and I to share and still feel as though we had enough. It's very creamy with a nice golden breadcrumb top. I kept sneaking bites of this because it just hits every single "yum" point in my brain. The gooey, the cheesy, the smokey flavor, the crunch on top. So good.
The smoked salmon rolls were filled with cream cheese and herbs. While tasty, I think there was a bit too much cream cheese - also a crisp baguette would add a texture variation. Otherwise it can get all mush very fast.
The crab and lobster cakes were tasty, though I think they were heavier on the filler side than the crab side. I love the idea of one lobster cake and one crab cake. The lemon aioli was more like just lemon juice - very acidic. A creamier aspect would have been more welcoming.
As far as the service, our server was great. She was kind, personable and helpful. While others have complained about the service, I didn't experience those issues.
Price is hard to combat, but adding in items that could cater to lower-budget crowds would be nice. And it's not quite along a main stretch where people would visit often. But if the food continues to improve and little tweaks are made, I can see it doing well.
Bricks & Barrels is located at 1214 Smith St., Charleston, WV. They are open Tuesday-Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 4 p.m. to midnight.