5 Star Seafood.
Although I realize that we live in a city with a never ending supply of great, not just good, but great restaurants every once and awhile one of them surprises me and reminds me of just what makes up a great dining experience. Hank’s did just that the other night.
Designed to look like a Charleston Fish House of the 1940’s Hank’s Seafood Restaurant is as charming as it gets. We have not been to Hank’s in about eight years when we first started to visit Charleston. I remember that we liked it, but that was about it. After reading an article in Southern Living Magazine that featured Hank’s it made me want to return. The photos of their food were so inviting.
We arrived for our 6:45 reservation and were very thankful that we had called ahead. The place was PACKED with a line out the door. We were quickly escorted to our table and had a few minutes to people watch as we waited for our server to arrive.
Our server was knowledgeable and helpful as he walked us through the menu and told us of the evening’s specials.
Although not a particularly large restaurant it has a great energy and feel to it. It’s not a quiet restaurant by any stretch of the word, but that was something that quite frankly, I liked about it.
Our appetizers were out in no time and they were great. We were having dinner with a couple that likes to sample many things so this course was for us, almost like a tapas meal, which was a treat.
The Belgian Endive Salad with Blue Cheese, Arugula and Beets was absolutely beautiful and it tasted great. I personally love beets, but they are not a household favorite, so it’s nice to have them when I can.
The Crispy Rock Shrimp and Calamari with Spicy Tomato Remoulade Sauce were cooked perfectly. Lightly battered, crispy as described and oh, so tender. The “spicy” sauce was not-so-spicy but we liked it nonetheless.
The Oyster Sampler with local and oysters from North Carolina and Washington State was a nice surprise. I like oysters, but don’t love them. These however were delicious. Small, sweet and tender. It was at this point that I was very hopeful that dinner would be great.
The White Bean Soup of the Day was really something. Filled with veggies in a light broth and very tasty. Boy, had we picked a winner for a restaurant this evening.
Dinner arrived and it was spectacular. I had the evening’s dinner special which was monk fish served in a light broth with a variety of beans, mussels and shrimp. The fish was perfectly cooked and the broth and its’ accompaniments were just delightful. As I think of the dish it alone makes me want to go back to the restaurant…
My husband had the Curried Shrimp. I don’t care for curry that much so it rarely makes an appearance in our kitchen. He loved this dish! It was a coconut/curry sauce with bananas, mango, leeks, and sweet onion served over delicate white rice. The tails had been removed from the shrimp making it less work to enjoy. Despite my aversion to curry, I did give this dish a try and really liked it. It had a nice balance of spices and a hint of curry. Maybe I should rethink curry after all…
The Roast Grouper dish was not available (out of season) and had been replaced with triggerfish served over Pea and Lobster Risotto with a Shrimp Basil Butter Jus. As much as I liked my entrée I had entrée envy. This dish was to die for. The fish was cooked perfectly and the risotto was a masterpiece. Simply perfect.
I did not taste the Pan Seared Sea Scallops but they were a hit with the rest of the table. Served with Shitake Mushrooms, Seasonal Greens, Fried Mashed Potatoes (maybe I should have had those…), and a Ginger Lime Coriander Vinaigrette everyone thought that they were terrific. Large, plump scallops that were impeccably cooked dotted the plate. Everyone raved about them.
I really can’t find one thing that I didn’t like about Hank’s. The service, atmosphere and menu items were simply stellar. Can’t wait to return.
Good, not great.
Good food, nice atmosphere, reasonable prices for a nicer restaurant well-located in downtown Charleston. No superlatives, but a good place.
Seared tuna app was unremarkable. Bouillabaisse was good, not great. Peanut butter / chocolate pie was good except for overly-sweet graham cracker crust.
Unable to make a reservation, they got us in anyhow.
Food and service was outstanding.
Just wish I lived closer.
