Old Village Post House Releases Menu for Carolina Rice Kitchen Dinner

peanutThe ancestral peanut of the South, which until this year had scarcely been tasted since the early part of the 20th century, is on the menu of an Old Village Post House dinner benefiting the lab which helped resurrect the long lost legume.

The African runner peanut – rediscovered by University of South Carolina professor David Shields; grown by Clemson University horticulturalist Brian Ward and funded by Anson Mills founder Glenn Roberts – will embroider a triggerfish crudo with pickled marsh samphire and icicle radish.

Shields, Ward and Roberts will guest star at the five-course supper at 6:30 p.m. on Apr. 16, explaining the nuts, beans and grains on the menu. Harry Root of Grassroots Wine is handling the wine pairings. Continue reading

Warehouse Beefs Up Menu With Burger, Salads, Entrees


When I reviewed Warehouse back in September, I wrote, “If there’s a flaw …it’s the difficulty of composing a coherent meal.” But the bar’s now licked that problem with a new menu, debuting tonight.

“We really wanted our guests to have more dining options,” co-owner James Groetzinger is quoted as saying in a release announcing the new items. “The addition of salads and larger plates means that people can enjoy an entire meal at Warehouse, appetizer through dessert.” Continue reading

Mixing Up the Menu at Basico

basicoThere are more than two dozen items on Basico’s menu, but it was the listed dish components which beckoned to the eaters at my table.  Cotija pimento cheese sounded too imaginative to be confined to a burger: Might we try it on a griddled corn tortilla? And how about this side of spicy turnip greens? Wouldn’t that make a better vegetarian taco base than braised beans?

But our mixing and matching reached its apex when the elements reached the table: My hands-down favorite Basico dish is a spicy greens-and-pimento cheese taco. You won’t find it on the menu.

Since chefs invest serious time and thought in constructing dishes, I wondered whether the folks who had a say in assembling Basico’s menu would bless our tinkering – or chalk it up as thoughtless, ungracious meddling. Continue reading

BLU Introduces Weekend Brunches

benedictBLU is the latest Charleston area restaurant to add Saturday brunch to its schedule.

The brunch menu – available on both Saturday and Sunday mornings from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. – includes pastrami and hash; blueberry and mascarpone French toast; lump crab benedict and smoked salmon salad. Prices range from $8-$14 for entrees. Drink wise, there are mimosa specials and a bloody Mary bar.

For more information, call 588-6658. BLU is located at 1 Center Street in Folly Beach.

Bollywood Wasn’t Closed, After All

bolly2Bollywood is back.

Although the popular Rivers Avenue restaurant last month gave every sign of having reached its final frame – its website was deactivated; its voicemail system was inoperable and a “for lease” sign appeared in the window – owner Naman Bhatt says, “we’re back on track.”

One of the restaurant’s founding partners left the business, necessitating a company reorganization and a weeks-long closure, Bhatt explains. Continue reading

Maverick Southern Kitchens Cancels Coleman Boulevard Project

Maverick Southern Kitchens has nixed plans to open a fourth Charleston area restaurant.

The company today announced its project at The Boulevard, a mixed-use development on Coleman Boulevard, was undone by a series of construction delays. Construction of the restaurant was set to begin last September, but “major building changes were needed to accommodate it.” The renovations were completed and approved in mid- January.

Around that time, the property was taken over by a new owner, who forecast the building wouldn’t be ready to host the restaurant until summertime.

“When we learned the process was delayed an additional four to five months, we decided the restaurant could not wait that much longer,” the announcement quotes Maverick’s founder and president Dick Elliott as saying. Continue reading

Xiao Bao Biscuit Eyes Asheville Location

xbbintXiao Bao Biscuit is exploring new markets across the Southeast, but co-owner Joey Ryan says the restaurant will maintain its Charleston address.

“We are at home in Charleston,” Ryan says. “This place is and always will be the heart of our company.”

As first reported by the Asheville Citizen-Times, XBB is considering opening a restaurant in a vacant gas station just north of downtown Asheville.  Ryan says sous chef Patrick O’Cain, an Asheville native who previously worked at Curate, “will play a greater role in the company because he has been a huge part of our success here.” Continue reading

Chef Switch at Riso Noodle House

soupThere is still an “Authentic Chinese Menu” at Riso Noodle House, but the dishes are now being prepared by a Vietnamese chef.

The West Ashley restaurant — which I had hailed for its second menu, featuring tripe noodle soup; soybean pork feet and steamed beef balls – last month hired a new chef after owner Patty Ho’s partner had to leave the kitchen permanently because of damage to his hand.

Ho described the injury as related to repetitive motion. “The pain was getting worse,” Ho says, adding that he had delayed surgery. Continue reading

Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot Brings Southern Cooking to Wando

chxdonutWhen Nathaniel Chamblin was nine years old, his father opened The Icehouse Café, then a small bar in a suburb of Washington D.C. Within a few years, it was one of the city’s top restaurants, branching into California cuisine long before its competitors and pouring microbrews by 1987.

Chamblin is planning to get off to a similarly modest start with Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot, opening next month in Wando. And while he doesn’t have any immediate plans to overtake the city’s leading restaurants, he says, “I have mad respect for all of the talent we have in town. But I wouldn’t mind going toe-to-toe with some of these chefs in an Iron Chef format, and they know it.”

Now 43, Chamblin has been involved in restaurants since he was a boy. After his family in 1991 sold The Icehouse Café, he gravitated toward restaurant consulting, moving to Charleston in 1997. He helped open Bull & Finch and Zinc Bistro, but didn’t spend much time in the kitchen: Cainhoy Cookin’ Depot is Chamblin’s first full-time chef job in 20 years. Continue reading

Holy City Hospitality Snubs OpenTable

Diners interested in checking out the pair of new restaurants from Holy City Hospitality won’t have any luck securing a reservation through OpenTable: Vincent Chicco’s and Michael’s on the Alley are among the first upscale restaurants on the peninsula to handle their table assignments exclusively through a Yelp subsidiary.

Yelp last summer announced the purchase of SeatMe, an iPad-based system launched in 2011. Unlike OpenTable, SeatMe charges a flat $99 monthly fee instead of $1-$2.50 per cover.

“OpenTable is very expensive, and there is a fee for each reservation made,” explains assistant general manager Whitney Standish, who’s an unqualified fan of the service. “SeatMe works just as well and is super easy to navigate.” Continue reading