Thursday, July 18, 2019

McCrady's Tavern, opened with Gilded Age inspiration three years ago, will close July 31

2 Unity Alley now for sale

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Thu, Jul 18, 2019 at 11:47 AM

McCrady's - FILE
  • File
  • McCrady's
Neighborhood Dining Group (NDG) announced on Wednesday that McCrady's Tavern, the three-year-old former Sean Brock passion project, will close its doors Wed. July 31. The restaurant opened under Brock in 2016 with promises of a Gilded Age-inspired menu. At the time Brock said, "The Tavern is an idea that's been bouncing around in my head for a few years now. I've always been obsessed with Pre-Depression American cooking. The food after the Civil War, and before the Great Depression, the Gilded Age, was a really, really cool moment for American cooking." The tavern may have been founded on the premise of excess, bacchanalia, and foie gras, but recent menu iterations veered more modern American than late 19th century.  Where Brock's original menu included escargot-stuffed marrow bones on the appetizer side, we now find an heirloom tomato salad and fish crudo.

Whether Brock's departure from the group, menu changes, chef changes, or the shuffling of the NDG spaces themselves are the root cause of the tavern's shuttering, it's hard to say. (If you remember, the tavern initially opened after McCrady's moved into the original Minero spot and the Brock taco joint went upstairs into one of NDG's old event spaces.)
In a statement, NDG president David Howard said, "It's been a privilege to operate McCrady's Tavern in this space for the past three years, and I would like to share my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to every member of our Tavern team and to each guest who walked down Unity Alley to dine with us."
The tasting menu-only McCrady's will continue to operate as usual, and NDG says staff members at the tavern will be offered positions in the other restaurants managed by the group in Charleston and across the Southeast. The building located at 2 Unity Alley is now for sale.

As one NDG concept shutters, another prepares to open in the bittersweet cycle of the hospitality industry. NDG's Calhoun Street spot, Delaney Oyster House, will open "later this summer" in a 19th century Charleston single house. Maybe they'll have some Gilded Age echoes in those old walls, ghosts of the tavern making raw bar visits, perhaps?

Keep up to date with the oyster house's progress on Instagram and check back soon for details.

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Prohibition launches summer menu highlighting fresh, local ingredients

Here for the warm crab toast

Posted by Sara Srochi on Thu, Jul 18, 2019 at 9:00 AM

The warm crab toast ($14) is made with peas and corn, radish, and red chili vinaigrette - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • The warm crab toast ($14) is made with peas and corn, radish, and red chili vinaigrette
Prohibition recently launched a revamped summer menu with brand new cocktails, appetizers, and entrees. The menu, designed by executive chef Greg Garrison, has all the light, fruity, and fresh flavors of summer, not to mention locally sourced ingredients.

Some of the starters and share plates include a vegetarian coconut curry cauliflower dish and a pea-and-corn garnished warm crab toast, as well as the peachy Lowcountry Creamery burrata. A new entree to look out for, the Ricotta Gnochhi Puttanesca, features zucchini, Kalamata olives, and anchovies.

The Green Card is made with Beefeater gin, green chartreuse, lime, and cucumber - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • The Green Card is made with Beefeater gin, green chartreuse, lime, and cucumber
It doesn’t stop in the kitchen: Beverage Director Jim McCourt has given the bar a summer twist as well. Some of the new cocktails include the S’Express, a cold brew and espresso vodka fusion (makes sense since cold brew has been the Charleston song of the summer.)
There’s also the Pineapple Julep and the gin-based Green Card. The summer menu will be available at Prohibition until September, so don’t wait to try these limited time offerings. Check out the full lineup below.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails launching monthly guest bartender series starting Mon. July 22

Rock, paper, scissors — drink

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 2:02 PM

Last week, Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails' official grand opening party saw hundreds of guests packing out the house to get a taste of mixologist Tyler Rothenberg's inventive libations. While Rothenberg gets creative with his timeline of cocktails — from pre-Prohibition era sips to concoctions nodding to the future — he has even bigger plans for his bar program.

Starting Mon. July 22, Rothenberg and the team at Handcraft will be launching a guest bartender series. Catering to night owls and industry folks, the fun starts at 10 p.m. and goes until 1 in the morning.

"This is our upbeat take on industry night," said Rothenberg in a press release. "It's about celebrating and enjoying each other's company. We really just want these monthly pop-ups, and every Monday night in-between, to be fun and lighthearted!"

The first pop-up features guest bartender Andra "AJ" Johnson from D.C.'s Michelin starred spots Bresca and Prather's on the Alley.

The theme for this inaugural pop-up is "Rock, Paper, Scissors" which will play into the different cocktails the two 'tenders make. Guests will try their hand (literally) at the game, and those who win two out of three games (classic rules, duh) will move on in the tournament. The champ wins a $25 bar tab, and those who successfully challenge Johnson or Rothenberg to a duel will receive one dollar off their cocktails.

