Yelp Elite Evening at Barony Tavern

Clay and I love good food and staying connected with new restaurants here in Charleston. We’re self-proclaimed foodies, and it’s helpful that I run 40+ miles a week to justify my eating habits addiction.

Recently, we attended Yelp’s Elite Evening at Barony Tavern, a newly-opened restaurant tucked inside the Renaissance Charleston Hotel on Wentworth Street. Barony Tavern is decorated like a Southern hunting lodge and serves casual Southern cuisine, featuring both a tavern menu of lighter options and a dinner menu.

Barony Tavern’s renowned executive chef, Bob Carter, is one of the best-known chefs in Charleston. He’s appeared on the Food Network and several network cooking shows including Martha Stewart, and he’s known for his legendary coconut cake.

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Yelp serves to connect people with local businesses, and I found it when we moved to Charleston in 2012. It’s a good website if you’re new in town or travelling and need a recommendation on where to eat, visit, shop, get gas, etc. You can read reviews for everything from dentists to delis, and you can join and write your own reviews. If you utilize Yelp reviews, I encourage you to pay it forward by joining and writing reviews.

As a Yelp Elite (I’ve been one since 2013), I write reviews and get invited to fun parties and events like this one. I’ve written over 300 business reviews, and you can read them here. Elite events are a great way to get to know new businesses as well as fellow Yelpers.

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Charleston’s Yelp Community Manager, Scotty, and Yelp’s intern Molly did an excellent job organizing the Elite Evening. I commend them because they’re busy in the community visiting new businesses, trying new restaurants, letting businesses know how Yelp can help them with marketing, dealing with businesses where negative reviews were left, and of course, planning and managing events.

I’ve never been disappointed in a Yelp event, and Scotty and Molly’s hard work is a big reason why.

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Since the event was for 50 elites and their guests, Barony Tavern provided samples and tastings rather than a traditional dinner service, and everyone was encouraged to stay for dinner or return to Barony Tavern to experience a full meal. I didn’t take a ton of food pictures, but you can check out Victorious Photography’s pictures from the event if you want to see some.

I didn’t get to sample everything, but some of my favorites included the seasoned shrimp nestled in pimento cheese and the lobster roll. I also got to sample the crab cake, which was all meat and one of the best crab cakes I’ve had. Everyone agreed that all the samples were good- no one had anything they disliked or didn’t care for. 

Along with food, we tried a drink called the sweet tea-tini, which contains Firefly sweet tea vodka. Sweet Tea is a Southern staple that no Charleston restaurant or bar dares to mess up. I’m not usually a sweet tea fan, but I liked the tea-tini. It was sweet and strong- you only need one.

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Of course, the showstopper was the ultimate coconut cake, and each guest received his or her very own slice. Best of all, Chef Carter and his pastry chef demonstrated how the cake is made, even putting it together in front of us. Seeing how much sugar and butter go in the cake is crazy, but everyone enjoyed it guilt-free anyway!

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The cake was rich and one of the most delicious coconut cakes I’ve had. Chef Carter’s recipe is the same used at his previous restaurant, Peninsula Grill, where the whole cake sells for $130.

Speaking of Chef Carter, he was super down-to-earth and made a point to speak to everyone who attended, thanking us and inviting us back to the restaurant. In a city packed with delicious restaurants, personal touches and attentive staff go far. Service is usually why we return (or don’t return) to restaurants, and Chef Carter’s personal service definitely “made” our night at Barony Tavern. We can’t wait to go back for lunch or dinner.

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Check out Barony Tavern on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and the restaurant’s website.

As a Yelp Elite, I attended this invitation-only elite event free of charge. I received no monetary or other form of compensation for this post, and all opinions are my own.

 

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19 Responses to Yelp Elite Evening at Barony Tavern

  1. Pam says:

    What a fun evening. The restaurant sounds like it will be a huge success and you had my mouth watering over the description of the appetizers! It’s funny, but not being a fan of coconut, I still love coconut cake. I bet it was divine! Can you tell I just went swimming and my stomach needs to be filled?

    • Amy Lauren says:

      What is it about swimming that makes everyone so much hungrier?

      I think the restaurant will be a big success once people find out about it. Although we haven’t been there for dinner, the prices are reasonable for this type of restaurant downtown. I feel like some of the nicer places outprice those of us who can’t drop $100+ on dinner.

  2. Laur says:

    I have been trying to utilize Yelp more often. I go to the site a lot to get foodie reviews, but I never wrote my own until recently. It’s hard to remember to write one, though, after a meal. I have no idea why, but it just slips my mind completely! It’s hard, too, because I live in a semi-small town. There aren’t a lot of good destinations unless you’re willing to drive a bit!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I usually write them later, or just write for places I regularly visit. I like to give myself a day or two to think about the meal/experience before reviewing (I do the same thing when I write about races on here too).

      We have to drive to get to everything from where we live, but we’re pretty used to it :). As long as traffic’s not a mess!

  3. harveylisam says:

    I think it’s so cool that you get to go to these events! The coconut cake looks amaaaaazing.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was great- I’m glad Yelp offers these events, as well as the whole elite program/designation. I wouldn’t know about this place if it weren’t for Yelp hosting the event.

  4. You always find the cutest places to eat!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks. The yelp event kinda found it for us- otherwise it wasn’t on my radar (we don’t go downtown for meals often). I read they have a new brunch menu so I want to try that…

  5. This place looks awesome!! Great review 🙂

  6. backatsquarezero says:

    Sounds so fun. I have heard his coconut cake is to die for.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Eh, I wouldn’t say that. When we go back, we probably won’t get a dessert or the cake. It was one of those things that’s fun to experience once, though.

      I would order any of the seafood items I tried. That crab cake was amazing but all the seafood was good.

  7. Farrah says:

    Ahhh! I’ve been a Yelp Elite since 2009, but…have not been able to get to a single Yelp Elite event (…forserious). …SOMEDAY! This one sounded like so much fun! I love the ones that involve food! ;P That coconut cake looks awesome!

  8. Jennifer says:

    What a fun evening. So nice you were able to sample the food and also see them put together the cake! I bet it was delicious. I think the only drink I ordered when I was in Charleston was a Sweet Tea Vodka over ice hehe.

  9. Elizabeth C. says:

    That’s really cool. And I’ll bet your reviews are really thorough and detailed- very helpful to your audience. This is just based on how great you are at capturing detail in your blog. Glad you had a fun time!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks- I linked to my reviews, if anyone’s curious, but I do try to be thorough in them. I use Yelp to find places to eat and drink and go too, so I try to include details that I’d want to know.

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