Browsing Category

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC Restaurant Reviews

Minero

January 19, 2018

Update: 1/18/2018

So I recently returned to Minero to take advantage of their happy hour, which is fantabulous, btw. It’s available every Monday – Friday from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. I love that it starts earlier than most happy hours, because that means you truly get to take advantage of their great specials, like $2 tequila shots, $3 PBR pints or bourbon shots, or (my personal fave), $2 off their house margarita.

Thanks for letting me feature this photo, Cookin’ With Booze!

But the specials also extend to food, which (let’s face it) is the main reason I go to Minero (or any Sean Brock restaurant). My personal favorite dish is the guacamole, which is only $5 during happy hour! I am obsessed with Minero’s guac. It’s so fresh and light and simple (scroll down to my original review and you’lI see that my feelings haven’t changed over the years).

Just inject it directly into my veins.

Another option I can’t get enough of is the Queso Ranchero, which closely resembles the queso dip you get at your typically Mexican restaurant (as opposed to the queso fundido, which is also delicious, but not on their happy hour menu… scroll down for more info on that). It’s ooey, gooey, and perfect for dipping your chips into. This is also just $5 at happy hour, and if you like cheese dip, you absolutely have to order it.

In queso you’re in doubt… order the queso.

Another favorite on the happy hour menu is the carnitas sliders (also just $5 at happy hour). They’re a perfect snack that you can demolish in just 2 or 3 bites. The pork is nice and smoky and practically melts in your mouth. The addition of pickled red onion adds a hint of tang which is balanced out by the creamy molé aioli. The benne seeds sprinkled on top tie them into Charleston perfectly

Molé all day!

If you haven’t been to Minero for happy hour recently, be sure to give it a try!

Original Article Published On 10/10/2014

I’ve been waiting for Minero to open for what feels like my whole life. From the minute I heard that my culinary obsession, Chef Sean Brock, was opening a Mexican restaurant, I knew that was a place I was going to enjoy.

Be still my corazon!

Be still my corazon!

So when I got word that last Friday would be Minero’s official first day, I grabbed Lily and Sheena and forced them to wait 45 minutes for a table in order to try and be one of the first people to try it out. Considering all the hype around the opening, I was surprised the wait was only 45 minutes. While we were sitting outside patiently (and by that I mean “the opposite of patiently”), an older gentleman (who looked not unlike a retired sea captain) who’d just finished his meal stopped to tell us that “it’s defintiely worth the wait. And order el Satánico! Blended!” So when it was finally our turn to be invited in, that was the first thing we did.

As well as the Titán and Dragón Rojo

As well as the Titán and Dragón Rojo

The space is super cool and very inviting. I’m obsessed with the exposed brick, soft lighting, and general earthy feel of the whole place. It’s a little narrow, but the ambiance was spot on for a Friday night dinner. While I was trying to figure out what to order, I noticed Chef Brock walk past our table and let out an audible, involuntary gasp. My hero! In the flesh! Right there! I’m embarrassed that I acted like a 12-year old fan girl, but honestly no one was surprised.

Loading

Full house for the night.

View on Instagram

The menu is relatively short, which I think is a good thing because I was already having a hard enough time deciding on an entree. To start, we ordered the guacamole ($8), which was topped with radish, mexican chili powder, and plenty of cilantro. It was super flavorful and fresh, but a bit on the small side. The tortilla chips were perfect and served in a warm mitten (I don’t know what to call it) and were seasoned well enough to be delicious all on their own. And they better be since he sampled over 40 kinds of corn to perfect them.

guaca-guaca-guaca, mole mole mole. A dip! A dip, dip!

guaca-guaca-guaca, mole mole mole. A dip! A dip, dip!

We also ordered the queso fundido ($9), which is the opposite of the kind of queso that immediately springs to mind (thanks, Moe’s. You’ve ruined me forever). It’s thick and melty and made with smokey roasted poblano, spicy chorizo and meant to be eaten with soft corn tortillas, rather than crispy chips. It was delicious and I think we polished it off mere minutes after it was brought to our table.

You can't go wrong with melted cheese, though, really.

You can’t go wrong with melted cheese, though, really.

Because we had trouble deciding which tacos to order (despite there only being 6 varieties on their menu), we decided to each order 2 and share them so we could get an idea of how each one tasted. Lily picked the fried whiting (pickled green tomato tartar, cabbage, red onion, $4) and the pork carnitas taco (confit, jowl, chicharron, salsa verde ,chilmole, $3.5). They were both delicious, fresh, and flavorful, although if I had to pick a favorite of the two, the carnitas would win hands down.

