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Sydney Turnquist

Charleston, SC Restaurant Reviews

Elevé at the Grand Bohemian Hotel

May 25, 2016

 

Sampling a new spring bev

That eagle’s coming for my drink!

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try the new spring menu at the Grand Bohemian’s restaurant Élevé. The evening started with some of their new cocktails in the art gallery that featured both local and international art. The Bohemian Bramble cocktail, made with Old Tom Gin, House Made Limoncello, and Creme de Cassis was tart and refreshing and would be perfect for sipping on a hot summer night.

Don't mind if I do.

Don’t mind if I do.

After viewing the beautiful art, we headed into the wine blending room to have the sommelier explain what they do. Even before hearing that the wine blending room in a hotel is the first in the world, I was hooked and definitely want to attend a wine blending evening. After you create your own perfect blend, they’ll cork it and put your label on it.


Wine blending room

We went upstairs to look at one of the hotel rooms that overlooks the art garden before heading to dinner upstairs on a private terrace with a view overlooking the rooftops of downtown. The rooms were surprisingly art-deco and very different from your standard hotel rooms. We’re talking velvet headboards, cool lamps, and lots of art.

I want that pillow in my house.

I want that pillow in my house.

Before the food started to appear, Chef Rayley came to introduce himself and explain the dishes and what he did to create the magic behind each dish.

Spring menu

Glass of wine with dinner. A preview of the full menu for the night.

We started with an amuse bouche (fancy word for “little hors d’oeuvre”) of strawberry soup. It was made with SC buttermilk, sunflower, cucumber, cilantro, and sorrel and paired with a brut prosecco. I’ve never had a strawberry soup before, but this was a great way to start the dinner. The creamy buttermilk helped to cut the acidity of the strawberry and cucumber and the bubbles from the prosecco helped tie the whole dish together.

Strawberry soup

I feel like a 10 year old, but “amuse bouche” makes me giggle a little.

Our 1st course was an heirloom tomato salad with yellow beet vinaigrette, spring onions, and frico, and paired with a Sancerre white wine. If you know me, you know I don’t like tomatoes. But these were not your average tomatoes. They were crisp and juicy and had a very different flavor than your average tom. The aged Parmesan added texture and crunchiness to the dish.

This dish made me wish I liked tomatoes.

This dish made me wish I liked tomatoes.

Our 2nd course was a roasted Carolina Sheepshead with leeks, wild SC shrimp, and shellfish bourride paired with a Pouilly-Fuissé white wine. The Sheepshead was so light and flaky and didn’t have a super fishy flavor, it resembled more of shellfish.

Roasted Carolina Sheepshead

FYI sheepshead is a fish and not actually the head of a sheep.

The 3rd course was a 130-degree eye of beef rib, served with Bates Farm asparagus, Palmetto sweet potato, and poached baby root vegetables, served with a Cuvee Raphael red wine. The beef was tender, juicy and seared perfectly with a slight crispiness along the outside. Paired with the perfectly cooked vegetables and the red wine, it was a great dish.

Eye of beef rib

Beef Ribs > Pork Ribs

Our dessert course was a Jersey Milk & raw honey panna cotta with SC strawberries and Anson Mills oats. It was served with a moscato d’asti and I ate the entire thing. Almost licked the glass. The panna cotta was creamy and melted in your mouth. The oats and strawberries added a nice sweetness and crunchiness to the dish and the bubbles paired great with it.

It's in a glass, so I can just sip it, right?

It’s in a glass, so I can just sip it, right?

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by the entire evening. Each dish had something unique about it and was light and refreshing, which is perfect for this spring. The wine pairing for each dish went perfectly and helped highlight the flavors of the food. I love Élevé’s effort to use fresh, local foods in their dishes. It really makes a difference in not only the taste of the dish, but it also helps the community grow.

ggg

Plus, there’s lots of fun artwork to see inside!

