Two Morning TV Appearances for Charlestonians

mcmahonNo reservations are necessary to watch Frank McMahon make a pair of Mother’s Day brunch dishes tomorrow morning on the TODAY show.

McMahon (Hank’s Seafood, Brasserie Gigi) will travel to New York City to prepare his dishes in the NBC studio. The segment will air during the 9 a.m. hour.

Restaurant publicist Elise Reinemann declined to reveal what’s on the menu, saying only “he will be preparing two springtime dishes that are available on Brasserie Gigi’s brunch menu,” a line-up which includes a chicken sandwich and tomato salad. Charleston’s Comcast subscribers can tune into channel 3 to learn what he chooses. 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.

High Cotton Adds Saturday Brunch

Charleston’s love for brunch is so passionate that another downtown restaurant is adding Saturday hours to its Benedict schedule.

Starting Jan. 11, High Cotton will serve its standard brunch menu on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Available items include lowcountry huevos rancheros; grilled salmon salad and Southern breakfast cassoulet.

“We feel offering brunch on Saturdays will only enhance the experience at High Cotton,” general manager Jill Maynard is quoted as saying in a release.

High Cotton is the only Maverick Southern Kitchens restaurant serving brunch on Saturdays, but the meal is a fixture at nearby restaurants including Virginia’s on King, Eli’s Table and Poogan’s Porch.

Charleston Chefs Bring Bologna and Peanuts to Feast Portland

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Jay Friedman

Feast Portland, which serves as a coastal and calendrical bookend to the Charleston Food + Wine Festival, wrapped up this past Sunday, but not before impressing its lowcountry contributors.

“The scale, the walkability and the pacing were great,” reflects cookbook author Matt Lee, who along with brother Ted demonstrated oyster and peanut stew on the festival’s main stage and guest cheffed a Sunday brunch at Higgins Restaurant and Bar. “A ton of terrific things to try and do, but not so many you felt torn in eight directions.”

Like the Charleston Food + Wine Festival, Feast Portland draws the nation’s top kitchen talents to a town with a culinary reputation disproportionate to its size. But Feast is a much newer affair, having debuted just last year. Still, a few sessions have already emerged as classics, including the Night Market (deemed “brilliant” by Matt Lee, the event features chefs such as Aaron Franklin, Hugh Acheson, Chris Cosentino and Andy Ricker riffing on street food for a global bazaar format) and the Sandwich Invitational.

“South Carolina chef Sean Brock raised the ante with fried bologna,” The Oregonian reported in its coverage of the competition. Yet Brock’s sandwich, pictured above, ultimately lost out to a pair of homegrown entries: Portland’s Laurelhurst Market wowed the judges with its smoked beef tongue and pardon peppers on a roll, and Country Cat won the audience prize for its lamb cheeseburger. Continue reading

Three New Options for Brunch

Deck Bar

Vendue Inn

Three downtown restaurants are adding Sunday brunch to their schedules, bringing more biscuits and Bloodys to an already busy morning.

Of the newcomers, The Vendue Inn was first out of the gate with its “brunch basket” program, which premiered this past weekend. As the name implies, Vendue’s Rooftop Bar brunch is a picnicky affair, in which guests can purchase a bottle of bubbly and a basket of snacks for $40. The baskets are sized for two, and designed around a culinary theme, such as The Pacific, Paris or Tuscany: Menu items include cured salmon, Boursin cheese and dried figs. Baskets are available from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

On Sept. 1, Republic Garden & Lounge will join the brunch crowd with its “light, healthy approach,” writes spokesperson Grace Newland. Executive chef Benjamin Harris’ definition of “light” isn’t exactly egg whites and grapefruit segments, though: The menu features honey biscuits with salt butter; housemade pork belly rillettes; duck prosciutto and crème fraîche scrambled eggs. But there’s coconut water in the ReHydrator cocktail, made with cucumber vodka, St. Germain and lemon. Other quaffable options include frozen Mimosas with various floaters and a smoothie of Bols Yogurt liqueur, orange juice and gin. Brunch is served from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Finally, Warehouse is readying to roll out its brunch service on the same Sunday. Although the menu hasn’t yet been released, it’s likely the eggs and cheeses on the bar menu will be reconfigured in morning-appropriate ways. But the specials aren’t exclusively for early risers: Brunch starts at 11 a.m. and runs through 11 p.m., so night owls can have hash with their highballs.