Thursday, August 24, 2017

Charleston (Bachelorette Style!) Eat + Drink

We threw my sister a bachelorette party in sunny Isle of Palms + Charleston, South Carolina. We stayed in a house on Isle of Palms which is a 40 minute drive from downtown Charleston and had SO MUCH FUN. I had been to Charleston before but this time the area captured my affections on a deeper level. Sometimes it takes a second go round to really fall for a place.

I think bachelorette party details can be super helpful to those planning one. If you want to see the itinerary I put together, definitely inquire! Otherwise, most of the recommends below apply to just about anyone planning a trip. 

Friday Lunch: Minero | 153 East Bay Street | Charleston
Minero is a casual Mexican eatery from James Beard award winning chef Sean Brock. We sipped on a Watermelon Margarita ($9) and a Mezcal Marg ($11) and noshed on fantastic Tacos ($4.50) - Fried Catfish, Charcoal Grilled Chicken + Taco al Pastor. Minero was a perfect first stop in historic downtown Charleston!  

Post Lunch Libations: Vendue Rooftop | 19 Vendue Range | Charleston

The Vendue was the only overlapping spot from my previous trip. The double tier rooftop is sprawling and the views are pretty great!

Friday Night Dinner: Long Island Café | 1515 Palm Blvd | Isle of Palms
All the IOP locals will recommend to you this gem. Tucked inside the main shopping plaza, it presents a modest and unassuming front. Enter: a beachy oasis serving local seafood emphasizing classic French flavors with a South Carolina flare. We absolutely loved everything - pictured is the Local Handmade Seafood Pasta. 

Post Dinner Libations: The Windjammer | 1008 Ocean Blvd | Isle of Palms
One hell of a beach bar. There was an awesome 90's cover band. We jammed out until 1:30. Solid first night!

Saturday Pre Dinner Drinks: The Bar at Husk | 76 Queen Street | Charleston

In a rough hewn restored space, The Bar at Husk recalls a bygone era of Charleston nightlife and pays homage to traditional southern spirits. Their cocktails are a revelation. We drank Through the Garden ($12) with rum, Green Chartreuse, red pepper, agave, lime, calamansi vinegar + basil and Don't Call Me Sweetheart ($11) with rum, brandy, strawberry, house rhubarb shrub, mint, black pepper + lemon. Definitely pay a visit to The Bat at Husk when you are in town!

Saturday Night Dinner: The Ordinary | 544 King Street 

 Many people will tell you The Ordinary is the best restaurant in Charleston. They would not be wrong. This is Chef Mike Lata's fancy oyster hall in a restored bank and his food is everything. They also have a phenomenal wine and (Rum only!) cocktail program. 

Ordinary Hawaiian Rolls ($5) sea salt butter
Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Toast ($18) tomato, jalapeno, parsley
Milk Punch ($14) Milk Washed Rhum, grapefruit, lime, Luxardo Maraschino
Snapper Ceviche ($17) cucumber, avocado
Heirloom Tomato Salad ($14) goat cheese, pesto
Steamed Porgy ($20 ) banana leaf, roasted figs
Zucchini Carpaccio ($12) almond, mint, pecorino
Foradori 'Fontanasanta' Nisiola ($95) Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy, 2014 - an excellent and unique white wine - aged in terra cotta!
Spicy Yellowfin Tuna ($15) Sea Salt Potato Chips

Don't even get me started on dessert. This might have been my favorite part and I rarely succumb to that notion. The girls and I will be talking about this meal for a long time to come. 
Carolina Gold Rice Pudding ($8) blackberry, basil
Chocolate Hazelnut Budino ($10) sea salt, caramel

Post Dinner Libations: Republic Garden + Lounge | 452 King Street 
One of the bridesmaids booked us a table at Republic. Having a couch area + bottle service on the patio was the key to a really fun night here. Also, we are wearing all white this evening at the brides request - turns out this is a clever way to remain inconspicuous - resisting the bachelorette party cliches!

Sunday Night Dinner: The Obstinate Daughter | 2063 Middle Street | Sullivan's Island
The Obstinate Daughter is another one of those hot spots on the radar of everyone in Charleston. Eclectic American fare including pizza, pasta and a raw bar are served in an elegant, country meets nautical infused space. This was an impromptu Sunday night dinner after a long day of boating when just three of us remained. Aimée declared it her favorite, ranking it even higher than The Ordinary. Yes, the food was ridiculous, but the service was also some of the best I've received.  Our waitress was laid back and effortlessly enthusiastic at the same time. She 100% made our night. Desserts are on another level. Save room. 

Summer Peaches ($14) prosciutto, tomato, pepper, gorgonzola vinaigrette
Obstinate Flatbread ($6) olive oil, Bulls Bay sea salt, butterbean puree)
Blistered Shishito Peppers ($7)
Catalan Seafood Stew ($27) fish, shrimp, oyster, clam, chorizo, almond
Rigatoncini ($19) fennel and sausage ragu, parmesan
Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Cake | olive oil gelato
Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake | mascarpone whipped cream, blueberry-blackberry sauce (just so good that it deserved two close ups!)

Monday Breakfast: The Refuge | Isle of Palms 
The Refuge is a sweet little coffee bar and adjoining restaurant located in the main IOP Plaza (right next to Long Island Cafe). We mostly cooked breakfast at home but on our last morning we grabbed coffees and a greek yogurt parfait to go; then walked the beach one last time before checking out of our rental house and heading downtown to explore The Battery / Waterfront.

Monday Lunch: Caviar + Banana's | 51 George Street
Carviar and Bananas is a gourmet market and cafe serving sandwiches, salads, sushi, beer + wine. This was the perfect spot to grab a bite and a can of local beer after shopping on King Street and before heading to the airport. Pictured is my Pimento Cheese BLT with applewood smoked bacon and green tomatoes on toasted sourdough. 

In between all this good food we were at 29th Street beach or boating around the gorgeous waterways of the inter-coastal / Morris Island / Folly Beach / Shem Creek. The South Carolina coast is remarkable.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Leah's Bridal Shower

Back in July we threw my sister a Greek themed Bridal Shower! (They are going to Greece on their Honeymoon.) All the guests wore handmade flower crowns. There was a bloody mary + mimosa bar, Greek salad, moussaka, grape leaves baklava among many other delicious Greek foods, plus a customized spread of Georgetown Cupcakes!