I would recommend going to The Grand Bohemian to take a look around if you haven’t yet. The décor is very colorful and fun for a hotel, which surprised me. I would also recommend eating at the restaurant or if you aren’t interested in a full meal, they’re having a weekly series of cocktails on the balcony on Fridays. I can’t wait to go back and participate in the events!

Or just to sit on this beautiful balcony.

Or just to sit on this beautiful balcony.

Elevé
55 Wentworth St
Charleston, SC
(843) 722-5711
Élevé Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Charleston Restaurant News Charleston, SC

Market at Meeting Opening June 2016

May 21, 2016

Classic Sports Pub Meeting at Market Set to Open June 2016, offering 20 beers on tap, multiple televisions and crave worthy pub grub.

The Market area in downtown Charleston, SC is about to gain a new sports pub, Meeting at Market. Located at 120 Meeting Street, the warm, welcoming spot will boast a generous bar perfect for sampling dozens of craft beers and cocktails. Hungry guests will not be disappointed with a casual menu of crave worthy appetizers and entrées.

Meeting-at-Market


The space will feature masculine touches like warm, wood finishes and high-tech media elements. A custom-made black steel keg wall will feature 20 taps with an impressive selection of international and craft beers. Deep leather banquettes will line the windows and high top rustic wood tables will fill the space creating a social atmosphere. Meeting at Market will have capacity for 90 guests.

Downtown visitors and locals alike can catch all major sporting events on one of eight 75-inch flat screen, high definition televisions lining the walls. There will also be eight 55-inch TV screens secured to two, mid-ceiling cylinder fixtures – affording a ringside seat from any spot in the pub.

Patrons can enter the pub from the main entrance on Meeting Street at the corner of Market.

Meeting at Market will “tee off” this summer, and will be open seven days a week ­– Monday to Friday beginning at 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.  Extended hours during major sporting events.

Charleston Restaurant News Charleston, SC

Victor Social Club Announces New Cuban Menu

May 16, 2016

The Victor Social Club, an elegant cocktail lounge on Hutson Alley, has released a new menu that explores the distinctive flavors of Cuba. Now available seven days a week, the menu features jalapeño fried bananas, mojo grilled shrimp and an El Presidente margarita.

victor-social-club-cuban

“With Cuba as a new frontier for travelers, we’re excited to introduce a refined take on the country’s most celebrated cooking techniques and spirits,” shares Aaron Lemieux, executive chef of The Victor Social Club.

New cocktails include: 


Cuba Libre ($8)

  • Dark rum, Coca-Cola, lime juice

Basil Cucumber Lemonade ($9)

  • Garden basil, fresh lemon juice, house infused cucumber vodka

Old Cuban Cocktail ($11)

  • Aged Bacardi dark rum, lime juice, castor sugar, fresh mint, angostura bitters, prosecco 

Coconut on The Pilar ($12)

  • Cruzan, barrel rum, coco lopez, lime juice, pineapple juice

The Hemingway Daiquiri ($10)

  • Barbados aged rum, grapefruit, lime juice, cane simple sugar, maraschino liqueur

El Presidente Margarita ($12)

  • Tequila, Grand Marnier floater, grated lime zest, salt rim

New small plates include:

Jalapeño Fried Bananas ($8)

  • Crispy pork, pickled mango pineapple, and banana ketchup

Mojo Grilled Shrimp ($12)

  • Domestic East Coast shrimp marinated in citrus, pineapple guacamole, and malanga chips

Cuban Sandwich ($12)

  • Pulled pork, house pickles, dijonnaise, fontina cheese on crispy ciabatta bread

Cornmeal Encrusted Domestic Calamari ($12)

  • Pineapple mojo and banana pepper mole 

Malanga Chips ($8)

  • Queso fundido, pico de gallo (add guacamole for $4)

A variety of hand-rolled cigars will also be available for purchase at The Victor Social Club bar.

Charleston, SC Events Restaurant Reviews

Sushikon Brewshi Tour

May 13, 2016
IMG_3554

The only time “I ate sushi on a bus” is an ok statement.

