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Charleston Restaurant News

Charleston Restaurant News

Warehouse Announces New Executive Chef

September 5, 2017

Chef Jason Daly will take over as Executive Chef at Warehouse in Charleston later this month. Relocating from Portland, Maine, where he served as Executive Chef at SALT, Daly will bring a new food concept to the popular, neighborhood eatery and bar – progressive fare inspired by European flavors and technique.

I just hope they don’t get rid of the deviled eggs!

Daly’s passion for modern interpretations of classic food and arts will be reflected in Warehouse’s new menu. With vast experience pairing cocktails and other flavors, Daly’s new menu will enhance the current bar program at Warehouse.

Daly explains, “The new direction of the menu will be a blend of old world European technique with new American flavors and ingredients – what I like to call “progressive Americana”. Pulling from my New England roots, the new menu will blend Low Country and New England styles.” Daly also has a love for brunch, which will be apparent in Warehouse’s new brunch menus.


Daly is a former Lowcountry resident, graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009. He then attended Le Cordon Bleu Boston, where he earned his AAS in Culinary Arts in 2011. Daly’s culinary career includes a position at Chef Michael Scelfo’s Russell House Tavern in Boston, stages at Gramercy Tavern, Perry Street by Jean Georges and Le Bec Fin by Georges Perrier. He served as sous chef at Timber Steakhouse, Maine’s premier steakhouse, which also touts New England’s largest bourbon selection. He also served as Executive Chef of Crooners and Cocktails, New England’s only Sinatra-style supper club.


The roll out of Warehouse’s new culinary concept will also bring additional food service hours. More details and chef Daly’s full menu are forthcoming.

Charleston Restaurant News Random Fodder

Charleston’s Own Megan Deschaine Wins National “Make It Exotico” Cocktail Competition

July 26, 2017

Earlier this summer, I had the honor of judging the USBG “Make It Exotico” cocktail competition at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, at which the other judges and I crowned Megan Deschaine the Charleston winner for her take on a “margherita pizza-inspired margarita.” At the competition’s final round, held July 19 at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, a four-person judging panel crowned Charleston, S.C., mixologist Megan Deschaine the overall winner with her cocktail, “The Napoleonic Complex.”

#GirlBoss

Along with the trophy, Deschaine receives an all-expense paid trip to Exotico Tequila’s distillery – Destiladora González González – in Jalisco, Mexico. While there, Deschaine will visit the agave fields in the highlands of Jalisco and tour the distillery, which is located in the heart of Guadalajara.

“I think the partnership Exotico Tequila has created with the USBG is so enriching to the whole bartending community, giving us bartenders a platform to meet one another,” Deschaine said. “I am so excited to go to Mexico, because I actually paid for college with bartending, to be a Spanish high school teacher.”

Deschaine’s “The Napoleonic Complex” cocktail recipe


Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz. Exotico Blanco Tequila
  • .75 oz. lime juice
  • .5 oz. agave syrup
  • 4 dashes Bittermen’s Hellfire Bitters
  • 2 dashes Scrappy’s Celery Bitters
  • 1 ripe roma tomato, quartered
  • 8-10 basil leaves

Instructions:
Rim half of a rocks glass with salt and pepper. Muddle tomato quarters and basil in a mixing tin, then add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Double strain cocktail into dressed rocks glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with a skewered mozzarella ball and basil leaf.

The USBG “Make It Exotico” cocktail competition invited mixologists from across the country to submit their best cocktail recipe using Exotico Blanco or Exotico Reposado 100% agave tequila as the base spirit. The six finalists competed against 47 other contestants in semifinal events in Nashville, Tenn; Philadelphia, Pa.; Denver, Colo.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash.; and Charleston, S.C.

As with the semifinal events, at the final round, finalists had a maximum of seven minutes to make their cocktails live for a panel of judges, who judged the cocktails on appearance, aroma, creativity, taste and overall impression. Judges included USBG professionals, tequila and cocktail experts, and local media personalities.

This is the kind of cocktail party you definitely don’t want to miss.

