Charleston's restaurant scene is booming more than ever and we have another one to add to the list, Ink N Ivy on King Street!
An eclectic style meets American food with a twist! We had to go taste, smell, feel and touch it to see what the new buzz is about.
We had two Grit writers attend the Ink N Ivy Grand Opening event a few nights ago to cover their true opinions on the space!
Our first writer who attended the event, Helen Mitternight said this about the venue:
"I know this is the Charleston entry to a restaurant already established in other cities, but I deliberately read nothing about the others, hoping the Holy City venue can stand on its own.
The first step is the phalanx of young lovelies at the door with names on a list. My name is nowhere to be found (I didn’t crash, I swear!) but they graciously let me in anyway because I’m writing for YOU, the Grit reader.
The restaurant is dim and I am confused. Is this a restaurant or a nightclub? It has more of a nightclub vibe, with pounding music and over-the-top odd décor that will surely compete with anything coming from the kitchen.
Perhaps a drink will help. The Sorry/Not Sorry, a fresh blend of vodka, St. Germaine, watermelon, lime and mint, is delicious. There is no straw in the tall, thin glass, so I am pursing my lips to drink and avoid the huge mint leaf plunked in the top that keeps tickling my nose.
Perhaps tickling is supposed to be part of the experience?
Appetizers trickle slowly from the kitchen and they are either very good or I am very hungry: fried plantain chips loaded with pimento cheese and salsa, drizzled with balsamic; a deep-fried puff of something vaguely hammy; chunks of prime rib. All good, but none giving a hint as to the theme of the place.
Maybe I’m just not cool enough to get it, although I am hardly the oldest person in the room.
I ask a younger friend the theme.
“Um, steampunk?” he ventures, looking at the monitors with line art of vaguely surreal subjects, such as the hands gently cradling a giant eyeball. “You know, the kind of place that won’t be a sports bar?”
I point out the two TVs over the bar tuned to ESPN.
“Oh,” he says, shrugging. “I don’t know then. It’s cool, though.”
And it is, three levels of eye-popping art, leopard skin print booths and tables both high and low.
The trappings are cool, I’m just not sure it’s cemented its core yet. I’ll give it another try, though, and see if I can figure it out."
Our second wrtier, Haley Moore attended and said this about the space:
"Ink N Ivy is incredible! The place is huge! Just steps from the new Hyatt, the hotel garage supplies ample parking helping give this part of Upper King new life and making it the new party spot.
When you first walk in you are greeted by a very eclectic feel. From animal heads on the wall, to a psychic looking piece going up the stairs, the place is quirky. The space is comprised of both an upstairs and a downstairs, both having ample space.
This is probably one of the largest restaurants in Charleston. It is hard to believe this building used to house a pawn shop. The bar downstairs is long and massive. There is also plenty of downstairs seating. I really enjoyed the upstairs.
The upstairs had big windows with views of King Street. The bar upstairs was smaller, but nice. There is a large dining room upstairs as well.
What really made Ink N Ivy stand out amongst other new King Street restaurants was their cocktail list. Going with the quirky feel, each cocktail had a very “punny” name. The first cocktail I ordered was Sorry not Sorry.
The drink was light and refreshing and consisted of Cathead Vodka, St. Germain, Watermelon, Lime, and Mint. A good drink to start the night.
As I was sitting at the bar, all the buzz was about a certain drink with glitter. A drink with glitter? I was intrigued. I ordered a Stop Calling Me Shirley. The drink was composed of Tanqueray Gin, Hibiscus, Lemon, Suze, and Sparkly Bubbles.
So where is the glitter you ask? The glass was garnished with dehydrated lemon and edible glitter on the side. It was a sight to see.
I definitely think this is going to be the new hot cocktail for Charleston. Even if you are planning to dine elsewhere, Ink N Ivy is worth the stop for this cocktail.
If you haven’t heard of Ink N Ivy yet, I am sure you will. This is destined to be a new Charleston hot spot."