Permanently Closed - 181 Palmer

4.7
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245 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. 181 Palmer is the Culinary Institute of Charleston’s dining room on its downtown campus. The facility’s design, highlighted by bold lines and bright colors, garnered LS3P Associates an Honor Award, the American Institute of Architect’s highest. Inside 181 Palmer’s sparkling glass walls, tables are… dressed in crisp linens and Stolzle stemware, state-of-the-art technology streams in action from the kitchen, and skilled CIC students produce and serve a seasonal prix fixe menu for a value that Southern Living magazine labeled “How to Save Money on Fine Cuisine.” (Please note: Because both the dining rooms and the student-run kitchens of 181 Palmer and our sister restaurant The Relish Restaurant Group® Restaurant are classrooms, the days and hours of operation are determined by the college’s calendar.)
What 245 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.7based on all time ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
5.0
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience4

This is Trident Tech's culinary school restaurant. The service is superb. The food is very good, but can be a little spotty. Their menus vary from week to week, so be sure to see what their menu will be before making reservations. Expect to pay less than half what you would pay for a comparable meal downtown.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2017
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Really enjoyed our lunch at 181 Palmer. Very accommodating as one of the party is allergic to seafood. Originally scheduled because of the north German menu, but was changed to Asian due to Irma.

b
bfood
Charleston
20 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Talk about value for your money, you can't do better than having lunch at Palmer. The food was well prepared, and the server we had was just fabulous.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious. The service wa excellent. Our server was friendly, knowledgeable, and efficient.

FB
vipFrugalBoomers
Charleston
17 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love everything about the lunches at 181 Palmer: the food, presentation, and the student staff. Incredible bargain!

M
Macy
Charleston
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I invited 3 of my friends to a "mystery lunch". Over the course of several months I gave them very vague clues about where we were going. When the mystery was revealed as we drove into the parking lot, everyone was so excited! They had all wanted to go there, but never had. We had such fun describing our food to each other and sharing bites with each other. Now I want to go back with my husband! The food was simply delicious and the whole experience was just great. These students do an excellent job.

e
erbdiner
Toronto
3 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This is an amazing value dining opportunity - $15 for 3 courses, no tipping and no tax! I realize it is a culinary school and having had lunch here a few times before, I have to say I was never disappointed until this time. Charcuiterie plate which I always get, used to be fabulous but now it is just mediocre. Very small with limited choices. Also it was served on a wooden plate which did not showcase the food but rather camoflaged it. The Lobster Ravioli entree was delicious and the presentation was outstanding but my dessert (Salted Carmel Chocolate Tart) was hard and tough to eat. Although I needed a knife to cut through the hard pastry the presentation was pretty to look at. Service, as always was excellent.
Go back to the original Charcuiterie plate from a year ago and maybe raise the price from $15 - $18!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2017
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We have been there before, always a pleasant lunch, good food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The waitress had the greatest personality. Food and service was excellent.

AW
vipAlvinW
Charleston
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Service was impeccable. The Chef's food presentation added a certain appeal to the meal. Each meal course was enjoyable.

F
vipFoodwriter
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Really great food. For only $15 per person, you have an appetizer, main course, dessert, and iced tea and/or coffee. Since it is a student-run restaurant, the patrons get the benefit.

FB
vipFrugalBoomers
Charleston
17 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic student run operation with excellent food and nice small space. Even when full, the dining area is still a place for good conversation. We have dined here many times and are always thrilled by the quality and presentation of the food!

D
David
Jacksonville
33 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic experience and great value. Food and presentation are exquisite and the price is certainly a bargain.

B
Bennett39
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food along with excellent service. Best deal in Charleston for a gourmet lunch at a terrific price.
You can't go wrong. Nice and quiet so conversation is easy and surroundings are excellent. Parking is not a problem.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious and beautifully plated. Always enjoy the variety offered on an otherwise small menu.
Our server, Chris, was very friendly and attentive. Wish we had reserved additional days before they were all filled!

CG
CharlestonGirl
Charleston
34 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a pleasure it is to have lunch at 181 Palmer. The food is fabulous and the serve perfect.
It is an honor to meet and get to know the students and workers in our hospitality industry.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've heard it said that 181 Palmer is the best-kept secret in Charleston. I agree! The restaurant is part of Trident Technical College's Culinary Institute of Charleston, on the Palmer campus near downtown. This was our first experience. The dining room is run by Hospitality students and the kitchen is staffed with Culinary students. Because everyone is motivated to succeed, guests end up with a first-rate experience! As you can imagine, service was stellar, food was beautiful and delectable, and the value was out-of-this-world!

Definitely planning to return!

B
Bernadine
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I are foodies and loved the idea of a culinary are school. Everyone was clearly making their best effort. The food was awesome as was the service. You Can See The Kitchen On overhead screens. The food was outstsnding & a good value. No bar, but it's lunch. I'd like to think I Even helped students By Being A Very happy, Test dummy.