I don't know if I've ever met a taco I didn't like...

I don’t know if I’ve ever met a taco I didn’t like…

Sheena opted for the grilled steak taco (charred onions and peppers, queso fresco, garlic-amarillo, $4), and the tacos al pastor (marinated and grilled pork, pineapple, avocado, $3.5). The tacos al pastor were awesome with the pineapple, giving a tart and savory flavor to the spiced meat. The steak tacos, though, were out of this world. They were so full of flavor and the meat was tender and juicy…

Dat steak though...

Dat steak though…

I got the final two options, the chargrilled chicken taco (mango, cotija, lime pickled red onion, pasilla de Oaxaca, $3) and the green chorizo taco with potatoes and grilled onions ($4). The chicken tacos had a nice smokey taste from the chargrilling and were very good. However, the chorizo tacos made me stop and close my eyes, chewing slowly so as to really savor the flavor. Each of us had the same reaction. If you’re debating, I definitely recommend the green chorizo taco over all the others.

I'm glad I tried the chicken taco first, or else I would've been super disappointed.

I’m glad I tried the chicken taco first, or else I would’ve been super disappointed.

After our taco feast, we were still a little peckish, so we decided to try the Hotdog confit and deli ham torta (avocado, tomato and chipotle mayo, $9.5), because we were way too intrigued to not try a confit hot dog. I’m so glad we did. The sandwich was huge, but it was unlike anything I’ve ever had. It was topped with some kind of shredded greens (cabbage, I think?), which gave an extra hint of freshness to the salty pork.

Do you see how big this sandwich is??

Do you see how big this sandwich is??

Basically, I want to live in this restaurant. The prices were really reasonable for everything and the quality was top-notch. The service was absolutely awesome, some of the best I’ve ever had. I left feeling like I was best friends with our server by the time we left. In fact, let’s just put a little plaque under table 13 that says “Reserved For The Queen.”

Or just add my name to the sign, that works, too.

Or just add my name to the sign, that works, too.

Minero
155 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 789-2241

Minero Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Charleston, SC Events

Restaurant Week Dining Guide – Winter 2018

January 11, 2018

Winter restaurant week in Charleston is upon us yet again, which means you have another special opportunity to try some of Charleston’s best restaurants without putting a big dent in your wallet (which is great news for those of us still trying to recover from holiday spending). The list of restaurants participating grows every new RW, and the new, less restrictive pricing list means that you can have a totally new experience every time RW rolls around. I’ve been to more than my fair share of RW meals, so I can say with the certainty of experience that not every restaurant week deal is created equal.

Here are some of my recommendations for restaurant week, based on past experiences (RW or otherwise), followed by some places to avoid. 

Do Visit:

Zero Restaurant + Bar

3 courses for $49

Why it’s great: Normally, their 9-course prix fixe menu will run you about $125/person, so if you don’t want to drop that chunk of change on a meal, the restaurant week deal is pretty fantastic.

Recommendations: Although the menu changes frequently, if the octopus a la plancha or the beef wellington is on the menu, definitely go with those for your meal. Also, they have an upcharge to do the “snacks for 2,” which features their world famous deviled eggs, and I highly recommend you do that if you’ve yet to experience them. You won’t regret it.

Pictured: Octopous a la Plancha at Zero George

Vincent Chicco’s

3 courses for $30

Why it’s great: Their normal entrees tend to average about $20 – $30, so 3 courses for $30 is a great deal.

Recommendations: Although the 1st course options leave a little to be desired (mostly because their bruschetta isn’t one of the choices), their veal lasagna is top notch.

Pictured: Lamb Sugo at Vincent Chicco’s

Halls Chophouse

3 course for $45

Why it’s great: normally, a dinner at Halls costs me at least $100 (it’s worth it, but it’s not something I can afford to do on a regular basis). I’ve never had a bad meal at Halls, and the service is so great that you can sometimes get them to be a little lenient with the RW restrictions (just don’t be an asshole about it).

Recommendations: I recommend seeing if they will switch out one of the salads for the chopped salad, because it’s my favorite salad of all time. For entrée, you BETTER get the filet, because if not why are you even eating at Halls. Dessert varies by day, but you can bet that it’ll be delicious. Pair it with a 434 cocktail because it’s one of my favorite cocktails in the Holy City.