Johnson's three special cocktails include Sar-Rock made with Rittenhouse Rye, Caprano Antica, aperol, Spicebush bitters, and thyme; The Layover made with Elijah Craig bourbon, Dubonnet Rouge, serrano strawberry reduction, and lemon; and Cut Me Some Slack, made with Sacred Bond brandy, Admiral Nelson coconut rum, pineapple, Domain de Canton, and Amontillado sherry-mint foam. 

Rothenberg is shaking up Rock this Way with Mellow Corn, mezcal, green chartreuse, pineapple, and orange bitters; Paper Chaser with Rittenhouse Rye, Dubonnet Rouge, PAMA, blood orange, and cucumber; and Cuttin' Up with Sacred Bond, Burnett's gin, cointreau, orgeat, yuzu, lime, Angostura bitters, and mint. All Rock, Paper, Scissor themed cocktails are $10.

Mon. July 22 also marks Handcraft's industry night menu debut, "Meltdown Monday." Every Mon. you'll be able to order late night grilled cheese, $3 beers, $4 shots, and $7 shot beer combos. 

Event Details Rock, Paper, Scissors Bartender Guest Series Pop-Up
@ Handcraft Kitchen & Cocktails
735 Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant
Mt Pleasant, SC
When: Mon., July 22, 10 p.m.
Price: A la carte
Foodie Events

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The lowdown on Kahuna Poke Bar, opening soon in Mt. Pleasant, plus four other Charleston poke spots to try

Bowled over

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 10:52 AM

We've been loving Poke Tea House bowls for two years and counting - JONATHAN BONCEK FILE PHOTO
  • Jonathan Boncek file photo
  • We've been loving Poke Tea House bowls for two years and counting
With a new poke restaurant, Kahuna Poke Bar, opening at the end of July in Mt. Pleasant, we figured it was about time to round up a few poke places around town. Though Eater queried in Nov. 2018 — has the poke bowl trend peaked? — there seems to be no sign of stopping the raw, cubed meat wave in the Lowcountry. All these joints are colorful AF, fast casual, offer a dizzying array of build-your-own-options, and will make you a bowl that will surely end up on the 'gram. Here's the breakdown of Kahuna, plus four other places where you can poke your way:

Kahuna Poke Bar

Who they are
Though they won't be open until the end of July, but Kahuna Poke Bar has already amassed over 1,000 Instagram followers. Owner Amber Oblinger says she has lived in Hawaii, which gives her an upper hand when it comes to crafting authentic poke. Kahuna is also locally owned and operated, working to serve high quality, fresh food. "We work with an executive chef with 30 years experience in Asian cuisine and only order AAA tuna," says Oblinger. "Our poke bowls are sized appropriately to ensure our customers get not only the quantity that they deserve, but also the quality and the nutritional values that they need to sustain their busy lifestyles." That means: more toppings, less rice as filler.
Where they are
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant
When they're open
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. & Sun. noon-6 p.m.
What you can order
Choose from eight different signature poke bowls ($10-$14), or build your own. Base choices include white rice, brown rice, spring mix, kale, or zucchini noodles; proteins include marinated tuna, spicy tuna, salmon, spicy salmon, crab, cooked salmon, shrimp, chicken, squid salad, and tofu; top it with select sauces and other poke standards.
Why you should go
Kahuna also offers make your own acai and salad bowls (plus inventive signature iterations of both) and gives back with their acai "Hero Bowl" — proceeds go to stroke research. The weekly specials are sweet, too, like BOGO bowl Mondays and Signature Saturdays ($2 off signature bowls).

Poke Tea House

Who they are
Owner Chu Xin Jiang opened her downtown Poke Tea House location in early 2017; at the time, former CP editor Kinsey Gidick openly admitted her addiction to Jiang's bowls, writing: "I've been to Poke Tea House five times in the last four weeks ... the small shop on Spring Street is serving what I consider to be one of the most convenient, satisfying, and (relatively) healthy lunches in the city right now." Jiang told Gidick in 2017 that she'd never been to Hawaii (unlike Kahuna owner Oblinger) instead finding inspiration from her brother, who owns a Japanese restaurant. Jiang opened a second Poke Tea House location in August 2018 in Mt. Pleasant.
Where they are
Downtown: 441 Meeting St. Unit E
Mt. Pleasant: 627 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Suite B

When they're open
Downtown: Mon.-Fri 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. & Sun. noon-9 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

What you can order
Poke your way! Sure, there are seven house specialities ($8-$14), but with a poke your way mantra, might as well dive into the latter. Choose from sushi rice, brown rice, salad, or zucchini noodles as a base, then choose from one or two proteins including ahi tuna, chicken, scallops, seared tuna, white tuna, grilled eel, tofu, shrimp, or salmon. Mix in cucumber, edamame, cilantro, mint, ogo seaweed, mango, and others. And don't forget the sauces and other add-ons!
Why you should go
Jiang says, "we might be hidden, but we make our poke fast, tasty, and beautiful."