S
Susi
Charleston
24 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lunch at 181 Palmer was delightful. Our server Nick was very helpful, patient, efficient. There was a small mixup with our reservation , but the manager very kindly was able to satisfy our needs, and everyone was happy happy. Everything was very delicious. Creative. Beautifully served.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
4 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is the practice kitchen for the culinary program at Trident Tech. The cooks and servers are students, with staff supervision. Television screens even show the "action" in the kitchen. Both the food and service were excellent; comparable to what one would expect at one of the finest restaurants. The are only eight four-seat tables with one sitting at lunch, which makes the service both personable and limited. Reservations fill up more than a month in advance, so book early.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Charleston
61 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2017
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Fabulous for lunch. Can't beat the $15 price and food choices are very good and unadulterated.

F
vipFoodwriter
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2016
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We met for lunch at 181 Palmer because it is a place where both conversation and parking are easy. It is a relatively quiet restaurant with soft music and a free adjacent parking lot. And the food is always delicious. I had a lovely salad to start, followed by grilled head-on shrimp over sautéed red peppers. They have an especially good dessert this term: two chocolate cookies sandwiched with housemade vanilla ice cream and finished with hot fudge sauce. $15.00. Can't. Eat that.

MM
vipMichelleM
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fabulous meal! Everything was delicious and the service and presentation was terrific! Thank you!

S
Startwithdessert
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2016
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Good food well presented; smart, friendly service; great value!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the food, the service and the ambiance. Wished they opened more throughout the year.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always pleased with the menu variety and excellent food. The student servers are always friendly and helpful.

S
Susan
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

181 Palmer is a favorite of mine. Three inventive, delicious courses, much to choose from, and the staff is wonderful. I try to go several times each semester and take someone who hasn't been there. It's a real treat!

D
Deani
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2016
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Love numerous choices for three courses. Food is always excellent. Server this time was new and learning so it detracted a little from experience but she was so nice.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2016
Overall4food4service5ambience4

This place never disappoints!
The value for the experience is unbelievable. The students always try their very best to please and the teacher sometimes comes to our table to do some hands on training and it is wonderful to learning along.
The food is all farm to table and I love that they use our local people to provide the freshest taste.

S
Sharon
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Halibut was dry, but rest of meal was very good. Waiters need to practice how to pronounce names of menu ingredients ahead of time. Our waiter was very polished in every other respect.

N
Noel
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2016
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We had a fantastic meal, attentive service and enjoyed the atmosphere. We were fascinated to watch the chefs preparing the dishes on the screen. The fixed-price per person was an incredibly good deal! We would definitely return again.

CG
CharlestonGirl
Charleston
34 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It is so wonderful having lunch at 181 Palmer. This is the culinary Institute of Charleston and watching the students prepare and serve lunch is an honor

D
David
Jacksonville
33 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fun to watch the kitchen on the big screen while waiting

F
vipFoodwriter
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food at 181 Palmer is cooked and served by students and it is really good. There are three courses, with choices in each, for $15.00. A deal.

M
Murphy
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2016
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Palmer is a delightful lunch experience. Interesting menus and an ernest effort from the student wait staff to provide outstanding (unobtrusive) service.

M
Macaco
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2016
Overall3food3service3ambience3

This is part of Trident Tech's culinary program - a test kitchen/restaurant for students to practice what they've been learning whether it's cooking, baking, or serving. It's a good opportunity to have a decent lunch in a pleasant atmosphere for not that much money. Some experiences have been better than others. The octopus was tender and nicely prepared. My fish dish was okay, a tad close to being overcooked though the greens were quite salty. The dessert custard was delicious and better without the lemon curd, which was mouth puckering tart. All in all for the purpose it serves, I commend TTC for offering this dining opportunity to the public. How else will they learn?!

CH
CHSfoodfinder
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2016
Overall5food4service4ambience4

I love this place for a nice meal close to downtown. Watching the culinary arts students on the TV is great.

I took a couple of out of town business guests for a unique experience at the school, and they loved it. We'll definitely be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is always very good. Our group gets different foods and we taste each other's items . I have been here many times and always enjoy the entire meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2015
Overall4food5service3ambience4

One of the few places to have a high quality, affordable lunch in a quiet comfortable setting where parking is plentiful and conversation is possible while eating.
The food was stellar on both recent visits; four varied and thoughtful choices of appetizer, entree and dessert options, all plated very well with delicious and attractive garnishes.
This maybe a teaching situation, but it is skillfully masked by Chef Stephanelli and Lisa Buzzelli to feel as a first class experience.
Congratulations!

F
vipFoodwriter
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2015
Overall5food5service4ambience4

I lucked into a special of lamb chops with potato gratin and bordelaise sauce yesterday. It was delicious and perfectly cooked to my request of medium rare. Had the cheese platter, then a ricotta and mascarpone cheese cake for dessert.

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