Dish Dining Guide - Winter 2014
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Welcome to a new installment of Dish. In most issues we often focus on trends, perfectly executed plates, new cocktails, or the performances of first rate chefs. This time, of course, is no different. But there’s another element of our F&B industry we decided to illuminate this time around, especially in light of the late-night debate — the everyday people keeping Charleston’s restaurants afloat. No, not the star chefs you’ve read about time and again. We’re talking about the workaday individuals, prepping, cleaning, greeting, and serving; the unsung heroes of the Holy City’s food scene. And finally, there’s an essay from our own under-appreciated scribe, Robert F. Moss. In this issue Moss bids his years of reviewing adieu. But don’t worry, we’re gonna guilt him into contributing for years to come (whether he likes or not). Enjoy. ­­— Kinsey Gidick

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The most important meal makes a big comeback
The most important meal makes a big comeback All Day

There is perhaps no greater tragedy than walking into a restaurant at 11:30 in the morning, craving french toast and sausage, only to be told that breakfast service ended promptly at 11 a.m. — Angela Hanyak


Menus provide a useful compass for navigating culinary trends
Menus provide a useful compass for navigating culinary trends Form and Function

When it comes to a menu, form does not follow function. It follows philosophy. In fact, you can learn a lot about the culinary spirit of the times just by examining the physical format of restaurant menus. — Robert F. Moss


Selling dishes isn't as easy as it seems
Selling dishes isn't as easy as it seems Hit or Miss

Chefs rely on the written word as much as any sort of kitchen tool. A dish could be perfect in every way, composed of the finest products and showing off techniques that take years to master. It could be fried, sauéed, or the result of a gastronomical experiment that offers the eater an experience they've never had before. But the customer will never know how spectacular a dish is unless they order it first. — Susan Cohen


Three chefs discuss the deliberate process of crafting a restaurant's menu
Three chefs discuss the deliberate process of crafting a restaurant's menu Carte Blanche

It usually starts as a conversation around a table — about things like objectives and customers and profit and purveyors. If you're the three men behind Edmund's Oast, a beer garden scheduled to open on Morrison Drive sometime this fall, all that menu development talk is paired with a bit of beer too. — Erica Jackson Curran


Adventure awaits diners who brave off-menu offerings
Adventure awaits diners who brave off-menu offerings Beyond the pale

Going off-menu is like unlocking a secret level of dining out. It means you've cracked the cheat code and have discovered an alternate universe that the food and beverage community tends to keep to itself. Going off-menu is something that happens to serious diners. — Stephanie Barna


The ultimate brunch menu
The ultimate brunch menu Any Given Sunday

Charleston likes its brunches. On Sunday mornings, we start lining up at our favorite spots, eager to fill up on mimosas, pancakes, and eggs. Everyone has their favorite. The gospel brunch at Halls Chophouse for the high rollers, the cheeseburger at Husk for the hungover, the Mac Attack at the Macintosh for the brave at heart. — Stephanie Barna


The three forces behind Xiao Bao Biscuit start a fresh new conversation
The three forces behind Xiao Bao Biscuit start a fresh new conversation X is for Exciting

Xiao Bao started as a way to satisfy our own late-night cravings for Asian foods we loved. We wanted to capture the flavors we discovered during our travels and to revisit the comfort foods of Duolan's childhood. The Chinese term of endearment, "xiao bao" was the perfect way to sum up our journey across Asia. We wanted to tell a (love) story about traveling to other parts of the world, yet discovering that sense of home in each bite. — Joey Ryan


The menu makes the first impression
The menu makes the first impression Word Play

Menu designers have a challenge: convey the restaurant's philosophy while helping sell some food. "It's got to be simple and straightforward," says Jay Fletcher, a Charleston graphic designer who's worked with restaurants like the Rarebit and Poogan's Porch on their menus. — Susan Cohen


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