Butcher & Bee Named to List of Best Sandwich Shops

bbintThe author of a new Thrillist round-up of the nation’s 21 best sandwich shops has very definite opinions on which sandwiches to order: the muffaletta at Cochon in New Orleans; the Caribbean Roast at Paseo in Seattle and the Parmageddon at Cleveland’s Melt Bar and Grilled. But when it comes to Butcher & Bee, he suggests getting “whatever’s available.”

“Their menu, scrawled on a chalkboard, is constantly changing depending on the region’s local offerings, but always features innovative creations such as the General Tso’s-chicken sandwich,” Adam Lapetina writes.

Although Lapetina doesn’t outline his sandwich criteria, his list introduction alludes to freshly-baked bread and sauces good enough to drink.

Butcher & Bee’s menu today lists roast beef, grilled cheese and beef tongue. The shop at 654 King St. is open until 3 p.m.

No Charleston Chefs Nominated for JBF Best Chef Southeast

brockSean Brock is the lone Charleston chef up for James Beard Foundation honors this year.

Brock was nominated this morning for the organization’s prestigious Outstanding Chef award, along with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony, Lucque’s Suzanne Goin; Manresa’s David Kinch and Mozza’s Nancy Silverton and Vetri’s Marc Vetri. Brock , the executive chef of McCrady’s, Husk Charleston and Husk Nashville, was nominated for the same prize in 2012; he won the Best Chef Southeast category in 2010.

Local semi-finalists Jeremiah Bacon of Oak Steakhouse and The Macintosh; Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder and Kevin Johnson of The Grocery didn’t make the short list, which was announced in a lengthy ceremony live-streamed from Chicago. Continue reading

Charleston Ice Carver Takes Ninth in World Championships

IceAlaska

The prototype for the ninth best ice sculpture in the world is now sitting in a Summerville freezer, slowly evaporating away.

“The dove is ready to disappear,” says local ice carver Brian Connors, who created the intricate angel with Greenville’s Edwin Hutchinson.

But even after the 1400-pound practice sculpture is gone, Connors and Hutchinson will retain the distinction of earning a top 10 spot in the World Ice Art Championships, held earlier this month in Fairbanks, Alaska. Continue reading

Websites Shower Charleston Restaurants With Awards

There are three months between the Oscars and the Tonys, but it’s always award season for Charleston restaurants. A few of the latest accolades:

  • O-Ku was designated a Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurant in America by OpenTable, which scans five million diner reviews collected over the course of the year to determine top scores in the “hot spot” category. Although the reservation service’s website doesn’t explain what’s meant by “hot spot,” it appears to have at least a tangential relationship to clubbing: Fourteen of the listed restaurants are located in Florida, with most of them clustered around Miami. Culinary powerhouses San Francisco and Seattle, where dining culture is considerably more staid, weren’t represented. Continue reading

Keeler, Johnson and Bacon Named James Beard Semi-Finalists

Three Charleston chefs are in the running for finalist status in the Southeast division of the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef awards.

Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder, Kevin Johnson of The Grocery and Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh are semi-finalists for the prestigious prize, which will be awarded this May in New York City. Bacon is a semi-finalist for the third year running; Keeler was also a semi-finalist last year.

Other local semi-finalists include McCrady’s for Best Service; Sean Brock for Outstanding Chef, a national award, and FIG for Best Wine Service. “Greatest honor to date,” FIG’s sommelier David McCarus tweeted. Continue reading

Southern Living Names Basico as One of The South’s Best New Bars

AR-130909748.jpg&q=80&MaxW=750&MaxH=350Basico’s updated country club vibe earned the Park Circle taqueria a spot on Southern Living’s list of The South’s Best New Bars, featured in this month’s issue of the magazine.

According to an editor’s note, the 20 chosen bars are “a throwback to a time when whiskey and Champagne were sipped by elegant folks in sleek social rooms,” minus the pretension. Basico at Mixson Bath & Racquet Club won praise for its summery, un-stuffy ambiance and spicy grapefruit margarita.

Basico was grouped with Nashville’s ultra-trendy Pinewood Social, the carnivalesque eating-and-drinking warehouse from The Catbird Seat team, in the “social club” category. Continue reading

Five Charleston Restaurants Receive Four Stars From Forbes

While not a single South Carolina restaurant cracked the list of Forbes Travel Guide five-star winners, five area properties received four stars from the hospitality evaluator.

According to the list, released last week, Charleston Grill; Circa 1886; Peninsula Grill; Tristan and The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary – which earned five stars for its hotel and spa – provide “refined personal service” and “feature creative, complex foods and emphasize various culinary techniques and a focus on seasonality.”

Forbes updates its list twice a year.

Awards Vault Craig Deihl Into Elite Group of Food Artisans

cdeihlWhen Cypress’ Craig Deihl this month claimed a Good Food Award for his cured meat, he was one of 130 honorees. But Deihl belongs to a far more select group of celebrated artisans: He’s one of only six food producers to win a Good Food Award in all four years of the program’s existence, and the lone Southern producer to achieve the distinction.

Created by San Francisco’s Seedlings Projects to recognize food deemed “tasty, responsible and authentic,” the annual Good Food Awards are considered the top prizes in the handcrafted food-and-drink world. For this year’s contest, cheese makers, picklers, chocolatiers, distillers and fermenters – among other artisans – submitted 1450 different products for judging. Continue reading

Zero George Cooking Class Wins Recognition From Food & Wine

cook3“I’m starving,” a student in Zero George’s weekly Saturday morning cooking class exclaimed as she reluctantly handed off a cauliflower floret for the next student to examine.

Executive chef Randy Williams’ two-hour instructional sessions, which this month were honored by Food & Wine as one of the nation’s top three new cooking courses, are far from frivolous eating-and-drinking affairs: He doesn’t uncork a bottle of wine until the second hour starts. Instead, as I observed when I swung by this weekend, the classes are designed to emphasize contemporary techniques and encourage students to think like chefs.

On Saturday, Williams – wearing a chef’s jacket and cowboy boots – demonstrated how to prepare a butternut squash puree, roasted pork loin and olive oil cake. The cake recipe he distributed was written out in metric measurements, because “that’s how more people like to do it now.” He also stressed asymmetrical plating and advised that “people are getting away from blanching vegetables ahead of time.” Continue reading

The Ordinary Lands The Daily Meal’s Restaurant of the Year Title

theordinaryWrapping up an inaugural year which brought best new restaurant nods from GQ, Esquire and Bon Appetit – as well as a James Beard nomination in the same category – The Ordinary this week was picked as The Daily Meal’s Restaurant of the Year.

To qualify for the website’s prize, based on the votes of two dozen panelists, restaurants had to have opened this year and received stellar reviews. Weirdly, contributing to the echo chamber nature of restaurant assessment, “they had to have made a major splash” was also a criterion.

Mike Lata’s The Ordinary qualified handily, winning twice as many votes as its nearest competitor. Other Southern restaurants under consideration included Nashville’s Rolf and Daughters; Atlanta’s King + Duke and New Orleans’ Mariza (if I’d been on the panel, I would have backed Peche.) Continue reading