03 August 2011

August Foodie Events

L.I.M.E. Charleston to Benefit Center for Women
Local. Impromptu. Moveable. Evening. On August 13 from 5-10p.m., enjoy a seven course dinner with pairings and live entertainment, all benefiting the Center for Women.

L.I.M.E. is the newest underground experience created by Chef Renata Dos Santos. The emphasis is on slow foods, local sustainability and sense of community. This dinner's featured talent is Chef Ulfet Ralph of UR The Cook & Mixologist Laura Appleton of Speakeasy.

Dinner includes a BeBa Luxe fashion show and is all inclusive. Tickets are available for $75 at http://www.limeincharlesto​n.com/charleston-limes.htm​l.

Julia Child Birthday Dinner
The Glass Onion will host a dinner to celebrate Julia Child’s birthday on Monday, August 15, with three courses featuring classics from Child’s repertoire, such as beef tartare, chicken fricassee, sweetbreads and chocolate roulade. The West Ashley restaurant is located at 1219 Savannah Highway. and dinner will be served during regular dining hours from 6-10p.m. The GO also has a pretty great blog that's worth checking out for some awesome recipes using local ingredients.

The cost of the birthday dinner will be $35 per person, and reservations are required. This event also happens to coincide with the Glass Onion’s Monday special -- half priced bottles of wine. Customers can choose a bottle to enjoy at half the regular cost from the restaurant’s eco-conscious wine list.

VegStock - 7 Courses of Peas, Wine & Love
Charleston Grill recently announced the details for the second annual VegStock dinner. Last year's inaugural dinner was a sold-out affair, so this year the Grill will host VegStock 2011 on back-to-back nights, Wednesday, August 17 and Thursday, August 18. Seating for both dinners will be limited.

Both Executive Chef Michelle Weaver and Sommelier Rick Rubel guarantee for a fantastic seven-course vegetarian feast, with the perfect pairings. Dishes such as Watermelon with Ginger-Lime Broth, Heirloom Tomato Shortcake and Avocado Crudo will be accompanied by fine wines. This evening is sure to be innovative and nothing short of delectable.

Tickets are $70 (plus tax and gratuity) for dinner and wine. Reservations are required. For more information please call (843) 577-4522.

What's a femivore, you ask? A woman who knows the importance of using local food. Lowcountry Local First's 2011 Femivore Awards will honor one foodie woman working to promote a business or community outreach program in each of four categories: Grow, Nourish, Inspire, and Give.

The winners will receive $2,000 to use towards their project as well as an "Entrepreneurship Pack" with new ideas. The first annual Femivore Awards will be held Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at Ashley Hall (Dining Hall), 172 Rutledge Ave, 6-9pm. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased by calling (843)740-5444 or online.

Glass Onion on Urbanspoon

Charleston Grill on Urbanspoon

07 July 2011

Charleston Named Second Best City in America

Travel + Leisure has confirmed what plenty of us already know to be true. Charleston is among the very best places to live in the whole country. The travel mag's 2011 World’s Best Awards list of Top Cities in the United States and Canada awarded Charleston the No.2-ranked city in the U.S., displacing San Francisco and achieving its highest ranking ever in the survey. The top-ranked city in the U.S. and Canada is New York City for the eleventh consecutive year. Four South Carolina hotels and resorts are also recognized among the top hotels in the World’s Best Awards readers’ survey this year—two of which are in Charleston.

Top 10 Cities in the United States and Canada:
1.            New York City          
2.            Charleston, South Carolina
3.            Chicago
4             San Francisco
5.            Santa Fe, New Mexico
6.            New Orleans
7.            Savannah
8.            Vancouver      
9.            Victoria, British Columbia
10.          Quebec City

Four South Carolina properties rank among the top hotels and resorts in the Continental U.S. and Canada.

