It may be the New Year (perhaps you've made a few eating-related resolutions), and it's definitely cold as a witch's tit outside, but that shouldn't keep you holed up in the house. There's plenty of stuff happening in the food world.
For instance, tonight at the Riverview Holiday Inn (that's the round one on the Ashley River), they've got all-you-can-eat $3.50 tacos and $1 Coronas. If you're broke like me, that should sound like a pretty terrific deal. I can't vouch for quality, though. You'll have to figure that out for yourself.
On Sunday, Jan. 8, the local chapter of Slow Food will hold its annual potluck membership drive, so if eating all the tacos you can stuff in your face for $3.50 leaves you cold, this might be the group for you. Slow Food is dedicated to healthy local food systems based on high quality and taste (among other things). The potluck will be held at the Glass Onion in West Ashley. Bring a dish to share and your favorite beverage and get out there and meet some of Charleston's most passionate food lovers.
You know what this cold weather makes me crave? Hot, crusty bread fresh from the oven. If that's your bag too, stop by Rococo on Saturday between 2 and 5 p.m. for their first ever bread and flavored butter tasting. It promises to be belly warming.
The next installment of the Sustainable Seafood Institute's wine dinner series will take place on Monday night at the Boathouse on Breach Inlet. That six-course feast (for $55) will have wine pairings and interesting dishes like tempura-fried lionfish and roasted scallop and wild mushroom wellington. It's also a pretty great deal as far as wine-paired dinners go.
Wine dinners too frou-frou? How about a barbecue and beer bash? The new Bighorn's Sports Grill in North Chuck, a place that's dedicated to America in all its glory, will be bringing in barbecue champion Kevin Cowan to cook up some pork while some college football bowl game plays on as many of the 50 TVs in the 12,000-square-foot place as necessary. (It's LSU vs. Alabama, if you care.)
Next Wednesday, I'll be judging the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food mixologist competition at Michael Mitchell Gallery on Upper King Street. Attendees will get to swig cocktails made from Milagro Tequila and Hendrick's Gin, crafted by some of Charleston's best bartenders in town. It's $35, and food will be provided by Kevin Johnson of the Grocery, the new restaurant starting a buzz in the neighborhood. Hopefully he'll bring those fried oysters with deviled egg sauce.
The next night, Charleston Restaurant Week (which should probably be called weeks, since it lasts for two) kicks off. You can visit the restaurant association's website for a list of restaurants that will be offering fixed price three-course menus for $20-$40. There are a ton of places to choose from, and reservations fill up fast at the popular joints (ie. Husk).
Later in the month, the Keegan-Filion Farms fundraiser will take place at Lowndes Grove. (Read all about it here.) Tickets have finally been made available. It will sell out, so make haste to get in on it.