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Dish, Fuel, Alluette's Café, 16 Market St., A Culinary Art Company

A La Carte: Charleston's cuisine news source

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Get Your Dish

The newest issue of Dish, our award-winning biannual dining guide, hits the streets today and you won't find it inside this newspaper. Instead, we're racking and stacking it separately in its own cute little stand. Look for it on the counter at your favorite restaurant or bar. This winter issue is chock full of foodie fun. We dispatched Sarah O'Kelley and Joshua Curry to the kitchen at High Cotton to watch Chef Anthony Gray butcher a whole hog. Our newest food writer Robert Moss (see Sushi Haru review on p. 42) hunted down some of the best charcuterie plates in town. Erica Jackson found out who's doing what with heirloom Carolina Gold Rice, and Cynthia Groseclose ate cake and lots of it. The dining guide listings of our favorite restaurants have returned, but this time they're broken down by price — from inexpensive to very expensive — hopefully enabling you to take control of your budget in these unnerving economic times. We've also incorporated those same restaurant write-ups into our online dining guide database (www.charlestoncitypaper.com), putting this incredible resource for dining out in Charleston right at your fingertips anytime you can't locate that dog-eared copy of Dish. We hope you enjoy. —Stephanie Barna

Rutledge Ave. Gets a Fill-Up

Finding some gas might still be spotty on the peninsula, but restaurateurs Justin Broome and Trevor Whitmire will be providing the Fuel at 211 Rutledge Ave. The new restaurant is set to open at the same corner as Hominy Grill and Lana in early spring with a focus on burgers and fish tacos. Broome says all the meat will be ground on-site and they'll serve local, organic products and fresh-caught seafood. The new space will include indoor and outdoor dining along with bar space under the roof and under the stars. —Greg Hambrick

Organic Soul Sister Returns

Years ago, Alluette Jones had a cute little dining room in the middle of the 'hood that served some of the best meat-and-three dishes in town. Then she disappeared for a while, resurfacing near Walterboro where she had opened another restaurant. We reconnected with her and found out she had been battling cancer. She told us her recovery was due to her holistic approach to food — she was only eating organically. She's since come back to Charleston and cut the ribbon last Saturday on Alluette's Café, located at 80-A Reid St, right next door to Burris Liquors. There, Chef Absalom Thomas will be cooking up what Alluette calls holistic soul food, using fresh, organic vegetables from local fields. Stop by soon for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch. I don't think you'll be sorry you did. —Stephanie Barna

Another One Bites the Dust

A sign of the economy or a bad business model? 16 Market St. abruptly closed up shop last week. The restaurant located near the Noisy Oyster on the Market had been retooled and renamed from Cintra back in December. Owner Jeff Cobb told us he was interested in attracting a hipper, younger crowd and was hoping a reduction in prices and a new menu of contemporary American fare would do the trick. Looks like he underestimated the pull of Upper King Street. No word on what Thomas Clayton will do next, but we figure the talented chef will find a new gig soon enough. —Stephanie Barna

A Culinary Art Co. Update

A few weeks ago we reported that Mt. Pleasant restaurant A Culinary Art Company had closed up shop, but as we were unable to contact the owners, we could only speculate as to why they closed. Luckily Chef Tim McCusker gave us a call last week to clear things up. The restaurant is indeed now closed, but not because of bad business — the McCuskers have moved to Baltimore for family reasons, where they plan to open up a new restaurant. McCusker says he was quite sad to leave the Holy City, but he returns periodically to do catering for loyal clients. He's also been working on a line of instructional DVDs for his company Variety Cooking, some of which will soon be available at www.varietycooking.com. Here's wishing Tim the best of luck. —Erica Jackson

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