A La Carte 

News and events from the Charleston cuisine community

Baby Beluga

Caviar & Bananas, a cross between a café, corner store, and coffee bar, will open on George Street in May. Part of a growing trend of gourmet groceries, Caviar & Bananas' goal is to expand on a concept already made familiar by shops such as the Bull Street Gourmet. Caviar owners Kris and Margaret Furniss want to go a step further and bring a "big-city feel" to the Charleston market. Think Dean & Deluca, for those familiar with the New York mecca for all things gourmet. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this experiment is its location. Rather than hide away underneath Charleston Place or in some similarly exclusive venue, Caviar has chosen to open its doors on campus at the College of Charleston. Part of the recently completed student housing and retail space development near the Cistern, Caviar & Bananas is betting that college kids will appreciate having some quality food and caffeine close to where they live and work. For those of us who fondly remember the cracked asphalt and parking tickets that once stretched between George and Liberty streets next to the old St. Philip garage, it appears we can look forward to enjoying tasty new memories (if we can afford them) at the Caviar & Bananas shop. —Josh Eboch

Little Cuties

Cupcakes, once relegated to the realms of childhood, seem to be everywhere these days. And, it's only getting worse — and by worse, we mean better. Kristin Kuhlke, the owner of Cupcake on King, has plans to open another one of her sweet shops out in Mt. Pleasant (664-D Long Point Road). This place, opening in April, is going to be much like the present location (same delicious cupcakes and tea-party interior), but it is also going to offer cooking-themed birthday parties for all ages, more big cupcake cakes (that you can just go in and buy instead of special ordering), and outdoor seating. Kuhlke describes getting and eating cupcakes as "so much fun," and much more of an event than just "ordering dessert at a restaurant." We couldn't agree more. Let the countdown to April begin! —Meaghan Strickland

Get Baked

Lauren Robertson, a graduate of Johnson & Wales, had a longtime dream of owning her own bakery, and it's finally come true at 827 Folly Road. The Cake Stand is her baby, and an excellent place to obtain the requisite pastries and baked goods for your next special event. Layer cakes in carrot, chocolate, strawberry, and other flavors are available in a range of sizes from six-inch rounds for $23, to half-sheets for $75. Fresh-baked sugar cookies, sold individually or by the dozen, run from $1.50 to $2 each. Included in the price of cookies and cakes are basic writing and decorating, but for more elaborate designs like corporate logos and multi-tiered wedding towers, pricing may change. Call Lauren Robertson to schedule a delicious consultation/sampling session and a free sugar buzz. (843) 991-4446. —Josh Eboch


Chris Dolan's new restaurant, Crave, had its grand opening last weekend. Crave offers a full menu of American fusion cuisine for brunch, lunch, and dinner prepared by chef Landen Ganstrom. At night Crave's full mahogany bar swings into action and pours some magnificent martinis. This restaurant and bar can trace its trendy influences back to New York City, where the Dolans lived previously. Reasonably priced and with sweet happy hour deals, Crave is a great time, all the time. Located in the Seaside Farms shopping center at the old Just Fresh location. For more information call (843) 884- 1177. —Tim Hoyt



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