Poke Bros

Who they are
A chain that started in the Midwest (Ohio, even) in 2016, Poke Bros. has "24 stores and counting" across seven states. According to their website, "After the founders were introduced to the Hawaiian staple on a trip to California, the appeal of this fast and casual — while healthy — concept immediately inspired the founders to begin thinking how they could bring this unique dish to the midwest." Instead of advertising a strict poke offering, Poke Bros say they "developed their own brand of poké bowl flavor they are proud to share and call their own. Modeling similar assembly line casual dining concepts, we developed a unique way to build your 'sushi in a bowl.'"
Where they are
North Charleston: 5070 International Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant: 644-H1 Long Point Road
When they're open
North Charleston: Daily, 11 am.-9 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. & Sun. noon-6 p.m.
What you can order
Poke Bros offers six signature bowls ($9-$12.50) plus the BYOB model. Choose from white, brown, or sushi rice or mix up a couple different rices. There's also a salad base. Proteins are similar to what we've already seen with spicy chicken being the only unique standout. Additional mix-ins, toppings, and sauces are also par for the course at a poke joint, with the exception of toasted coconut and crushed cashew nuts.
Why you should go
Order ahead! They make ordering online easy — design your bowl, then add some mochi ice cream with flavors like vanilla chocolate chip, mango, and green tea.


Who they are
Poke-San opened in the old Parlor Deluxe spot about a year ago and according to their Instagram is a "locally, family owned business." Unlike most of their poke peers, they keep their social media presence pretty minimal. More time to focus on the raw fishies, perhaps?
Where they are
207 A Saint Philip St. Downtown
When they're open
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. & Sun. noon-8 p.m.
What you can order
Though Poke is in the name, this Spring Street spot has way more on their menu than just rice bowls brimming with fun toppings. Order sushi, sushi burritos, noodle bowls, tacos, and steam buns if you so desire. If you're strictly here for the poke, we get it. No bowls du jour, build your own. Choose from sushi rice, brown rice, or spring mix as a base; proteins include salmon, tuna, a fish combo, suzu crab, glazed pork, steak, tofu, or chicken; mix-ins include avocado, seaweed salad, and more; top it with toasted coconut, dried onion, etc.; then drizzle it with everything from spicy mayo to a sweet soy glaze.
Why you should go
Check out Poke-San if you want to sit and stay a while with a buddy who may not be into poke. They can enjoy two rolls for $12 while you dive into your bowl. Oh, and they have half-off sushi Tuesdays and Thurs.-Sat. from 5-7 p.m. 

Beech Charleston

Who they are

According to their website, Beech started with "two brothers chasing a dream of serving their community through healthy, yet fast foods." The Beech menu is modeled around the "four pillars of a balanced diet: fruit, fish, rice, and vegetables." Beech just opened their second location on Daniel Island in early 2019.
Where they are
Downtown: 315 King St.
Daniel Island: 864 Island Park Drive
When they're open
Downtown & DI: Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. and Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
What you can order
No signature poke bowls here — be brave and build your own. All bowls start at $12.50 with standard protein and base offerings, except for the pickled shiitake mushrooms, that's a new one we love to see. Toppings and sauces are also what you'd expect, like avocado, seaweed salad, ginger dressing, and pineapple chunks.
Why you should go
So you can skip down King Street singing 'Life's a Beech!' The cold-pressed juices and smoothie selections don't hurt, either.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Pho King restaurant open in Mt. Pleasant for lunch & dinner serving keto pho bowls, rotating specials

Here for the noods

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 9:45 AM

Pho but make it low carb - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Pho but make it low carb
Pho King owner Oanh Dang says she was hesitant to put keto-friendly, zero carb, zero calorie noodles on her menu. "I grew up eating and cooking pho with my mom and grandma who LOVE the traditional carb rich noodles," she says. But the keto, "a.k.a. magic," noodles are delicious, she notes.

Dang opened her Mt. Pleasant Vietnamese noodle spot last month, but has since adjusted the hours and the menu. Pho King is open Tues.-Sat. for lunch and dinner, and Sunday for dinner only.


The menu includes customizable pho and salad bowls, plus rotating specials. Dang says that this week because her mother is in town, they'll be featuring her "broken rice bowls and banh mi with lemongrass pork, pickled daikon and carrots" and "possibly an amazing jack fruit and shrimp cold salad."

Dang says she is also open to patron requests, especially if they're interested in authentic options like tendon and tripe in their pho. "These options are TBD based on the neighborhood's palate for these more ... exotic ... parts of the cow."

Drink options at Pho King include sake and wine plus local and imported brews. Stay up to date with Pho King's specials by following them on Facebook

Location Details Pho King
700 S. Shelmore Blvd Unit 102
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. & 4:30-9 p.m.Sun. 4:3-9 p.m.
Thai + Vietnamese

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