Inn at Palmetto Bluff located in Bluffton, South Carolina is ranked No. 7 on the list of Top 50 Resorts in the Continental U.S. and Canada and ranks No. 60 on the list of World’s Best Hotels Overall.
Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina ranks No. 17 on list of Top 50 Resorts in the Continental U.S. and Canada and ranks No. 97 on the list of World’s Best Hotels Overall.
Charleston Place Hotel is the top-rated hotel in Charleston and ranks No. 26 on the list of Top Large City Hotels in the Continental U.S. and Canada.
Planters Inn in Charleston ranks No. 10 on the list of Top 10 Small City Hotels in the Continental U.S. and Canada.

24 May 2011

yesUmay - Don't Mind If I Do

There are really few things in life more satisfying than a cookie, and yesUmay Cookies in Mount Pleasant does not disappoint. Local owner and cookie connoisseur, Ashley Swider, brings a simple philosophy to her cookies - enjoy life through deliciously unique flavor combinations that create the perfect sweet treat. These are truly not your average cookies - even her take on a plain ol' chocolate chip variety (Milk's Companion) brings a certain decadence that you just won't find in a roll of Pillsbury or even your average from-scratch recipe. 

They were out of the monthly flavor variety when I went in, but be sure to ask about their changing flavor. This month's is a vegan cookie! Here is what I did try - 

Blissed Out: Toffee, chocolate and a hint of sea salt. Far and away my favorite yesUmay cookie to date. I love the crunch of the sea salt with the sweet toffee. 

Optimistic Chew: Oatmeal, butterscotch and apple. I love butterscotch! This is one cookie you could potentially get away with for breakfast. Did I mention that it has butterscotch? Yum.

Sweet Satisfaction: Oh. My. This cookie has delicious buttercream frosting that manages not to overpower the delicate sugar cookie underneath. It was rich, but delicious nonetheless.

Abundant Bite: Gogi berries and dark chocolate. Okay, this cookie could even be construed as good for you. Yes, I know. Radical. Goji berries and dark chocolate are high in antioxidants and other nutritives that are good for the skin, hair and nails, in addition to help protect against certain types of cancer. 

In short, I love the cookies and yesUmay has set the bar high in terms of both quality and creativity. I recommend yesUmay after a long day at work, on a night-in with friends or if you're looking to give that perfect gift people will truly appreciate. Because after all, there are really few things in life more satisfying than a cookie. 
Blissed Out

yesUmay Cookies on Urbanspoon

18 March 2011

An Ode to Ted's

Yesterday as I waited patiently on my favorite sandwich from Ted's Butcherblock, it occurred to me that I have not given this local foodie establishment its due, at least not on this blog!

Don't mistake me - I eat at Ted's . . . a lot. I am an absolute sucker for their Greek-Style Panini (I have divulged my obsession with Greek food before), and I genuinely appreciate the time and effort Ted's puts in to making its Tzatziki sauce. Cucumbers are a pain in the a** to peel and seed and grate, but it makes all the difference. Not to mention the quality Greek yogurt that is obviously being put to good use.

What else? There's plenty. Smoked gouda mac and cheese is available daily from the case and is perfect when warmed (upon request). Other favorites of mine include the chicken, pancetta and avocado on baguette, in addition to the first sandwich I ever tried at Ted's, the house wagyu beef panini with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and blue cheese aioli. Yes and please.

My favorite thing to do at Ted's is browse. I love to see the meats that the owner, Ted Dombrowski, has selected for the case. From bacon to duck confit to filet mignon, you can be sure that it is the best of the best - international products sit right next to meats raised no further than upstate South Carolina. Plus, there is a fair selection of housemade pasta sauces and dips, as well as specialty wines and cheeses that help to round out any good meal.

Ted's has gained quite the cult following with sellout Craft Beer Dinners. This week's Friday dinner menu included indulgences like Lemon-Tarragon & Shallot Whole Roasted Chicken / Truffle Honey-Mustard Potato Salad / Fennel & Baby Arugula with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette / Peanut Butter and Coconut Bread Pudding with Turtle Sauce. My mouth. . . it waters.

