Tsukemen-Slurping Time at XBB

tsukemenCelebrity chefs’ reverence for ramen – the subject of the first-ever issue of Lucky Peach, David Chang’s uber-hip food quarterly, and a recurring theme on Anthony Bourdain’s shows – has helped a nation of eaters understand there’s much more to the genre than the noodle packages they bought for a dime apiece as college students. But now that ramen’s common, it’s tsukemen’s turn.

Like ramen, tsukemen is composed of noodles, pork, egg and vegetal accoutrements. But if ramen is a symphony, tsukemen is a concerto, with each component taking a solo turn. Instead of mixing the elements together in a bowl of hot broth, a tsukemen chef serves the noodles, naked and cool, alongside a concentrated dipping broth. Tsukemen – pronounced SKEH-men, almost like lemon – is ideal for warm days. Continue reading

FED Now Serving “American Eclectic” in Mt. Pleasant

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Nick Arbuckle, the 30-year old owner of the newly-opened FED in Mt. Pleasant, has moved away from the Charleston area just once. And now that he’s back, he’s vowing not to leave again.

After spending eight years at Langdon’s, Arbuckle helped open Latitude 32 outside of Atlanta. The short-lived restaurant featured global food from the 32nd parallel (don’t bother consulting an atlas: it stretches from Georgia to Sichuan to Iran), which may help explain why Arbuckle chose a more basic concept for his first independent venture.

“American eclectic is the best way to describe it,” he says. “It’s not fine dining, but a step above average.” Continue reading

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

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.

Sweet & Savory Swings Open Its Door

sweetsaveThe wait for peanut- butter-and-jelly French toast is over: Sweet & Savory Café opened this week on Spring Street.

As previously reported here, the bakery and all-day breakfast joint is a collaboration between Jessica Wilkie, late of The Kiawah Island Golf Resort‘s pastry department, and her fiancé, chef Logan Scott. Scott’s apparently responsible for the bacon waffle sandwich and fried shrimp po-boy. The complete menu is here.

Sweet & Savory, 100A Spring St., is open daily from 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. Lunch service starts at 11 a.m. For more information, call 727-2549.

Wei Mei Opens Next Month in Northwoods Marketplace

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When Peter Fang owned New Dragon in Hollywood, the restaurant served the typical Chinese-American staples: The menu was crammed with sweet-and-sour-this and that-fried rice. But Fang is determined to winnow down the standard dish list at his newest venture, Wei Mei Diner.

“We try to have a simple menu,” Fang says. “You go to any Chinese restaurant, it’s too many things.” Continue reading

Georgean’s Brings Jerk and Curry to the Eastside – Or Directly to You

menugeorgThere isn’t any seating at Georgean’s Caribbean Soul, but the new takeout restaurant is offering delivery of Sunday suppers directly to patrons’ church parking lots.

Although the restaurant is officially closed on Sundays, customers who place their orders by noon on Fridays can arrange to have the five-person meal delivered between 12 noon and 6 p.m. The $45 package includes a dozen pieces of chicken; mac-and-cheese; lima beans; yams and rice. A gallon of iced tea or lemonade costs an extra five bucks.

In addition to the Sunday delivery option, Georgean’s plans to offer downtown delivery throughout the week, and the restaurant’s installing tables outside the store.

“People can get their food to eat in the sun,” owner Deborah Grant says. Continue reading

Farm-to-Table Menu at Harold’s Cabin to Feature Snowballs

haroldsThe restoration of the first Harold’s Cabin location at the corner of Congress and President streets is likely to take at least six months, giving one of the forthcoming restaurant’s owners plenty of time to immerse himself in the legendary food retailer’s archives at the College of Charleston.

“I’m going to bury myself in them,” says John Schumacher, who’s overseen the Charleston RiverDogs’ food-and-beverage program for 16 years. “We’re kind of bringing back the history as much as we can.”

RiverDogs pals Bill Murray and Mike Veeck, along with builder Ben Danofsky, are Schumacher’s partners in the project. “They’ve known I’ve always wanted to, at some point, open my own place,” he says. Continue reading