Earning second place was Elizabeth Powell with “Play in the Sunshine,” and in third place was Brandon Paul Weaver with “Piñata Punch.” The other finalists and their cocktails included Ryan Williams with “Bigly,” Katie Loeb with “Javelina,” and Nate Maston with “Beber Esta.”

The USBG “Make It Exotico” Cocktail Competition is organized by the United States Bartenders’ Guild and sponsored by Exotico Tequila. This is the competition’s inaugural year.

Charleston Restaurant News Restaurant Openings

I Met Andrew Zimmern, Y’all

June 14, 2017

How’s that for a headline? I mean, to be fair, I sort of stalked him through a crowd and enlisted the help of Charleston Foodie Babe to corner him into taking a pic, but still…a photo’s a photo.

Even if it’s not the greatest photo quality. Still counts!

Last week, I had the pleasure of being invited to a media open house for the new restaurant 1Kept in the Renaissance Hotel (replacing Barony Tavern, RIP). I had a plus one and invited my friend and fellow food blogger, Elise from Cookin’ With Booze. She’s also a fellow CofC grad, and a Yelp Elite and… (come to think of it, she might be trying to bodysnatch me…)

‘Cept she remembered the booze for the photo, so she’s already one step ahead of me.

The space is totally revamped from when it was Barony Tavern, instead of a campy hunting lodge, it now feels a lot more upscale without losing the rustic charm that I loved.


Andrew Zimmern is the Renaissance Hotels’ “Global Navigator” which as I understand it is basically a fancy word for “spokesman.” He was in town to help kick off the restaurant’s debut, and spent the day hanging out with awesome Charleston people like The Cocktail Bandits, Mike Lata, and Elise Testone. Hardly anyone seemed that impressed that he was there, but Elise and I definitely got a little starstruck. In fact, I think I still have the nail marks in my arm from where she grabbed me and whisper-shrieked “he’s here!” when he walked in.

Host of 1 Kept Opening Party! Andrew Zimmern checking out @rencharleston new digs & restaurant. #businessunusual

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The drinks available were your choice of a Moscow Mule or a Negroni, and it was Negroni week so obviously I had to try that (although you know I tried both cocktails and even let the Cocktail Bandits slip me a shot of tequila, because that’s how I roll).

The food was not as prevalent, and honestly as far as passed hors d’oeuvres go, not that impressive. But I also don’t think it was indicative of their actual menu.

  • Watermelon gazpacho with crab: best bite of the night-refreshing, sweet, a lot of crab
  • Pimento cheese toast: tomato jam on top had a nice sweetness that complemented the sharpness of the cheese
  • Skewer with pork and fruit: (I did not try this, but according to Elise) “the fruit was soaked in something and tasted artificial”
  • Steak with chimichurri: chimichurri had nice flavor, steak was really chewy and too big of a piece for a 1 bite appetizer. The potato offered little-to-no flavor

In addition to listening to Andrew introduce the new space, we also were treated to a mini-concert with Elise Testone, which was a very special treat.

Can’t wait to try out the actual food soon! Also, be sure to follow Elise on Instagram: @CookinWithBooze

Charleston Restaurant News

Poogan’s Porch Introduces Weekday Brunch during April

April 6, 2017

Brunch lovers rejoice! Charleston institution Poogan’s Porch will be offering their brunch menu for a full two weeks in April. It will be available Monday through Sunday, April 8-23.

Regular brunch hours will still apply for the weekends (Saturday and Sunday, 9AM to 2:30PM) while Monday through Friday, the brunch menu will be available from 10:30AM to 2:30PM during that two week period.


Charleston Restaurant News Restaurant Openings

Félix “Cocktails et Cuisine” Coming to King Street

April 3, 2017

Construction is underway for Félix, a new Parisian inspired cocktail bar serving small plates, coming to upper King Street this summer.

Longtime restaurateur Félix Landrum has a profound passion for hospitality:


“I believe dining and drinking are experiences that should be cherished and enjoyed,” he said. “My family and I look forward to the opportunity to be part of the Charleston community.”

Félix is working in collaboration with Nathan Thurston of Thurston Southern. For a peek at what’s to come at 550 King Street, visit www.felixchs.com.