Good news (at least for me) - Ted's has recently expanded its seating to accomodate its ever-growing lunch crowd. Never been? I highly suggest a hop on the bandwagon.

Ted's Butcherblock on Urbanspoon

28 February 2011

Potlikker Film Festival: Charleston

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Upstairs at McCrady's Restaurant
(2 Unity Alley, off East Bay Street)

Charleston, SC - On March 2, on the eve of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, the Southern Foodways Alliance will pitch its tent at McCrady’s Restaurant. On the menu: SFA-produced Lowcountry foodways films. Smart words. Good local drinks. Honest local foods. Cool music. Good company.

By way of Joe York-directed films, John Simpkins-crafted words, and the bass drum stylings of Mr. Jenkins, we will celebrate South Carolina food titans like Robert Barber, Buckshot Colleton, Emile DeFelice, Bertha Grant, and Glenn Roberts.

Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Husk, Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill, and Sarah O’Kelley of Glass Onion, will be our cooks for the evening. You’ll taste potlikker, squirrel gravy, and other delights. You'll sip oyster-flavored beer from local fave Coast Brewing. SFA founders Vertamae Grosvenor, Marion Sullivan, and Nathalie Dupree will hold court.

Tickets, priced at $50 per person, include food, drink, music, films, and, for a lucky few, a cool door prize. Available by advance purchase only. Click here to buy tickets.

23 February 2011

O-Ku Opens for Lunch on Upper King

CHARLESTON, S.C.  – Lunch fare in downtown Charleston is about to get more interesting as O-Ku announces that it will open for lunch beginning Feb. 28, serving a diverse selection of Japanese cuisine and sushi from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Celebrating authentic Japanese cuisine with a contemporary spin, Executive Chef Sean Park’s lunch menu will feature appetizers, such as dumpling dimsum; sushi and sashimi selections, including Tasmanian salmon and Kanpachi yellowtail; specialty rolls such as the fire cracker roll and the salmon and lemon wrapped roll and a variety of combination choices. O-Ku will also offer a modern take on a traditional bento, a Japanese-style lunch box featuring an assortment of sides, salads, noodles and sushi for $10-$15.

As an added incentive to the neighborhood locals, O-Ku will offer a 10% discount to Upper King Street residents, students, and businesses on Mondays.

Miso soup
Yellowtail carpaccio
Dumpling dimsum

Bento Box: 
Chicken Teriyaki Bento
Yakiniku (tender beef) Bento
Seafood Teriyaki Bento
Tofu Bento, with veggie roll
Sushi Bento, with 5 pieces of nigiri
Sashimi Bento, 6 pieces of sashimi
Sushi and Sashimi Bento, 4 pieces of nigiri, 6 pieces of sashimi

* Each Bento Box includes:
·        Mesclun salad with ginger carrot vinaigrette
·        Crab salad, avocado roll
·        Steamed glass noodle with sautéed mushroom, onion and carrot with a ginger garlic sweet soy    

Potato Wrapped Roll
Fire Cracker Roll
Tuna Wrapped Roll
Salmon and Lemon Wrapped Roll
Rainbow Roll
Tuna Crunch Roll

Sushi Lunch includes ginger salad, choice of specialty roll and five pieces of nigiri.

Sashimi Lunch includes ginger salad, bowl of rice and 10 pieces of sashimi.

Sushi and Sashimi Lunch served with salad, choice of specialty roll, four pieces of nigiri and six pieces of sashimi.

For more information, please visit www.o-kusushi.com or call 843.737.0112.

