Five Must-Buy Charleston Wine + Food Festival Tickets

cwfpcTickets to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival go on sale tomorrow, and they have a tendency to sell out quickly, which means planning your purchase is essential. While the schedule‘s crammed with lots of intriguing events, here are the five tickets I’d buy if I had the extra cash.

1. Two Boroughs Larder Perfectly Paired Dinner, Thursday, 7 p.m. $175

I fear this ticket could be a hard sell, since the supper conflicts with the extraordinarily popular Opening Night party. But you know what? Sample plates are for amateurs. The real culinary fireworks are bound to fly at the splendid Two Boroughs, where James Beard-nominee Josh Keeler is teaming up with Ryan Smith and Ryan Hidinger, the duo behind Atlanta’s long-planned (and eagerly-awaited) Staplehouse. Smith’s known for his willingness to smartly bend Southern cooking conventions, and the dining room’s likely to be crowded with Atlantans wondering what the Empire State South alum’s planning for his new restaurant. Continue reading

Charleston to Wait a Few More Days For Lebanese Cooking (And, Possibly, Armenian Singing)

Leyla will not open this weekend, as previously announced, but the downtown Lebanese restaurant is aiming to have its doors open by Wednesday.

“I was hoping,” says owner Dolly Awkar, a first-time restaurateur who switched from selling rugs to hawking hummus because her accent prompted so many customers to ask where they could find food from her native country. “I did my best.”

The Labor Day holiday delayed the issuance of a certificate of occupancy; Leyla is scheduled for city inspection on Tuesday.

Awkar and her husband, Joseph, have spent much of the last month training servers, many of whom have no previous experience with Middle Eastern cookery, and tasting dishes created by chef Vatche Meguerdichian. Meguerdichian previously helmed Los Angeles’ Alcazar, named one of the city’s 99 essential restaurants in 2011 by critic Jonathan Gold. Continue reading