I have not had the pleasure of dining there yet, but will tell you that each of the six or so times I have been, I have been able to hear my friends talking, which is uncommon in most of the bars on upper King Street. Sitting back Saturday night and watching a good looking defense end looking Charleston boy show off his shag moves to his girl was just wonderful. You could tell, his mother taught him well. Other your me tried to free style to "Carolina Girl", which just did not cut it with their ladies or the crowd. Girls gathered and swayed, waiting for a guy to come and ask them to shag. They were pretty and the guys just did not get it. That was sad. However, the other fellow stole the floor and he knew it.
Being able to see the jazz guys that used to play at Mistral from afar is awesome and I would never think that I would have seen that in a bar on Upper King Street. Even DJ Matt Todd was setting up as I was leaving, who could often be heard at LIGHT, Peter Evans' place down the street (of Stella Nova fame..) He will nail what the crown and the bar wants - and keeping it on the low key and not loud side will continue to be a pay off for this place.
Finally, NICE ladies at the entrance to meet you, greet you, and help you get a table and identify if you want food service or just drinks. Nice to have someone paying attention to you in a lovely way at the door - the way that it should be.
But remember that Le Medi and the brown butter flounder and the monkfish with the tarragon cream sauce...is gone. La Fourcette and the amazing hanger steak....is gone. Mistral, the only place I think that still served a proper artichoke, and the amazing smoked trout salad with oranges, is gone. Marianne has been gone for way too long. Then there was Lafeyette that started out as the Sugar Reef Cafe on Folly and then opened where Sermet's is now, is gone. What a Coq au vin with the little salad and pomme fritte they had. Thierry! So missed. He showed up for a hot second at some place on Bohicket Road and disappeared. Magic! SO - we have a hole that has quickly been filled. I am pleased and looking forward to supporting our franco-restaurant community. After all, the french are a large part of our history, from the Huguenots leaving catholic France to Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, providing us with support during the American Revolution.
So very excited to see Chef McMahon spread his culinary wings and use his masterful culinary talents to offer Charleston great french brasserie fare. April 1 cannot get here quickly enough! Ms. Handegan will knock the decor out of the park as she always does. What think about Mr. Holiday, when he does a project, he does it right! What a gift to our city - the locals when have invested in quality hotels and restaurants including Jimmy Palassis, Hank Holiday and soon Michael Bennett with his new hotel. Pride might be a bad thing biblically, but these gents certainly have made a mark.
50% of those in Charleston Country lived here less than 10 years. Explains a great deal.
This commentary makes me very sad. The write is sophomoric at best in his analysis and I hope that he sees clear to offer an apology to the CVB for such a wonderful...no, two wonderful, videos about Charleston for 2011 and 2012 (the first featuring Calvin Taylor, an African american local musician and my friend Havin Taylor at the Market Pavlion Hotel, who stole the show.) Playing the race card about this video is just so wrong. Want to talk race relations and the history of blacks and whites in Charleston? Call me. Hell, Jack Bass would probably set up a forum if you really want to go there. We can talk about the ethics of creating media placement that is specifically equal to the ethnic pie chart of the community.
But while we are talking about "Woe is Me", let me expand on the entertainment segment of the 2012 video.
The singers in the Video are the Plantation Singers, let by Ms. Lynette White. 13 years ago, while I was an event planner at Charleston Place, I reached out to David Archer, a local musician who had started a booking agency for local talent. So had David Ramey from Middleton Place. Simply put, there were no organized singers in Charleston readily available to perform the art of the spiritual and songs of the South for our guests. The Edwardian Singers who performed in the Porgy and Bess operas had disbanded. Church groups were unreliable and many did not wish to be at an event where alcohol was being served.
Ms. White, the performer on the far right who wraps up the song with the clenching of her fist, was a music teacher and pulled together a group and named them the Plantation Singers.
They chose their warbdrobes; A choice of choir robes or the bright African fabric that one sees in Senegal and the west coast of Africa.
THE PLANTATION SINGERS sang every Sunday night for years in the lobby of Charleston Place and then in the Charleston Grill when Chef Bob did his Sunday lowcountry dinners.
THE PLANTATION SINGERS to Naples, Italy, as the guests of Hank Holiday to represent Charleston and close the annual meeting of the Relais & Chateaux conference to announce that the next conference would be in Charleston.
THE PLANTATION SINGERS went on to a folk festival the following year in Korea.
Ann Caldwell spun off from the Plantation Singers. My partners' white cousin from James Island sang with them for a while.
Until you have been in a field, a ballroom, a tent, or a barn with this group of ladies, spreading the goodwill and history of the spiritual, then you have not experienced Charleston.
I choose not to comment on the shallow, knee jerk commentary of the writer. However, I am happy to have shared a bit of history about a wonderful groups of ladies who are not only my friends, but have sat at my table and brought in many a New Years with me at my home.
I will say this. Go to almost any port in the south and there are race relation issues that go back generation. Look to Charleston and see where they are? As blacks and whites, Charlestonians HAD to survive together after the Civil War and they did. The multi-generational connections between blacks and whites in Charleston is second to none.
Looking so forward to seeing you all at the City Paper Party. Hope you let me in.
So amazing. Had a great experience there Saturday night. It does not appear that this is going to be another fly by night. Very nice service, awesome menu, and reasonable in price. Clean and fresh and well taken care of restroom - a plus for me!
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