Went to this place in December, during a 2 week round trip. Only place that did not charge amount signed for. I guess you understand amount was more on my credit card statement compared what signed for!!!
Food was OK but nothing more - service below standard, compared to price.
Professional service, full bar drinks, tasty food. We made reservations on line through opentable and the staff was in tune to our requests for a special 21st anniversary dinner. We arrived a few minutes early and had drinks at the bar adjoining the dining room. My mixed drink was served in a tall glass and prepared correctly. My wife received a great glass of Pinot Noir before be shown to our table. The crab cake appetizer (two cakes about 2.5 inch diameter) was creamy with a light mustard sauce?just the right size for us to split. The menu offered several specialties and combos of seafood. Only one beef dish was offered, so you need to be in a seafood mood. We passed on the combos and each ordered the Yellow Fin Tuna grilled?her with asparagus and me with fried mashed potatoes. I was tempted to order a salad, but at $6+ I figured I would pass and save room for dessert. The tuna was a rare ?medium rare? but the quality was so good it was perfect. We asked for two sauces on the side, a mustard sauce and a vinaigrette. The mustard sauce was by far our favorite. The asparagus and fried mashed potatoes were super as was the fresh bread and real butter. For dessert, we split a slice of banana cream pie with chocolate and caramel sauces. A dark chocolate coin adorned the top with Happy Anniversary printed on it. Total for the evening with four bar drinks was just under $100 with tip. Sara provided exceptional service and we were never looking for her?she was right there before we could think of what we wanted next.
Great Seafood Specials. My husband and I ate at Hank's on a Saturday night without reservations. We went straight in and ate at the bar. The female bartender who waited on us was very friendly and accommodating. She told us of the night specials and I ordered the lobster special. It was lobster meat cut up into bit size pieces and cooked in a roasted tomato sauce served with green beans and mashed potatoes. Very tastey and delicious! My husband ordered the seared sea scallops, which he also enjoyed. We thought the atmosphere was great. We will definitely be returning on our next trip to Charleston.
Hanks Seafood. This is very unfriendly atmosphire for a restaurant. The staff seems to be very unhappy and it reflects on the service you are receive. I joined my husband and two of our friends for a 50th birthday celebration on a Wednesday night and would have felt better served at Burger King. The waiter(Clayton) was very "snobbish" and judged us quickly due to the fact that we are not wine drinkers. The couple at the next table indulged heavily on wine and bar drinks and Clayton payed them a great deal of attention. The food was not even worth the rude service we encountered. One meal which the waiter recommended tasted like a tv dinner with a dry piece of fish. I believe we will not be returning to Hanks in the future, we did have reservations and still waited almost a half hour. The bar was given as a place to wait but that too was over crowded. The best part of the meal was the appetizer and the bread we had to ask for.
Nothing special. Hank's came very highly recommended, but we were disappointed. We had a reservation, but still waited another 1/2 hour before our table was ready (this was on a Wednesday night). Our waiter was good. The She Crab soup was great, the appetizers were good (we had calamari from the "hot appetizer" menu and the smoked salmon off the "cold appetizer" menu). For the main course, the fish was way overcooked and the sauce that accompanied it was bland and runny. Disappointing because we had high hopes. Maybe it was an off night, but not impressed.
Okay if you get seated promptly. Not worth a long wait. Bit of a tourist place.. My wife and I had dinner here on Friday 3/9/07. We had reservations for 7PM and were seated promptly but others were being turned away from the door. This is a one-room, noisy seafood restaurant and bar with a better reputation (I suspect since several people mentioned it to us) than it really deserves. Food is unsurprising and average. Prices are fairly typical expensive seafood range. My wife liked it better than I. She would go back. I don't think I would unless I couldn't think of another place to go. This is owned by the same person who owns Planter's Inn, Peninsula, etc., etc.
we love it here!. we make it a point to stop at hank's every time we're in town. we always sit at the bar and dinner and service is always awesome!!
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