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High Tech, Heavenly Haven; 2 Stars For The Local Craft Food & Drink

In his review of Haven, Lee Klein braves the high tech special effects, $17 cocktails, and Depeche Mode soundtrack and says that "dining here is a totally immersive experience. It's subversive as well, in the way in re-imagines the gastropub genre for the digital age." Klein says the chef's counter is "worth reserving," and "like the ambiance, the cuisine pulsates too." Chef Todd Erickson's "gastronomic smarts make this place more than just a kick-ass 21st century psychedelic lounge," and while Haven "is not for everyone," "for people seeking scintillating snacks and drinks in a stimulating environment, Haven should be heaven." [MNT]

Victoria Pesce Elliott says that "walking into The Local Craft Food & Drink made me feel like I was going back to an old New York City bar on the Upper West Side." The food, "from the pig ear salad and Anson Mills grits to the Palmetto Creek Farms pork and chicken liver mousse", writes VPE, "is an homage to local hero Michael Schwartz." Even the desserts, she says, look like they were "culled from MGFD pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith's recipe box." On the what worked list: "well-edited" craft beer list, "scrawny, but nicely goopy chicken wings," "delightful house made pickles," and in a criss cross of lists, "pale and nicely crisp house-made Cuban crackers with nostalgic, but somewhat unsatisfying, Cuban-style ham pate," among others. On the not so good list: "Malanga tater tots that tasted nothing of oil," "Greasy fish and chips," "Sodden and inedible skinny fries," and some more. Bottom line: Two stars. []