Charleston Restaurant News

“Make it Exotico” Cocktail Competition Seeks Submissions

March 23, 2017

Think you’ve got what it takes to be the next great mixologist? Time to prove it! Entries are now being accepted for the USBG “Make It Exotico” Cocktail Competition. Mixologists from across the U.S. are invited to submit their best cocktail recipe using Exotico Blanco or Reposado Tequila as the base spirit for a chance to win a trip to Tales of the Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans and the Grand Prize, an all-expense paid trip to Jalisco, Mexico, to visit Exotico Tequila’s distillery, Destiladora González y González, and its agave fields.

Online applications are now being accepted for semifinal event consideration. Entrants can submit their Exotico Tequila cocktail recipes until April 7, 2017. Semifinalists will be contacted between April 10-21. Click to read full competition rules and regulations.


Important Dates

Semifinal Competitions

  • Nashville, TN: April 18
  • Philadelphia, PA: May 9
  • Denver, CO: May 16
  • Portland, OR: June 6
  • Seattle, WA: June 13
  • Charleston, SC: June 27

Final Round

  • Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, LA: July 19
Charleston Restaurant News

Softie Season is Here!

March 21, 2017

True Charlestonians look forward to Soft Shell Crab season the way 6 year olds look forward to Christmas morning: impatiently and with a childish fervor. So everyone can take a breath, because it’s here!

But I’ll pretty much eat anything with bacon on it.

While supplies last, you can find softie specials all around the Holy City at these fine establishments:

39 Rue de Jean

Soft Shell Crab BLT with jalapeños, creole remoulade, truffle fries, served on a Kaiser bun

Coast Bar and Grill


Soft Shell Crab Tacos with citrus slaw, pico de gallo and avocado lime crema

The Granary

Nashville Hot Softshell Crab

Michael’s on the Alley

  • Surf & Turf Soft Shell Crab with 4 oz. prime filet mignon, grilled soft shell crab, baked potato, roasted red pepper, asparagus tips, caramelized Carolina spring onions and wild mushrooms.
  • Marinated Grilled Soft Shell Crab with black garlic butter, house-made challah bread, sofrito Dijon, pickled carrot and pear slaw, verjus vinegar

Morgan Creek Grill

Soft Shell Crab Ramen with Asian wheat noodles cooked in a soy-based broth, tempura fried soft shell crab, a sunny-side up egg, matchstick watermelon radish, charred scallions, tobiko wasabi and garnished with microgreens

 

The Noisy Oyster

Fried Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches: soft-shell crabs fried golden brown and served on a toasted, buttery roll with cole slaw, lettuce, tomato and onion for just $14.99 while supplies last

Vincent Chicco’s

Tempura Soft Shell Crab Spaghetti with charred artichokes, blood oranges, local cayenne pepper purée, arugula and Meyer lemon

Virginia’s on King

  • Soft Shell Crab Omelet with asparagus, hollandaise, chives and espelette
  • Soft Shell Crab Po’ Boy with spicy remoulade, lettuce, tomato and pickles
Charleston Restaurant News

Limehouse Produce Announces 2017 Citrus Celebration Winners

March 9, 2017

Limehouse Produce is proud to announce the 2017 winners of their annual citrus celebration:

Best Drink


Prohibition: The Capricorn 

Bartender Jim McCourt

  • 4 segments Page Mandarin
  • 1.5 oz Black Bush Irish whiskey
  • Fresh ginger
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .75 oz honey syrup
  • Connemara peated Irish whiskey
  • Candied ginger garnish

Best Dish

Congress, Scallop Aguachile 

Mark Ciaburri, executive chef

  • Scallop Aguachile
  • page mandarin, lime, serrano broth
  • page mandarin supremes
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • watermelon radishes
  • cilantro oil

The drink will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Local Palate and the dish on the back cover of Charleston City Paper Dirt!

Charleston Restaurant News

Morgan Creek Grill Announces Executive Chef Matthew Lagace

March 8, 2017

Morgan Creek Grill, a waterfront retreat on Isle of Palms, is pleased to announce that Matthew Lagace has been hired as Executive Chef. A Rhode Island native with more than a dozen years of kitchen leadership, Lagace has introduced a new menu highlighted by inventive seafood preparations and seasonal local produce.