Earlier this month, we attended Sushikon’s Brewshi Tour. Sushikon was started by the same people who brought us Octobachi downtown, which is sadly no longer. When I first heard about this tour, I thought it sounded like a really fun, new, and unique idea. It’s sort of like a food-truck-meets-brewery-tour-meets-sushi.

If you close your eyes you can pretend like you're in Japan!

If you close your eyes you can pretend like you’re in Japan!

This was only their 3rd tour ever and they have many more planned for the next few months. We went to three local breweries and were served a sushi meal in between each stop. We met at the bus depot downtown around 6 pm and left to go to our first brewery, Freehouse Brewery.

That's what we're talkin' bout.

That’s what we’re talkin’ bout.

 


If you haven’t ever been, I would recommend making the trek just for the view alone; it’s absolutely gorgeous!

Plus, dog friendly! Win-win!

Plus, dog friendly! Win-win!

We tried two half pints while we talked to frequent brewery goers and looked at the equipment. Freehouse had a gorgeous view of the Ashley River, but was a tad small, so it gets crowded very quickly. The beers were very refreshing and crisp.

Half pints are like mini-muffins: they don't actually count as real life.

Half pints are like mini-muffins: they don’t actually count as real life.

After about 30 minutes at Freehouse, we headed back to the bus to enjoy our first round of sushi: sushi nachos with fresh, local tuna, imitation crab, avocado, carrots, cucumber and caviar on top of blue corn tortilla chips. The nachos were tasty and light after our first round of beers.

You heard that right. Sushi. Nachos.

You heard that right. Sushi. Nachos.

While eating sushi nachos, we headed toward our second brewery, Tradesman on James Island. Driving down Folly Road, you would never suspect the building behind a gas station to hold many, delicious beers.

Oh, hey, secret Brewery. Nice to meet you!

Oh, hey, secret Brewery. Nice to meet you!

This two-story building has different taps on the different levels, and each beer is named after something trade related, and each tap has a tool as a handle.

The closest I'll ever get to being in a tool shed.

The closest I’ll ever get to being in a tool shed.

Some of the beers we tried were infused with different flavors that we’d never seen anywhere else. Including a coffee beer that was not a stout or porter, but more of a light beer. One of the beers that is frequently on their menu is called Coco Nuts & Bolts made with toasted coconut, which I will definitely be going back to try as they had run out.

IMG_3579

Is it just me or are these half pints getting bigger?

As we made our way back to the bus, we had a platter of sushi waiting for us. The sushi tasted fresh and was very filling, but wasn’t overly flavorful or unique.

At least it looks pretty!

At least it looks pretty!

They also turned on these cool lights inside the bus once it started to get dark outside.

Disco sushi bus! New band name!

Disco sushi bus! New band name!

We made our way to the last brewery, Low Tide on Johns Island. This brewery was definitely the largest and had the most equipment.

Low Tide; High Appreciation.

Low Tide; High Appreciation.

It’s a new building that is decorated with a very beachy feel. We were impressed with the beers we had as they were all unique flavors, especially the Pete’s Coconut Chai, which is a darker beer with notes of coconut and chai. For a dark beer, it was surprisingly light.

Still no word on who this "Pete" fella is, though.

Still no word on who this “Pete” fella is, though.

When we got back on the bus to head downtown, a dessert sushi was waiting for us. We were not very impressed with the dessert. Fruit sushi isn’t something I would normally order on the menu, but I also wouldn’t want something that’s supposed to be sweet wrapped in seaweed. I think if they had a green tea ice cream, mochi or even mango rice pudding, it would have been a better alternative to what they served.

Hey, you can't win them all.

Hey, you can’t win them all.

