Recently, I’ve been in something of a rut restaurant-wise. I know I’m not alone in wanting the familiarity of dining at “my place” but I realized that my entire job is to eat at cool, new places and share that information with my guests and friends alike.
We can infer from the above statements that I’ve been slacking.
As altruistic as my intentions were to re-explore my old haunts, I made up my mind that starting tonight I would write about some of our newer establishments in our fair Holy City.
This week, I started with The Palace Hotel.
Today, I am unbelievably excited to announce something fun and exciting: I will be meeting with a good friend of mine, a friend who’s interested in blogging, and we’re going to devise some group effort blog posts! He’s also a food enthusiast (I promise I’ll tell you more about him later) and we’re going to attempt to be glib, creative, and amusing at some point in the near future.
Also, we’re going to be eating this tonight:
Or at least something very near to this. And yes, in case you might have guessed, we are going to one of the most ridiculously delicious restaurants in the city: Xiao Bao Biscuit. I don’t have a ton of guests who ask me for Asian but those who do will most likely find themselves being sent here. Since their recent mention in Restaurant Report in the NYT, they have been incredibly popular with both the locals and visitors alike, so you can only imagine my excitement in getting to return there tonight. With any luck, this endeavor will yield some fun pictures of food and cocktails.
Happy Thursday, y’all, and check out some of my recent pics on Instagram while you’re anxiously awaiting more blog entries.
Part of what’s so fun about running a blog is the cool things I get hooked up to report on. This usually means in terms of events, restaurant openings, bar offerings, etc, I get an exclusive peek every once in a while. Luckily for me, this happened the other night at High Cotton. A cocktail pairing dinner hosted by Domaine de Canton, a ginger liqueur that is described as “spicy and aromatic” yet also possesses a “bright, fresh, yet rich and complex ginger flavor” according to their website.
Domaine de Canton
Y’all who read regularly know that I try my best to be honest to a fault about food and drink pairings, especially in reference to a dinner that I have been invited to report on. Without any further adieu or disclaimers, let’s get on with the dinner.
One of the most essential parts of doing my job well is constantly reevaluating different tours, restaurants, cocktail bars, business partners, and most importantly, myself. Just because I’ve had one negative experience with a person or at an establishment does not permanently condemn him/her/it in my eyes. Everyone deserves some form of redemption for minor wrongdoings or inconsistencies.
Catharsis: I may or may not have been wrong about Husk.
I’m sure at this point you could assume that my love for Circa 1886 and Chef Marc is well documented to say the least. I don’t see what’s not to love about a restaurant that prides itself on consistently serving both locals AND tourists alike. It’s not out of the question to pick a narrow focus and work as hard as possible to keep perspective on what you do best. Take a page out of many a restaurant’s book: create a mission statement and stick to your guns. If that doesn’t work, start on a new path and keep going. Don’t try to have amazing fish, shellfish, sushi, steak, chicken, pad thai, and sandwiches all on one menu. It is impossible. Focus on what it is that you’re passionate about and go in that direction. You cannot be everything to everyone. Ever.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the best, brightest meal of the day: breakfast.
Charleston is the Wild West when it comes to the restaurant empire; things get weeded out instantly if they’re not working. I personally feel that the Holy City is over saturated with Italian restaurants. I mean, look at this daunting list: Mercato, Trattoria Lucca, Il Cortile del Re, Fulton Five, Osteria la Bottiglia, Cesca (until they went under a few weeks ago. SHOCKING.), and Bocci’s. These are almost ALL within walking distance of the historic district downtown. For a town that has always prided itself on seafood and Lowcountry fare, why all the pasta? It doesn’t make sense to me. I would never want to pick on any of these restaurants because they all offer something unique in their own right; however, at times choosing a restaurant for dinner does have a touch of redundancy to it. It’s getting increasingly difficult to recommend a mid-range, unique, Charleston experience.
In a town that has a veritable sea of high-end restaurants, where can a broad get a sandwich?
Ask and you shall receive. Continue reading
I’m sure you’ve all heard the hackneyed saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. While Charleston is first and foremost my home, even I am willing to admit that the Holy City doesn’t necessarily play host to the all of the best and brightest stars in the South Carolina culinary world. Our culinary renaissance is most definitely in full swing but the Charleston market is almost to the point of being over-saturated with “lardcore”, “farm to table” and “seasonable, sustainable”. As we’re rapidly approaching our culinary apex, those super niche restaurants are popping up absolutely everywhere. The lowcountry market is overstimulated with porkbelly, fed up with lard this and fatback that, and don’t even get me started with pig ear sandwiches.
I declare this time to return to our roots.