Pictured: The filet mignon at Halls Chophouse

Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill

3 courses for $40

Why it’s great: I love Burwell’s any day of the week (that happy hour is legit), but restaurant week is a guaranteed way to get a delicious meal for 2, plus drinks for under $100 (a feat I am normally unable to do when visiting Burwell’s because I always order all the food).

Recommendations: Deviled eggs for an app (seriously, they’re life changing), catfish and grits (I know, I’m not recommending the steak, but the catfish and grits is actually pretty phenomenal… plus you can get steak anytime), buttermilk panna cotta for dessert (the caramelized bananas are out of this world).

Pictured: deviled eggs from Burwell’s

Le Farfalle

2 for $20 lunch & brunch or 3 for $35 dinner

Why it’s great: I love Le Farfalle; they’ve got a great atmosphere, fantastic pasta, and awesome cocktails (with one of the best patios downtown). I had restaurant week dinner here in the fall of 2017 and it was fantastic!

Recommendations: The whipped ricotta and ceci in umido are both of my favorite apps on the menu, and the former is on the lunch menu, while the latter is on the dinner menu. For mains, I’d recommend their fried pork chop for dinner, rigatoni for lunch, and pork hash for brunch.

Pictured: the ceci in umido from Le Farfalle

Henrietta’s at the Dewberry

2 courses for $20 lunch or 3 for $40 dinner

Why it’s great: I was delightfully impressed by my meal at Henrietta’s and is still flying under the radar in the Charleston culinary scene. But the space is gorgeous and if you haven’t been, the RW deal is pretty legit.

Recommendations: The escargot for course 1, pork shoulder for course 2, and caramel apple huguenot tort for dessert.

Pictured: I’m not sure, but it looks delicious.

Indaco

3 for $35

Why it’s great: Indaco has one of the most comprehensive RW menus of all the participating restaurants, offering pretty much the entire menu with full portion sizes. To me, this is what restaurant week is all about.

Recommendations: Course 1: burrata or brussels sprouts pizza. Course 2: black pepper tagliatelle. Course 3: dessert – any are delicious

Pictured: Black Pepper Tagliatelle at Indaco.

Grill 225

3 for $45

Why it’s great: Grill 225 has the biggest restaurant week menu of all the steakhouses on the list, with a 7 different options in the entrée category (including 3 vegetarian options!).

Recommendations: blue crab chowder to start, the 12 oz Prime ribeye or the tuna tower (depending on how hungry you are), and finished with the banana bread pudding, which is a perfect way to end any meal. Be sure to add one of their signature Nitrotinis to add a little fun to your dinner!

Pictured: The Prime Ribeye at Grill 225

 

Oak Steakhouse

3 course for $45

Why it’s great: I get the impression that people think of Oak as an old people steakhouse. And yes, that may be their main demographic, but I think they have some redeeming qualities. I do still have some lingering resentment from when they pre-cut my filet without asking me, but the food tastes great and the service is friendly as well.

Recommendations: 1. Caesar salad, 2. Braised beef ravioli 3. Samoa cookie pie

Pictured: the filet mignon at Oak Steakhouse, Oscar style.

O-Ku Sushi

3 for $35

Why it’s great: I usually spend at least $50 whenever I visit O-Ku (unless it’s happy hour… and sometimes even then), so $35 is a pretty solid deal.

Recommendations: Course 1: Tuna Poke. Course 2: Sushi combo. Course 3: Mochi trio

Pictured: allllll the nigiri at O-Ku

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits

3 courses for $30

Why it’s great: I feel like The Watch doesn’t get enough love. The food is great, the views are breathtaking, and the drinks are creative.

Recommendations: I’m obsessed with sunchokes right now, so I’d start wit hthe roasted sunchoke soup, followed by seared scallops, and the hummingbird cake.

Pictured: Shrimp and Grits at The Watch.

Restaurant Week Restaurants to Avoid:

Drawing Room at Kiawah

The waitstaff at Kiawah tried really hard to talk us out of ordering from the RW menu. And I get it, restaurant staffs across the world abhor restaurant week because they tend to not make any money unless people order off the menu (plus with a lower price, waiters are making less in tips) So I get it. But our waiter became kind of surly and dismissive once he found out we were sticking to the RW menu. The portions were small, and in general, it was definitely not worth the drive out to Kiawah.

The Macintosh

Ok, so I’ve written about Macintosh being disappointing in the past, specifically for the way they handle restaurant week. I love them for brunch, but would recommend skipping visiting The Macintosh at pretty much any other time.

Stars Rooftop

Ugh, Stars. I would have to say this this was one of my most disappointing restaurant week meals of all time.  Come for (overpriced) drinks on the rooftop, but plan to get dinner elsewhere.

82 Queen

Restaurant week or not restaurant week, 82 Queen is consistently underwhelming. It just happens to be even more so during this period of time, for reasons I addressed earlier.

Poogan’s Porch

I actually like Poogan’s, but they always do a rollback menu (this year from 1/23/17 – 2/9/17) that gives diners 40% off the normal cost of a meal, which tends to be a better deal than their restaurant week offerings. So just wait til right after RW is over to make your reservations!

Al Di La

I would wait until Avondale Restaurant Week to try out Al Di La. Or better yet, just go to Indaco or Vincent Chicco’s, because I’ve been disappointed with Al Di La for years now. It’s been a while since I’ve been, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt (maybe things have gotten better), but there are so many other restaurants to try, I’m not in a huge hurry to go back.

Ms. Rose’s

I’m not saying that Ms. Rose’s gave me food poisoning during restaurant week one year, but I’m not not saying that.

Any restaurant offering a RW deal in the $20 range whose normal entrees cost ~$10

(I’m thinking things like Wild Wing, Carolina Ale House, Mellow Mushroom, Mex 1). This is a lesson learned from a personal strategy of mine, that restaurant week should be saved for the restaurants that are more expensive so that I’m not out quite as much money if it’s disappointing. But also, a number of the places on the $20 spectrum are offering deals that aren’t really deals. You might be saving $5 or so, but is that really worth it? Unless you were planning on going there anyway and forgot that it was restaurant week, I wouldn’t waste a RW meal on these places.

Charleston, SC Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week – 2/26/17

February 26, 2017

It’s the best week of the year: Charleston Wine + Food! This year, I have a media pass, so I’m going to be attending every event I possible can (this would be one of those times where a cloning machine or time-turner would very much come in handy).

In honor of this awesome event, here’s a quote from Lin Yutang that pretty much summarizes what’s so great about the culinary scene in Charleston:

“Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.”
-Lin Yutang

 

 

Charleston, SC

Slow Food Charleston Debuts New SnailBlazer Micro-Grant Program

February 23, 2017

Slow Food Charleston is committed to building connections between all the facets of the community’s food culture.  We recognize the importance of new local efforts and support the existing food traditions of the various communities and cultures that make up the Lowcountry’s heritage and its future.

The SnailBlazer Micro-Grants are an extension of the original SnailBlazer Award, awarded to Germaine Jenkins of Fresh Future Farm at the inaugural Snail Awards in 2016. The next awardee will be recognized at the upcoming annual meeting. Jim Martin of Compost in My Shoe will receive a SnailBlazer grant in the amount of $1000 for an heirloom pepper project which will test the viability of various varietals at his Lowcountry farm. Martin has been an avid supporter of Slow Food and his role as a mentor in Lowcountry Local First’s Growing New Farmers program exemplifies Slow Food’s investment in the next generation of farmers and the future of our foodshed.

Grants will be awarded throughout the year to help underwrite the costs of new or promising projects aimed at advancing Slow Food’s mission of Good, Clean and Fair food for all. Slow Food Charleston is currently calling for nominations for two grant opportunities. These opportunities are the $1000 SnailBlazer prize awarded annually at the Snail Awards, and a $1000 scholarship to Lowcountry Local Works Growing New Farmers program for one participant, which effectively cuts program costs in half. We are seeking nominations for both awards now. Find the SnailBlazer application here.

Additional grants will be awarded on a rolling basis throughout the year, made possible by community funding.  Are you interested in supporting SnailBlazer Micro-Grants? Sponsorship opportunities are available. Funding will largely dictate the size, scope, and growth of the program.

Special thanks to The Addlestone Foundation for enabling the launch of the SnailBlazer Micro-Grant program.

Charleston, SC Giveaway

Win Tickets to CHSWFF from Limehouse Produce!

February 21, 2017

Limehouse Produce, a proud annual supporter of Charleston Wine + Food, has wrapped a delivery truck again with a special festival design to celebrate and promote the 2017 festival. The wrapped truck features images from Charleston Wine + Food’s 2017 ad campaign. This year’s truck showcases a female eating a watermelon sourced by Limehouse Produce, and can be seen driving around town making deliveries.

Steps to enter:

  1. People that “Find the Truck” can snap a photograph
  2. Post the photo to Facebook and tag: Limehouse Produce and Charleston Wine + Food
  3. OR tag on Instagram: @limehouselocal and @chswineandfood
  4. Include the hashtag #CHSWFFLimehouseTruck

One lucky person who submits an image will be selected randomly to win four tickets to Sinister Siesta on Sunday located at The Royal American. The deadline to submit photos is Monday, February 27 at 4:00 p.m. for consideration.

Anyone can submit photos and there is also no limit to the amount that one posts to the sites. Limehouse Produce does ask that all photos are done parked and not while driving a vehicle.

To learn more about Charleston Wine + Food, visit www.charlestonwineandfood,com. To learn more about Limehouse Produce, visit www.limehouseproduce.com.

Charleston, SC Events

Countdown to Charleston Wine + Food

February 9, 2017

So one of my favorite festivals in the Holy City, Charleston Wine + Food, is coming up in less than a month (*fan girl squeal*) and I couldn’t be more excited (obviously). This year’s event is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever before, and to get you excited for CHSWFF17, I’m going to be featuring different events from the festival each week leading up to the big shebang. This week’s feature is the:

Culinary Village

Charleston Wine + Food hypes up Culinary Village returning favorites and launches new events, shows, speakers, and competitions for its 12th year, including a Top Chef inspired Quickfire Challenge hosted and moderated by Bravo Top Chef’s Gail Simmons and Charleston’s own Frank Lee.

 

On Friday at 1PM on the Main Stage in the Culinary Village, guests will witness a true Top Chef experience as local chefs battle in a Quickfire Challenge. Competing chefs will include: Emily Hahn, Jamie Lynch, Casey Thompson, John Tesar, Sarah Grueneberg, Dale Talde, Joy Crump, and Keith Rhodes. This experience is included in a Friday Culinary Village ticket.

Three days of nonstop cooking demonstrations, tastings, special guests, and local artists are among the highlights of the festival’s heartbeat, the Culinary Village, and as always there will be plenty of new additions for guests to enjoy.

What’s new:

  • Top Chef Quickfire Challenge:  Top Chef fans will be treated to the ultimate performance and epic chef throwdown on Friday at 1PM.  Bravo Top Chef’s own Gail Simmons will moderate a Quickfire Challenge on the Main Stage.
  • Main Stage: A fusion of high energy cooking demos, music and friendly competition. This space is a melding of what was the Hands On Kitchen and the Music Stage. Full schedule available online.
  • The Corkyard: The all-wine addition that will feature wines from over 20 vineyards around the world. The Wine Retail Shop presented by Bottles is conveniently located in the Corkyard so attendees can take home wines they taste throughout the day along with accessories for the home bar.
  • Snack Shacks: Four new spots will be scattered throughout the Village featuring exotic twists on Lowcountry favorites. “Duck, Duck Goose,” “Grit Happens,” “Nice Buns”, and lastly “Beer-Battered + Fried” will make for an intimate Village tasting experience between chef and attendee.
  • Teepee Talks: Heritage Radio Network’s new, expanded Teepee Talks are returning with an additional second teepee for more chatter and fun that everyone can take part in.

On Sunday, locals are able to purchase a discounted ticket to the Culinary Village for only $75. Locals should enter their billing zip code upon checkout to receive the $50 discount.

For more information + to purchase tickets, visit Charleston Wine + Food’s website + join the Facebook event.

Charleston, SC Restaurant Reviews

Zero Restaurant + Bar

December 15, 2016

I want to start off this post by saying that Zero Restaurant + Bar is probably my favorite restaurant in Charleston. I’ve been 3 times now and each visit was even better than the last (and I didn’t even think that was possible). I’m not sure what Chef Vinson Petrillo is doing back in that kitchen, but it is magical. Recently, they changed up the way they present the menu, with the focus being on more of a pre-fixe, Chef’s tasting menu, which is honestly what I would have ordered anyway. It’s a bit pricy at $125 a person, but for 6 courses and beverage pairings, I think you’re getting a pretty good deal.