14 February 2011

Ovis Hill Farms Barn Raising

CHARLESTON, S.C.  – More than 400 people will fill the lawn of Lowndes Grove Plantation Feb. 20 as Patrick Properties, Lowcountry Local First and Keegan Farms host the Ovis Hill Farms Barn Raising event to benefit farmer Charlie Caldwell of Ovis Hill Farms, who tragically lost his barn and more than 500 of his prized animals in a fire this past December.
Guests at the event will enjoy an oyster roast prepared by Nico Romo of Fish restaurant from 1 to 4 p.m., as well as special dishes from 12 other Charleston chefs: Mike Lata of FIG, Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Husk, Ken Vedrinski of Trattoria Lucca, Frank Lee of S.N.O.B., Jeremiah Bacon of Oak Steakhouse, Craig Deihl of Cypress, Ricky Hacker of Evo, Fred Neuville of Fat Hen, Marc Collins of Circa 1886, Mike Lotz of Triangle Char and Bar, Ben Berryhill of Red Drum and Jacques Larson of Wild Olive. The afternoon will also feature live music by local singer Elise Testone.
Tickets for the event are $50 per person and include all food and entertainment (beer and wine are not included), and free for kids ages 10 and under, in the hopes of raising $20,000 to rebuild the Ovis Hill Farms barn and replace the lost livestock. 100% of the proceeds benefit Ovis Hill Farm! http://ht.ly/3W3cs

27 January 2011

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit at Fish

I just saw the menu for Fish's Chinese New Year Dinner next week, and I felt obliged to share! Make your reservations early to enjoy this quintessential Chinese meal that is sure to impress even the most jaded palate. I will definitely be in attendance.

Chef Nico and his team have created a special prix-fixe 4-course menu for $35, which will be offered in addition to the new winter menu.

First course - crab spring roll, fresh mint, noodles, carrots, daikon
Second course - pan-seared tilefish, sweet soy glazed noodles, local wok veggies
Third course - homemade peking duck, cashews, shiitakes, jasmine rice, cilantro, moo-shu pancake, sweet and spicy hoisin sauce
Dessert - basil rice milk ice cream, sweet red bean puree

Diners can also pair their meal with specialty sake and sake-inspired cocktails.

And, Fish will have a Chinese money tree in honor of the New Year, where guests can make donations to benefit local non-profit AFFA, the Alliance for Full Acceptance.

Reservations are highly recommended so call Fish at 843-722-3474. I am looking forward to partaking in the festivities!!

10 January 2011

Better Than Crack Brownies

I tried these "Better than Crack" Brownies on Saturday. Ah-mazing. I'm not sure whether to thank my friend for introducing this recipe to me or hold it against her forever! No other brownie will ever hold a candle to these.

Better Than Crack Brownies:
1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Brownies
Additional Required Ingredients Specified In Mix Package (typically Water, Eggs And Oil)
½ cups Salted Peanuts
1 cup Chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
1-½ cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1-½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
½ Tablespoons Butter
1-½ cup Rice Krispie Cereal

- Mix brownies according to directions (you’ll typically need water, eggs and oil, as directed in mix package), and bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Remove and top with peanuts and peanut butter cups, and bake for 4-6 minutes more.
- While they are finishing baking, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Stir in cereal. Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over the top.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

05 January 2011

Best Week of the Year! Charleston Restaurant Week January 14-22

It is that time of year again! Charleston Restaurant Association has announced the dates for Restaurant Week, and menus are up. I have done plenty of perusing already, so here is what I suggest based on the menus posted. Let me know what you try! I will follow-up with details about where I end up.

Tristan - http://www.mycharlestonrestaurants.com/cra/pdfs/tristan3for30.pdf

Circa 1886 - http://www.mycharlestonrestaurants.com/cra/pdfs/circa.pdf

Rice Market - http://www.mycharlestonrestaurants.com/cra/pdfs/ricemarket3for30.pdf

Carolina's - http://www.mycharlestonrestaurants.com/cra/pdfs/carolina.pdf

O-Ku - http://www.mycharlestonrestaurants.com/cra/pdfs/oku.pdf