Contributor Helen Mitternight dishes out the latest food and beverage news in the new monthly Skirt Table column. If you’d like your restaurant news to be considered, email firstname.lastname@example.org with Skirt Table as the subject line.
OPENINGS & CLOSINGS
Boxcar Betty’s, where you CAN get things other than the pimento cheese chicken sandwich, but why, has opened a new outpost on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston.
Get your biscuit fix at the newly opened Maple Street Biscuit Company on James Island at 1739 Maybank Highway.
Poke Tea House has opened a Mount Pleasant location on Coleman Boulevard to join its Charleston location.
Primo Hoagies – already beloved in Philadelphia – is scheduled to open in Mount Pleasant this month.
Fractured Prune, the doughnut shop with the funny name from the mid-Atlantic, moves south with a shop in Mount Pleasant this month.
Malagon, a Spanish market and taperia, will be opening at 33 Spring St. some time this year.
No opening date yet, but downtown Summerville is getting Sweetwater Café back after it closed more than five years ago.
You’ll have to go to West Ashley for your fix of Triangle Char and Bar; the Mount Pleasant site is no more.
Meanwhile, on Johns Island, look for the Royal Tern seafood restaurant to open by year’s end.
Parisian-style wine bar Josephine has opened at 64 Spring St. downtown. Expect wine and wine-friendly food.
Brooks Reitz, the guy who brought you Leon’s Oyster Shop and Little Jack’s Tavern, is teaming with chef John Amato to open Melfi’s, 721 King Street, featuring thin-crust pizzas, pastas and American wines.
Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen, the late lamented Asian hot spot, has given way to Semilla at 218 President St. The former food truck features Mexican street food.
The folks who own the iconic Fleet Landing, Tradd and Weesie Newton, are opening Tradd’s at 167 East Bay to offer “casually elegant” food, an event space and classic American food.
Et Tu, Tu? If you’re already confused about where to get your cup of caffeine, Tu Restaurant adds to the mix with Tu Café until 3 p.m. Monday to Saturday at the restaurant site. In addition to coffee and tea, you can expect some breakfast or lunch options like Hong Kong bubble waffles.
Joining the coffee rush is the newly opened Community Perk Coffee House at Belmond Charleston Place. The Charleston take on a Parisian bistro, will offer light fare, including avocado toast. While you sip your java, enjoy the 75-foot mural by local artist Karl B. Smith. Entitled, “While I Breathe, I Hope,” the mural depicts nearly 60 different Lowcountry icons and landmarks.
Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is opening in Mount Pleasant at the end of September. The laid-back margarita and Baja-inspired food joint opens at 1109 Park West Boulevard.
If you want your meat fresh, Butcher & the Boar is opening this fall at 730 Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant. Meat and game will be on the menu and there will be a strong focus on in-house butchering.
Edmund’s Oast on Morrison Drive has opened a private dining space called The Library for up to 40 people. The Library, connected to Edmund’s Oast Exchange, is meant for special occasions and ticketed classes.
You may not have heard of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international group of women in the food, beverage and hospitality industries, but the Charleston chapter spends its time awarding scholarships to up-and-coming females in the industry – nearly $30,000 in the past two years. They also throw a heck of a party, and this year, they are holding a Family Farm Fest on Oct. 7 on Johns Island. Local farmer and chef favorite Joseph Fields is hosting the event at his farm, and the event will benefit Earth Heart Growers and will feature music, children’s entertainment including a jump castle, face painting, and Earth Heart Growers activities, a silent auction and, of course, food. Filled picnic baskets are available for purchase, as is festival food such as hot dogs and hamburgers. There will be adult beverages for grown-ups.
The Wild Dunes Grand Pavilion is hosting Tale of a Fish on Oct. 14. Chef Ken Vedrinsky of Trattoria Luca and Coda del Pesce; Dean Max, DJM Restaurants; Michelle Weaver, Charleston Grill; Scott Crawford, Crawford & Son, Raleigh, North Carolina; RJ, Aqua, Grand Cayman Islands, BWI; Shawn Singer, Wild Dunes Resort, Sweet Grass Pavilion Kitchen; and Craig Nelson, Proof, lend their talents to create an Italian-meets-Lowcountry seafood feast. Tickets are required and the resort is offering packages that include the event. Reservations Required: 855-211-7473
Maybe you should finally get a wine education. Edmund’s Oast Exchange and certified sommelier Sarah O’Kelley will offer another round in the series of Saturday Somm Schools starting Sept. 8. The classes are perfect for those who are contemplating taking an entry-level wine certification or for anyone looking to enhance their wine aptitude. Offered weekly from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the 12-week series cost $20 per class. Classes are stand alone, but many participants sign up for the entire series. Tickets are available at edmundsoast.com/exchange.
Sometimes you just want to cook at home. Might as well use the brand a lot of chefs swear by: Le Creuset. Their factory sale returns Sept. 27-30 at the Charleston Area Convention Center. You can find discounts up to 70 percent off retail.
Without Sean Brock, who will we be? Charleston is getting used to life post-Sean after the internationally known chef announced that he’s leaving McCrady’s, Minero and McCrady’s Tavern to spend more time in Nashville. He’s still affiliated with Husk, though, so we might see his tattooed biceps around town on occasion.
Another shocker move, chef de cuisine Carlton “Vandy” Vanderwarker has left The Ordinary. He joined the company over at sister restaurant FIG 10 years ago.
And Madison Lea Tessener announced on Facebook that she was let go in the middle of service at Miller’s All Day. She says she’s likely to go back to her Plan A, which was to move to Raleigh.
Chez Nous is losing chef Juan Cassalett, who worked under Jill Mathias. He’s staying with the company, though, just moving over to open Malagon as executive chef (see item in Openings).
The Establishment, 28 Broad Street, is offering brunch. Menu items include fresh cheese with honey, oak crumble and peach; potato Rosti with duck confit and sweet onion; and poached eggs with hoe cake, Cracklin and hollandaise.
No need to hang around the sidewalk outside of Zero Restaurant + Bar hoping for a whiff of the elusive Royale with Cheese burger – Chef Vinson Petrillo has decided to make it a permanent menu item. The burger features Wagyu beef with a “Kraft single fondue” and shaved truffles, all served in foil. The burger will be available nightly in limited quantity for $18 and the truffles will change seasonally. That limited quantity means you shouldn’t hang out on the sidewalk anyway – get in there!
Local company Burnt and Salty is introducing its fifth product: Spicy Pickled Peppers, hard to say even before the spicy product hits your tongue! The company pickles banana and jalapeño peppers in their Spicy Coconut Suka. You can get Pickled Peppers at www.burntandsalty.com , at Blackbird Market on Johns Island, House of Brews in Mount Pleasant or the Veggie Bin downtown.
NICO now serves lunch on Fridays, in addition to the Saturday and Sunday lunches it already served.
Raise a glass to Charleston bars Proof, Eleve and The Living Room! All were recognized with a 2018 Spirited Award by the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation.