Halls Chophouse Plans to Open The Other Halls This Summer

hallsOne of the perpetual complaints about downtown Charleston dining is the dearth of upscale lunch options: The problem’s particularly pronounced on Upper King Street, where burgers reign at midday. But a forthcoming lunchroom from Halls Chophouse may mitigate the problem.

According to an application filed with the Board of Architectural Review, the steakhouse wants to transform the former La Fourchette space at 432 King Street into “The Other Halls.” Although general manager Tommy Hall was reluctant to release any details, he revealed that plans include fine dining lunch service: The menu is still being developed. Continue reading

FIG to “Start Paying Extra Attention to Pastry”

figintAlthough online reviewers have described FIG’s desserts as “fabulous”, “delicious”, “excellent” and “amazing” (because, really, what else can you say about the restaurant’s famed sticky sorghum cake?), chef Mike Lata says the restaurant’s taking a “new direction” with its sweets course.

FIG is now looking to hire its first dedicated pastry chef. The position is being advertised in markets including New York City.

“We want to start paying extra attention to pastry,” Lata says. “Although we currently are inspired to create desserts and are proud of our program, (chef de cuisine) Jason Stanhope and I feel like the program deserves the attention of a pastry chef with focus, pedigree and passion.” Continue reading

Belong to a Losing Barbecue Team? Goose Creek Needs You

The city of Goose Creek has secured a musical act (the Shem Creek Boogie Band) and cornhole boards for its Beach and BBQ Festival later this month, but it still needs competitors for its Boston butt cook-off.

Teams are being invited to submit entry applications for the Apr. 26 event; it costs $40 to play, and the winner takes home $250. Only amateurs are allowed to compete, which means teams that have won or placed in an event sanctioned by the South Carolina Barbecue Association since April 25, 2013 aren’t eligible.

Entry forms must be filed by Apr. 14. To learn more, call 569-4242.

St. Phillips Announces Tea Room Dates

stphillipsTea room season – already underway with St. Andrews’ opening last week – continues later this month at St. Phillips Church.

Host of one of the city’s oldest tea rooms, St. Phillips will offer lunch service from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. during the week of Apr. 28. The menu features okra soup, chicken salad, shrimp salad and desserts made by parishioners, including Huguenot torte and hummingbird cake. Guests are invited to dine outdoors in the courtyard or indoors in the Parish Hall, where a pianist will provide live music.

For additional information – or to place a take-out order – call 722-7291. St. Phillips is located at 142 Church St.

“With Bittersweet Pride,” The Grocery Announces Hallie Arnold’s Departure

hallieThe Grocery’s Hallie Arnold, who last fall memorably created a Post and Courier cocktail for StarChefs.com’s Charleston event (OK, it looms large in our memories), has accepted a position with Bombay Sapphire.

According to The Grocery’s Facebook page, tomorrow night is Arnold’s last shift.

Arnold, a member of the last graduating class at Johnson & Wales’ Charleston campus, racked up a series of awards while bartending for The Grocery. She was a finalist in Bombay Sapphire’s national search for the “Most Imaginative Bartender,” and her vodka cocktail was chosen as the official cocktail of this year’s Charleston Wine + Food Festival.

SNOB Sous Chef Replaces Joe Palma at High Cotton

shawnkellyA Slightly North of Broad sous chef is taking over the High Cotton kitchen.

Shawn Kelly replaces Joe Palma, who – according to a press release – “after fulfilling his two-year commitment to High Cotton, is exploring entrepreneurial opportunities in the Charleston region.”

Kelly, an Ohio native, graduated from Johnson & Wales in Charleston. He’s spent 11 years working under Maverick Southern Kitchens’ executive chef Frank Lee. Continue reading

The Macintosh Introduces Tuesday Roast Series

The Macintosh, which earlier this year partnered with the American Lamb Board for a month long celebration of the struggling industry’s products, is making sheep meat the centerpiece of its first patio roast.

Starting Apr. 15, the Upper King restaurant will monthly host a family-style “Tuesday Roast” supper with beverage pairings. According to a press release, future editions of the event may be headed up by guest chefs.

This month, though, chef de cuisine Jacob Huder is roasting a whole lamb, which will be accompanied by a crudo, grilled venison and spring vegetables. Freehouse Brewery is providing the beer.

Dinner’s priced at $65 a person, and service starts at 6:30 p.m. For reservations, call 789-4299.

First Gullah-Geechee Pop-Up of 2014 Announced

dennis2Chef B.J. Dennis has one of the city’s most appetizing Instagram feeds, thanks to his habit of chronicling nearly everything he cooks. His photos have lately included plenty of stewed royal red shrimp, one of the dishes on the menu for Dennis’ first pop-up dinner this year.

The Apr. 17 Gullah-Geechee supper at L’Atelier de Le Creuset also features chicken purloo; braised turnips and greens stewed with coconut milk (a preparation Dennis earlier this year shared with the Post and Courier: You’ll find the recipe here.) Dessert is strawberry cobbler, and High Wire Distilling Co. is providing the liquored-up punch.

Tickets to the 6:30 p.m. event are $50 apiece, and available online at eventbrite.com. L’Atelier de Le Creuset is located at 116 Ripley Point Dr.

How Far Do Chillie Bears Roam?

chillie“The secret to Chillie Bears is you have to work with them,” says the clerk at Seafood Alley, one of the last local joints to still offer the frozen treat. Seafood Alley sometimes deviates from the traditional recipe (which calls for nothing but Kool-Aid) and freezes pineapple juice, but the rules are the same.

“You have to use your teeth,” the clerk explains.

Chillie Bears’ secrets don’t end there, though. The history and reach of the iced snack — and the underground economy surrounding it — are largely undocumented.

“Every neighborhood had a lady who sold them,” says Brandon Myers, the 31-year old owner of Seafood Alley. Although he describes himself as “out of the loop,” he suspects the practice has dwindled away since he was a boy. “Charleston has changed so much.” Continue reading

Southern Season Launches Weekly Shopping Trolley

Southern Season is off the path typically beaten by tourists, so the gourmet retailer is launching weekly trolley service to the store.

Starting today, Southern Season is offering a $45 Wednesday package which includes transportation to and from the Charleston or Mt. Pleasant Visitors Center; a demonstration of “regionally-based recipes”; lunch and shopping time.

The trolley leaves Charleston at 9:30 a.m., and returns at 12:30 p.m. It swings by the Mt. Pleasant Visitors Center at 9:45 p.m.

For tickets, visit zerve.com, or call 416-1240 for more information.