Then again, I’m always willing to spend more on something delicious.

Even if you don’t want to stay for dinner or order off the a la carte menu (but you really should), you should definitely stop by the bar and try one of their fantastic cocktails. My favorites are The Red Scare (Agavales Tequila, PAMA, Jack Rudy Grenadine, Habanero Simple Cilantro, Lemon, Lime, $13), which has a great little kick to it, and the Alter Ego (Hendrink’s Gin, Lavender, Lime, Habanero Citrus Foam (Egg White), Burlesque Bitters, $13), which also has a kick to it, but is also so fresh and bright. But you can’t go wrong with pretty much anything on the menu.

My Alter Ego likes to pretend she’s constantly being filmed like in The Truman Show.

When I visited recently, I was joined by my friend (and one of my favorite local foodie bloggers) Marianne of Basil and Bubbly. It’s nice going to eat with a fellow food blogger, as you don’t get the same annoyed stares and sighs as people wait for you to take 15 pictures of 1 dish.

Marianne knows what’s up.

Our first course was the Snacks plate, which consisted of Chef Petrillo’s world famous (or at least they should be) deviled eggs with caviar, a foie gras macaron, a lobster roll bite, and a potted “plant.” Each item was about 2 bites (unless you have a big mouth like me). My favorite was definitely the deviled eggs (which I’ve had before and are always a crowd-pleaser), but the potted plant (puffed red quinoa, housemade butter & heirloom radish) was one of the coolest and most unique things I’ve ever eaten. This course was served with a glass of champagne, which gave the whole thing a very whimsical, Alice in Wonderland-type vibe.

And the presentation can’t be beat!

Course #2 was the Beet Tartare (with encapsulated carrot “yolk,” sorrel, yogurt, warm multigrain), which also caught us by surprise. First of all, who’d have ever thought you could make an egg yolk out of a carrot?! Granted it didn’t taste much like an egg yolk, but it sure looked like one. I’m not usually a fan of beets, but Chef Petrillo smoked them on the Zero grill before serving them to us, which gave the whole dish a touch of smokiness, which completely changed the flavor of the beets that I had been expecting. In fact, if you closed your eyes, you might not have even noticed that this dish was meatless. It was that good.

My brain auto-corrected it to “beef” on the menu anyway, so I was really thrown off when it came out and was purple.

Course #3–probably my favorite of the entire meal–consisted of liquid parmesan tortellini (chanterelle mushroom ragout, late peas, spruce tips). They poured a nice broth over the tortellini at the table, which made the dish an entire experience in and of itself. I love any combination of cheese and noodle, but these soft parmesan pillows were out of this world.

Lord, please let them serve liquid parmesan tortellini in heaven.

Course #4, in contrast, was probably my least favorite dish: roasted snapper with potatoes cooked in seaweed and mussels cooked in whey. It was a perfectly pleasant dish, but nothing about it knocked my socks off (although that could’ve just been because I hadn’t had a chance to put them back on after the tortellini…who’s to say).

Socks are such fickle creatures.

The final of our entree courses was something I’m surprised to say that I’ve never had the pleasure of eating before: Beef Wellington (I know, I know…and I call myself a foodie) with foie gras, caramelized onion, wild mushrooms, and aerated potato. Every bite I took of this dish made me stop and say “wow;” the beef practically melted in your mouth, and the potatoes were so light and airy, they didn’t even seem real. When my plate was finally empty, I went into a bit of a depression that still lingers on to this day.

Beef Wellington, where have you been all my life??

For our dessert course, we were treated to tres leches in Chef Petrillo’s classic style. Young coconut, spongy cake, and honeycomb provided 3 completely different tastes and textures, with an understated sweetness that was very satisfying to the palate. I would 110% order this again.

How many milks do I need to recreate this dish at home.

From the impeccable service to the ambiance of the gorgeous outdoor patio to the expectation-shattering culinary prowess of Chef Vinson Petrillo, Zero Restaurant + Bar will forever hold a special place in my heart. If you ever get a chance to dine here, you should jump on that opportunity posthaste!

Posthaste I say!

Zero Restaurant + Bar
0 George Street
Charleston, SC 29401
843-817-7900

Zero Restaurant + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato < ignore this rating because these people are insane & not to be trusted.

