WV Food Guy: Tidewater Grill still a great catch

Essential reporting in volatile times.

Not a Subscriber yet? Click here to take advantage of All access digital limited time offer $5.99 per month EZ Pay.

Interested in Donating? Click #ISupportLocal for more information on supporting local journalism.


It’s been said there are only two ways to come out of an extended isolation — either blimped or ripped.

I’m happy to report that after spending the first week at home during the COVID-19 pandemic eating and drinking everything that wasn’t nailed down, I had a serious heart-to-heart with my mirror and decided that behavior wasn’t going to end well.

Ever since that day, I’ve been running so much I wore holes in my shoes.

So after picking up a new pair at the Charleston Town Center mall Sunday afternoon, I popped into Tidewater Grill, which reopened to both indoor and outdoor dining this past weekend.

Rest assured, they are taking the new cleaning and social distancing guidelines to the max. Tables are either spaced out or closed to keep diners separated. There are no salt/pepper shakers, signs or anything on tables that can be touched. All servers were wearing masks, and my waiter even stayed several feet away from my table unless he was placing or removing dishes from it.

As you might expect, the menu has changed a little and some items are still limited, but the overall Tidewater dining experience is largely unchanged. That includes their famous Greek salad and those intoxicatingly good hot-buttered poppyseed rolls.

They didn’t have the miso-glaze or spinach needed for the Asian-inspired version of the dish I wanted, so I just ordered sautéed Chilean sea bass with rice pilaf. It was a masterfully prepared piece of fish — gorgeous slight sear on the outside, buttery moist on the inside — that flaked perfectly when barely touched with my fork.

Speaking of buttery, the new Warm Butter Cake dessert with cream cheese anglaise, fresh strawberries and a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream was sublime. I initially thought such a delicious (and beautifully plated) dessert deserved a more elaborate name than “Warm Butter Cake,” but there’s no better way to describe it. It’s almost like a cake soufflé, with a rich, buttery, barely cooked center that made me sigh after every bite.

Welcome back, Tidewater!

For more information, call 304-345-2622 or visit their website at www.tidewatergrillrestaurant.com.

•••

After writing about Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille reopening with a makeover last week, I stopped in for drinks and dinner to check it out. You’ll notice the place has been spiffed up, for sure, but it still feels like the comfortable hangout it’s always been.

What is gloriously “new” on the menu, however, is Adelphia’s gyro.

Sure, they were on the menu before, but owner Deno Stanley told me he tinkered with the recipe after enjoying one of the best gyros he’s ever had during a recent trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida. He said he stole a few tips from the chef who made that one and brought them back to use at Adelphia.

The result is a knock-your-socks-off good mound of perfectly seasoned shaved gyro meat wrapped in a warm, pillowy and slightly butter-toasted pita with lettuce, tomato, onion and tangy tzatziki. So simple, yet so good.

We also enjoyed the “Adelphilly” version that is a delicious cross between a traditional gyro and a Philly cheesesteak, if you can imagine all that goodness rolled into one.

While there, we got our deep-fried feta fix (voted “Best Appetizer” several years running at the Taste of Charleston) and devoured the tender chargrilled beef souvlaki, plus enjoyed a few bacon cheeseburger sliders and wings.

Adelphia’s current limited menu will expand in the coming weeks, and its popular brunch returns this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 304-343-5551 or visit their website at www.adelphiasports bar.com.

•••

In other local restaurant news, I’ve fielded a whole bunch of calls from readers concerned about the future of South Hills spots Lola’s and Bridge Road Bistro, which have yet to reopen after dining out restrictions were lifted.

Rest assured, the folks at Lola’s have just been busy remodeling the place and Bridge Road Bistro shared a Facebook update seeking suggestions for its new summer menu.

It will be great having these places back soon, too!

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 as “WV Food Guy.” He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

wvfoodguy@aol.com.