“Since arriving, Executive Chef Lagace has brought new inspiration not just to the kitchen but to the entire grill,” shares Morgan Creek Grill General Manager Kayleigh Lauffer. “With a vibrant mix of casual and fine dining options in Charleston’s ultimate waterfront setting, we look forward to welcoming new and returning guests this spring.”


Originally from Lincoln, Rhode Island, Chef Lagace earned his stripes at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Massachusetts. After working up the ranks to Executive Sous Chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Boston, Chef Lagace brought his passion for sustainable seafood and produce to Charleston in 2016.

Main Dining Room menu staples include:

  • Crab & Orzo Stuffed Local Flounder with grilled jumbo asparagus, beurre blanc
  • Spanish Farro Bowl with roasted corn, pico de gallo, dried blueberries, hearts of palm and guacamole
  • Oysters Rockefeller with Eastern Virginia selects, collard greens, bacon,   panko and beurre blanc
  • Bacon Mustard Brussels Sprouts with bacon fat and parmesan cheese
  • Shrimp Scampi with chorizo, garlic butter and cavatappi

Giant shimpers!

Upper Deck Bar & Grill menu highlights include:

  • Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl with ponzu, wakame, sesame and wontons
  • New England Style Maine Lobster Roll with bacon, scallion, house dressing
  • Black Grouper Fish Tacos with kale, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, ancho creama
  • Buffalo Fried Cauliflower with blue cheese crumbles

Buffalo shrimp!

Morgan Creek Grill’s menu specials change on a daily basis and revolve around seasonal produce. The restaurant is located on 80 41stAvenue Isle of Palms, S.C. 29451.

Charleston Restaurant News Restaurant Openings

Chubby Fish to Open in Charleston This Spring

February 27, 2017

Already pegged as one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2017, partners Geoff Shyatt and James London are pleased to officially announce the opening of Chubby Fish, coming to Charleston in May 2017. Set to open at 252 Coming Street, on the corner of Bogard, the 1,300-square foot restaurant will highlight daily catches from local fisherman, expertly prepared in a casual setting.

So much seafooding.

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Shyatt and London, lifelong friends and South Carolina natives, have a collective 30 years in the restaurant industry, having worked in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Nashville. Their shared experience lends an air of promise to their first collaborative venture. Having identified a need for a reasonably-priced seafood restaurant with a chef-driven menu in Charleston, Shyatt and London believe that Chubby Fish will be the perfect compromise between fine-dining and a classic neighborhood joint. The restaurant’s counter-service model and open-kitchen plan allows guests to enjoy inventive, sustainable seafood dishes in an approachable atmosphere.

Chubby Fish (Facebook)


A preview menu is divided into Raw Bar selections, Small Plates, Entrees, and Whole Fish, complemented by a selection of seasonal side dishes. Early standouts include Chicken Fried Yellowtail Collars, Seasonal Pickles and Comeback Sauce; Hacked Softshell Crab Rice Bowl with Benton’s Bacon, XO Sauce, and A Slow Poached Egg; and Smoked Scallop Crudo with White Soy, Serrano, and Grapefruit. The menu will be rotating continuously, always highlighting the freshest ingredients available. An intelligently-curated bar program will include regional craft beers along with a few big names and an ever-evolving, boutique wine list.

Conceived in collaboration with Atlanta-based interior designer Elizabeth Ingram (Beetlecat, State of Grace, King + Duke, The Optimist), Chubby Fish’s 48-seat dining room will boast a bright, airy atmosphere with subtle nautical touches throughout. The space will have community-style seating, window banquettes, and an 8-seat chef counter. Future plans include a 16-seat patio for communal al fresco dining due in 2018.

A Clemson graduate, Managing Partner Shyatt has worked on some of the Southeast’s most up and coming dining landscapes. Most recently, Shyatt worked at Atlanta’s critically-acclaimed BoccaLupo named as one of Atlanta’s best restaurants by such publications as Southern Living, Garden & Gun, and The New York Times. Chef/Partner London, a graduate of both the College of Charleston and The French Culinary Institute, was the Executive Chef at the Michelin Guide recommended NIKO Restaurant, The Hotel on Rivington and San Francisco’s landmark Elite Café.

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