 

Charleston, SC Restaurant Reviews

Chicken Salad Chick

November 23, 2016

I’ve always been a huge fan of chicken salad. It was pretty much my go-to lunch when I was in high school and I enjoy when restaurants take a little creative leeway with its classic recipe to create something fun and delicious. One of my new favorite spots that does just that is Chicken Salad Chick in Mount Pleasant. I went recently with a friend to give their different offerings a try, and boy were we in for a treat!

Or a whole lot of treats, as it were.

Or a whole lot of treats, as it were.

I really wanted to get an accurate feel of the different flavor combos and unique offerings that CSC provides, so we went a little crazy. I’ll break down each dish one-by-one. First up: the Classic Carol, because I wanted to see how their signature original compares with other chicken salads I’ve had. The verdict? It was pretty tasty! A very good consistency, with an impressive amount of flavor, considering its simplicity.

I don't know who you are, Carol, but you done good.

I don’t know who you are, Carol, but you done good.

I personally like a little mixture of flavors and textures in my chicken salad, so we decided to try the Cranberry Kelli (A mixture of dried, sweetened cranberries
& slivered almonds) next. We opted for the “Original Chick” combo, which included a side (we opted for the seasonal salad, made with strawberries and feta cheese. So simple and refreshing!) and a cookie of the day (which was white chocolate macadamia nut on the day we were visiting). I loved the tartness of the cranberry as it complemented the creaminess of the chicken salad, and the almonds added a nice texture change.

cranberry-kelli

Seriously loving these names!

My dining partner took advantage of the Chicken Trio, which comes with (you guessed it) 3 scoops of chicken salads / sides. She opted for the Fancy Nancy (Fuji apples, pecans & seedless grapes), the Sassy Scotty (A zesty blend of ranch, bacon & shredded cheddar cheese), and a scoop of the pimento cheese. Of the two chicken salads, I was most impressed with the Sassy Scotty. I just really loved the combination of flavors and slight smokiness of the bacon. The Fancy Nancy was also fun, and had a nice refreshing note to it, due to the apples and grapes mixed in. The pimento cheese was also pretty tasty, especially with the buttery crackers.

nancy-pimento-cheese-scotty

Why try 1 when you can try 3!

For something a little different, we decided to try a sandwich combo with Olivia’s Old South (A southern tradition combining sweet pickles & egg). I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it, as I’m definitely not an egg salad fan, but this was surprisingly enjoyable! The pickles gave it a subtle sweetness and tanginess, and the egg made it extra creamy.

olivias-old-south

Never thought I’d say that!

Finally, we tried the Jazzy Julie (A spicy mixture of cayenne pepper, bacon & shredded cheddar cheese) on croissant. I thought the Jazzy Julie tasted a lot like the buffalo chicken dip my mom makes for tailgate. It had a nice little kick to it, and I loved the combination of flavors on the flaky croissant. We tried the broccoli salad (seen in the back), which I thought was just ok. Nothing to write home about.

placeholder text

But I rarely write home about broccoli.

Finally, I wanted to try a cup of their soup of the day, which was loaded baked potato. It was super creamy and cheesy, just the way I like it. I would come back for this on its own, it was that good.

loaded-potato-soup

Do they sell this by the gallon?

All in all, I was super impressed with the food at Chicken Salad Chick. The service was also on point, and the next time I crave chicken salad, you can bet your britches I’ll stop by their Mount Pleasant location. Also, if you’re a chicken salad lover like me, be sure to sign up for their Craving Credits mobile app to earn fun rewards, like free chicken salad!

chicken-salad-chick-exterior

Chicken Salad Chick
280 West Coleman Blvd., Suites F&G,
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 352-2130

 

Charleston, SC Restaurant Reviews

Coda del Pesce

October 26, 2016

There aren’t a lot of things that will convince me to drive 40 minutes out to Isle of Palms in the offseason, but I’m about to add Coda del Pesce to the list of things that make the cut. The adorable and artfully designed restaurant is cozy without feeling cramped and OMG those views of the ocean. It doesn’t get any better than this.

**Heaven**

**Heaven**

I’ve recently started to get a lot more into seafood, and seafood lovers will definitely be pleased with anything they order at Coda. Coda del Pesce (which translates to “tail of the fish” in Italian) is helmed by Chef Ken Vedrinski (also of Trattoria Lucca downtown), and you can rest assured that everything coming out of this kitchen will be fresh, flavorful, and perfectly done.

So pretty and blue and pretty!

So pretty and blue and pretty!

