The Restaurant: Char Restaurant has been well-known in Jackson for its upscale, fine dining experience and service that is second to none. For years, this Highland Village staple has provided high quality cuisine with exceptional service, offering catering and special event services as well. While the atmosphere is quite formal and the dinner menu far from modest, their lunch and brunch specials are very reasonably priced and come with the same level of quality and service you’ve come to know in a Char dining experience. Char currently has two locations, Jackson and Memphis, with a third coming soon to Nashville.
The Atmosphere: When you walk into Char, the warm mahogany woodwork, black and white framed photos along the columns, and antique style tile floors give an air of sophistication. If you don’t have a reservation, don’t fret, there’s a helpful and courteous hostess who greets you at the door for available seating. The restaurant has a spacious bar area, beautiful window seating, some center dining seating, and spaces for special events and larger parties. The wait staff is impeccably adorned in dress shirts, ties, and the signature Char classic lapel server coat, matching the fine dining ambiance created when you walk in the front door.
The Menu & Food: Though you can expect to spend a pretty tasty penny during dinner at Char, the best time to dine would be during brunch or lunch. You can always catch delicious appetizers and lunch specials for a fraction of the cost of the dinner menu. But, on this particular visit, I decided to dine for dinner with my daughter, who was dressed for a fine dining occasion in an Elsa ball gown.
I started out with a house salad dressed with bacon, cheddar, egg, tomato, and house-made buttermilk ranch. All of Char’s dressings are house-made, and quite tasty. Logan, my server, loaded my salad with fresh cracked pepper to my satisfaction. I then set out to order the Original Cowboy Ribeye. Unfortunately, they were out of the Cowboy Ribeye this night, so I opted for the 16 oz. ribeye topped with maître d’ butter, medium-well. I chose the creamed spinach gratin as my side. The ribeye came out fairly quickly, with beautiful cross hatch sear marks. It was a true medium-well, with just a faint line of pink in the middle. It was not overly seasoned, but I didn’t require any additional condiments to enjoy it. There’s no fanfare with this ribeye. Just man (or woman in this case) and great steak. The creamed spinach was a nice compliment to the steak, giving me the comfort food feel without the carbs of those delicious garlic mashed potatoes, which I secretly wanted instead.
I didn’t have room for dessert this time, but the house made pecan pie topped with French vanilla ice cream is my go-to dessert at Char. Try it if you haven’t, you will thank me for it later.
Service: Logan was my server and as anticipated, he delivered stellar service. I never felt rushed, though we were dining fairly late for dinner. He topped off my sweet tea before I could finish the glass and was extremely courteous to my five-year-old daughter, who shared with him her many stories about her magical powers. With this level of service, cuisine, and sophisticated charm delivered every time, Char will be a standard bearer for food and service in this industry for decades to come.