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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Charleston Restaurant Week returns this month

The city’s uber-popular culinary celebration known as Charleston Restaurant Week will return Jan. 30 through Feb. 3 featuring the same flexible-price format followed the past two years.


Carribean salmon with crab over coconut rice from Soho's at Capitol Market
Carribean salmon with crab over coconut rice from Soho's at Capitol Market






That means participating restaurants can pick their own price for the special three-course menus they’ll be offering during this year’s event.


For those who are unfamiliar, Charleston Restaurant Week gives local diners the opportunity to enjoy a choice of appetizers, entrees and desserts from unique featured selections at dozens of restaurants around town – usually for a discounted price.


Grilled swordfish from Ristorante Abruzzi
Grilled swordfish from Ristorante Abruzzi

Coordinated by Buzz Foods, the promotion is designed to help boost business at local restaurants during what is typically a slow time of the year between New Years and Valentine’s Day.


This will be the 10th year for Charleston Restaurant Week, although it actually started 11 years ago. (Organizers took a year off during COVID.)  


I’ll be sharing more details – including a list of participating restaurants and their menus – in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. You can also follow “Charleston WV Restaurant Week” on Facebook for updates.


Forget Christmas. For local foodies, THIS is the most wonderful time of the year!


Speaking of restaurants, the new year rang in with announcements from several new ones that will soon open their doors throughout the region. Here’s a brief roundup of just a few of them. 


Crisppi’s Chicken Teases Charleston Location


The announcement of a new Crisppi’s Chicken coming to Charleston has been more divisive than the state’s ongoing Marshall vs. WVU debate. That’s due to wildly mixed reviews of the new location in Huntington, which have created quite the love-or-hate relationship among folks who have tried it.


Although co-owner Randy Moss (he of NFL and Marshall fame) has helped drive positive buzz among his own fans and the larger Herd faithful, the Crisppi’s in Huntington has been generating some of the most unfavorable reviews I’ve seen in a long time citing the restaurant’s mediocre food quality, poor service and overall format.


Dill-crusted salmon and potatoes from 1010 Bridge
Dill-crusted salmon and potatoes from 1010 Bridge

The restaurant has alluded to dealing with “fake Google reviews,” but there are plenty of real ones casting shade as well.


Not one to only trust online reviews, however, I also spoke to a couple of friends who made the trip down themselves to try the place out.


Granted Crisppi’s just opened and a few fumbles should be expected, but my trusted foodies told me – and I quote – “it was a mess.”


They cited a bizarre concept (fast food with a waiter and no takeout), along with unoriginal fries, only moderately decent chicken, high prices and very long waits.


“It was the most odd restaurant experience of my life,” one of them confided. “I would never go back.”


Another cautionary post came from one of the moderators of a Facebook restaurant review page, saying it was the first negative review he’s ever shared.


No specific location or timeline has been announced for the Charleston location, but I hope it’s after they get their act together in Huntington first.


Hinode Hibachi & Sushi opening in St. Albans


Hinode Hibachi & Sushi Truck will open a new brick-and-mortar dine-in location this February at 78 Olde Main Plaza in St. Albans offering a selection of hibachi entrees, sushi rolls and Asian apps.


The food truck’s owners say they are excited for this next adventure and will post updates on Facebook as things move forward.


New Takaya Buffet coming to Barboursville


Along those same culinary lines, the new Takaya Seafood, Steak Grill & Sushi Buffet is apparently coming to the old Golden Corral location on Route 60 in Barboursville.


Although a “coming soon” sign has been posted there for months, construction work has recently begun in earnest in anticipation of a March opening.


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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at www.wvfoodguy.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at wvfoodguy@aol.com.

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