Being an adventurous and indecisive eater, I decided to go with chef’s 4-course tasting menu, which features dishes both on and off the menu and offers a truly unique dining experience. I love ordering this way, as it forces me out of my comfort zone and helps me expand my culinary horizons. The first course was a crudo quartet, featuring 4 different cuts of fish prepared completely differently. Crudo is one of Chef Vedrinski’s specialties, so it was unsurprising that it was completely delicious.

4 fish are better than 3 fish.

4 fish are better than 3 fish.

Next up, a shrimp spaghetti with whole wheat pasta, fresh artichokes, and lemon in an anchovy sauce. I was concerned that the anchovy sauce would make it super fishy and salty tasting, but instead it was like a really deeply flavored garlic-butter-lemon sauce. It was a dream.

I usually avoid things with anchovies in them, but this was too tasty to pass up.

I usually avoid things with anchovies  in them, but this was too tasty to pass up.

For the main entrée, Chef prepared a triggerfish scallopini with potato and onion. I loved how the fish was wonderfully crispy on the outside and perfectly moist and flaky on the inside. Basically exactly how you want a piece of fried fish to taste. The accompainaments were also delightful, and the potatoes practically melted in your mouth. The lemon sauce was perfect with the fish and I kind of wish they’d bottle it and let me put it on more things. It’s that good.

That sauce, tho.

That sauce, tho.

For dessert, I had just enough room in my stomach for Chef’s butterscotch budino with dark chocolate shavings. It was decadent but I was very thankful it was on the lighter side after such a heavy meal. I highly recommend this dessert!

I mean, as light as can be with a dessert.

I mean, as light as can be with a dessert.

TL;DR: If you love Italian food and seafood, it really doesn’t get any better than Coda del Pesce. Plus, you really can’t beat the gorgeous views of the Atlantic ocean right from the dining room. It’s totally worth the drive to IOP.

Coda Del Pesce
1130 Ocean Blvd
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
(843) 242-8570
Coda del Pesce Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Charleston Restaurant News Charleston, SC

2 Charleston Area Chefs Chosen as Contestants on Top Chef Season 14

October 13, 2016

top-chef-nola-0-0

The secret is out! 5Church’s very own Partner and Executive Chef, Jamie Lynch, and Warehouse Bar + Kitchen’s Emily Hahn were selected as contestants on Top Chef Season 14, which was filmed in Charleston earlier this year and is scheduled to debut on December 1, 2016!

chef-jamie-lynch

Chef Jamie Lynch currently divides his time between 5Church’s three locations in Charleston, Charlotte and Atlanta. Extremely creative, passionate, personable and high in energy, Chef Jamie is a New York native who began his career in the restaurant industry when he was only 16 years old. A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont, Lynch went on to train under the highest caliber of chefs possible including Michael Mina at Aqua in San Francisco and Daniel Boulud, Andrew Carmellini and Charlie Palmer in New York City. Chef Jamie moved to Charlotte in 2002 and continued to perfect his craft at such restaurants as Barrington’s and Blue Restaurant before opening 5Church Charlotte in 2012 with Owners Patrick Whalen, Alejandro Torio and Ayman Kamel. Chef Jamie went on open 5Church’s second location in Charleston in November 2015 and third location in Atlanta in June 2016. Lynch has since garnered many prestigious accolades, including being named Charlotte Magazine’s Best Chef in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

emily-hahn_headshot

Chef Emily Hahn is the Chef at Warehouse Bar + Kitchen and has been cooking in the South for eleven years. Her culinary career began at Mamma Zu in Richmond, Virginia, working directly with Ed Vasaio. After three years at the helm of Mamma Zu’s kitchen, Hahn moved to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute. Upon graduating, she made her way to Charleston to work under James Beard Award winner, Mike Lata, at FIG Restaurant. Hahn’s passion for foods of different cultures and travel soon led her to Patagonia, Chile, to work at one of the top-rated fly fishing lodges in the world, Martin Pescador Lodge. After returning from Chile, Hahn took a part-time position at Warehouse and eventually took the lead in the kitchen as the Executive Chef, all while growing her empanada business, Empanada Mamma. Her cuisine is bright, flavorful, and elevates simple ingredients in inventive ways. In 2015, Hahn was named one of Charleston’s “Rising Star Chefs” by FOOD & WINE Magazine and Eater Charleston’s “Chef of the Year.”

logo
Food Advertising by