Overall, we had an awesome time on the Brewshi Tour, but I think they have a few areas they could improve. I think the overall price is too expensive, being about $100 per person after taxes. The food was good and I loved that the tuna was fresh and local, but I’m not sure the food was worth the price of the tour. Visiting the breweries was great and being able to try their different beers on tap was a fun way to be introduced to each brewery. It wasn’t as much as a tour as I expected, the breweries were a little too small for that. The tour guide on Sushikon has a lengthy resume, working with many breweries, and is incredibly knowledgeable. He was available for questions during the brewery visits, but we didn’t actually get any official tours of the breweries, which I think would’ve been really fun. I think they also will need to have a rotating brewery list because as a return customer, you wouldn’t want to go back to the same brewery each time.

IMG_3592

Still have no idea what any of this stuff does.

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Charleston Restaurant News Events

Mother’s Day Round Up

May 4, 2016

Treat mom to an amazing day; she deserves it!

[This list will be updated as more events are added]

Mother's Day

Downtown

The Alley


May 8, 11 am – 10 pm

The Alley is treating all moms to one free game of bowling with their families on Mother’s Day Sunday May 8, 2016 from 11am – 10pm as a thanks to all that moms everywhere do.

Guests can also enjoy $3 mimosas and bloody mary’s until 5pm.

Lanes are first come, first serve, and no reservations will be accepted for the promotion.

Bay Street Biergarten

May 8, 11 am – 3 pm

Bay St Biergarten is hosting a “Thank You Mom” Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday May 8, 2016 from 11am – 3pm that includes a free gift for all moms that attend (the gift isn’t a flower).

Moms and their families can enjoy Bay Street Biergarten’s popular brunch menu, which includes the Chicken and Waffle, Southern Fried Green Tomato Benedict and the Creme Brûlée French Toast, as well as mimosas and bloody marys.

High Cotton

May 8, 10 am – 2:30 pm

Celebrate the one you call Mother with Brunch on Sunday, May 8th, from 10:00 am – 2:30 pm. Reservations are required and can be made by calling us at 843-724-3815.

Mount Pleasant

Tavern & Table

May 8, 11 am – 3 pm

Celebrate Mother’s Day with the return of their popular annual Just Ducky Fundraiser benefitting women’s cancer research at Hollings Cancer Center on Sunday May 8, 2016 from 11am – 3pm.

Guests can start Mother’s Day off by enjoying brunch favorites such as Toad in the Hole, and Duck Confit Hash, and listen to live music by David Higgins.At 1:30pm everyone is encouraged to go out to the docks for the start of the exciting Just Ducky race.  All of the rubber ducks will be released into the creek and the first, and the owner of the winning duck will receive a $250 gift certificate to Red’s and $300 Tavern and Table.Registered rubber ducks are $50 with 100% of the proceeds go to women’s cancer research at Hollings Cancer Center (only 200 ducks available for racing).  Guests can also purchase a non racing  rubber duck to “duckerate” for only $10 (includes supplies).

Call (843) 352-9510 for brunch reservations.

West Ashley

Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview

May 8, 12 – 4 pm

Lunch buffet for mom from 12 – 4pm.

Charleston Restaurant News

Introducing: The Charleston Veggie Crawl

May 1, 2016

Charleston Veggie Crawl is a walking food tour presented by The Kale Whale (www.thekalewhale.com), your local plant-powered lifestyle ladies. The tour takes an inside look at fresh, local plant-based cuisine in a flourishing corner of our city, all the while getting our heart pumping, sharing our love for Food, Fitness and Fun!  The goal is to educate people on the importance of plants (veggies) in our lifestyle, not only for our own health, but also for the health of our planet.

veggie-crawl-2

The tour includes food samplings at 4-5 restaurants (currently in the Spring/President Street area), a succinct informational packet, and a walk through an up-and-coming corner of our town. It’s the perfect tour for locals, visitors, or anyone looking for something a little out of the box. You’ll meet new friends, eat good food, and learn a little sumpin’sumpin’.


veggie crawl

Tours take place every Saturday, 2:30PM – 5:00PM, starting May 14, 2016. Information and ticket links can be found at www.thekalewhale.com/events.

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