The Obstinate Daughter’s Adjunct Gelato Shop Opening This Month

beardcatWhen architect Reggie Gibson first suggested a century-old portrait of an old salt with a black cat bundled in his flowing gray beard as naming inspiration for the gelato shop beneath The Obstinate Daughter, not everyone connected with the Sullivan’s Island project jumped on board.

“We kind of all argued,” recalls executive chef Jacques Larson. “We were like, ‘That’s disgusting. Would you want to eat gelato from that guy?’”

But Larson says the marketing possibilities and proposed design scheme swayed the naysayers.

“It doesn’t have to make sense, as long as we’re doing great coffee and gelato and showcasing (pastry chef) Caroline Sherman’s talents,” he says. “It’s fun and whimsical.” Continue reading

Paolo’s Introduces Customizable Cannoli

paoloIt sounds like something you’d encounter on a cruise ship, but Paolo Dalla Zorza of Paolo’s Gelato says the idea for his new cannoli service came to him while traveling home from Italy.

Now at Paolo’s, customers have their pick of cannoli shells, fillings and toppings, so they can construct a mini-shell stuffed with chocolate ricotta cream and dipped in candied fruit, or a chocolate-coated shell filled with ricotta and garnished with sprinkles. There are 72 possible different combinations.

“My customers are so international and well-traveled, so they appreciate this kind of an idea,” Zorza is quoted as saying in a release.

Paolo’s is located at 41 John St.

Future of Mercato Uncertain After Closure for Water Damage

013Nineteen of the 29 employees who lost their jobs when Mercato this weekend shuttered for extensive renovations have been relocated to other Holliday Company properties.

“We’re working to place the other employees,” adds spokeswoman Elise Reinemann, who confirms all of the staffers were offered Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, Peninsula Grill or DoubleTree Hotel positions which mirrored their Mercato jobs.

According to Reinemann, the temporary closure was prompted by “significant water intrusion issues from neighboring buildings” on North Market Street. The restaurant was already considering renovations, but the severity of the water damage cinched it. Continue reading

On the Trail of Charleston’s Unexpected Chicken Wings

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Wintry Buffalo, N.Y. understandably waits until August to mount its annual hot wing bash, but  for eaters everywhere else, January is peak wing season. Between tonight’s BCS National Championship game and the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, Americans will eat millions of pounds of chicken wings. According to the National Chicken Council, if laid end-to-end, the number of wings consumed on Super Bowl Sunday would circle the Earth twice.

Charleston has plenty of dedicated wing joints to serve hungry football fans, including Buffalo Wild Wings, Wild Wings Café, Hubee D’s Wings, D.D. Pecker’s Wing Shack, Wingstop and Boo-Yah Wings. But it’s not just specialists who are enamored of the flavorful, affordable dark meat: Wings have a way of popping up everywhere. There are ritzy wings at Husk and The Grocery; saucy wings at Gullah Cuisine and charcoal-cooked wings at Pollo Loko.

I’ve lately started ordering unexpected wings in hopes of finding a preparation to rival the classic pub recipe of butter and hot sauce. Thus far, nothing’s beat Home Team’s slow-smoked, white-sauced version of the bar snack, but I’m still looking. Here, a few offbeat wings worth noting: Continue reading

Chef With Fusion Expertise Announces Ristorante LIDI

I once had the chance to quiz a server who worked Alaskan cruises about the various food preferences of the boat’s international clientele. The common denominator, he said, was Caesar salad. “Everyone likes Caesar salad,” he said.

Jason Colon, a Le Cordon Bleu alum readying to open a restaurant on Daniel Island, would know: His resume includes “assisting in the opening” of an Italian chain with locations in China, Korea and Japan, and a sous chef stint at an Italian restaurant in Hawaii.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication Colon plans to serve the “Italian Chinese fusion” dishes he perfected on Oahu at Ristorante LIDI, scheduled to open later this fall. A release describes the restaurant at 901 Island Park Drive as specializing in “authentic, affordable Italian cuisine from regional Italian traditions.” Continue reading