The Charles had just been open 5 weeks when we visited. It is a good sized place with their own parking lot and a valet. The room is divided by a low wall with a variety of dining table options on both sides. Some are booth seating and the table sizes and materials (stone, metal, wood) vary. The ones in the middle of the room have clothes but others don’t and are reasonably close together. One side of the room is a long bar that also has some stools but across from it are dining tables. At the end of the room is the open portion of the kitchen. There is music in the background but the noise in the room is from the people that packed the place while we were there. Service is helpful, friendly and efficient. The menu is set up with sections of dining options and most plates are made to be shared. The food is really tasty and nicely packed with flavor. I give this place 2 thumbs up.
We tried a couple of their cocktails, the Negroni and the Spritz. Both were tasty and they make use of huge cubes of ice so you drink doesn’t get watered down while still staying cool.
Tables are brought a relish cup with a purple carrot dipping sauce to snack on while they make their menu and drink decisions. It had purple carrots, broccolini, radish, snap peas and other nice vegetables. Only the snap peas were limp. The dipping sauce was quite tasty.
We started with the Wood Fired Oysters with Pepperoni and Parsley The large Gulf oysters were topped with chunks of pepperoni and tasty seasonings. Pepperoni butter and some toasted bread crumbs added to the deliciousness of the oysters. Good textural contrasts and strong flavors made this dish a winner. You order it by the piece, but know you’ll each want a couple at least.
We tried 2 of their pasta dishes and they were quite different. Spicy Creste Di Gallo was rock shrimp, tarragon, basil and lemon. A delicious dish full of flavor with perfectly cooked pasta. The shape was not as I expected from the name of the dish but who cares when it’s that good. It had a nice amount of spice and the shrimp were still tender and moist. The Cascarecce Amatriciana was made with Roman red sauce , Wagyu beef bacon and Pecorino. It had a nice tomato taste and the beef was cooked into crispy bits. Great cheese added to the divine flavor of this dish. Portions for both were easily a size you could eat yourself but also enough to share for 2.
“The Pie” is a pot pie whose filling changes each night. Our night it was rabbit and potato. The crust was wonderful and the rabbit was really chicken like. The meat was moist and good. My only comment would be that it could have benefitted from more gravy in the filling.
Grilled Short Ribs were served with chimchurri, pickled fresno and sunflower seeds. They were in 2 slabs and extremely tender. There was a good bit of fat hidden under the tasty sauce, but not more than you would expect with this cut. The ribs were cooked in the chimchurri sauce sous vide style and then topped with more chimchurri sauce on the grill. The Cipollini onion that came with the dish was the only off note here, as it wasn’t cooked enough and was still quite hot (not temperature wise) to the taste. Otherwise these were very good.
We had a side of Charred Broccoli that came with Sofrito and Black Pepper Crumble. You could really taste the grilled flavor. It was mixed with caramelized onions with a side of tomato sofrito sauce. The broccoli was nicely cooked and tender enough to eat the stems too.
For dessert we tried the Affogato Float with Brown Butter Crumbs, Caramel Gelato and Nitro Cold Brew. The last portion of the leftover coffee sauce the waiter poured over ice for a drink. The gelato was creamy and the crunchy crumbs added a fun element. It made an excellent sweet ending for a fine meal.