Seven special wine, beer, and harvest dinners plus three special events are scheduled between July 12 and July 17, and for the avid foodie, choosing just one might prove very difficult.
First, you've got a triumvirate of local food stars — Sean Brock, Mike Lata, and Ken Vedrinski —working together at McCrady's for a Share Our Strength benefit called A Tasteful Pursuit, which will raise money to fight childhood hunger. That dinner is $95 a head and takes place on Tuesday night. Brock and the guys will be joined by Tyler Brown of Nashville's Hermitage for a multi-course dinner. Brock tells us Tyler Brown will be preparing pork belly with smoked peaches and crowder peas. Lata is cooking wild salmon with faro, artichokes, and rapini pesto. Vedrinski is doing a pasta course, and Brock is cooking beef with ramp kimchee and a dessert of soft chocolate, burnt marshmallow, wheat, and smoked ice cream.
Lata himself is a busy boy next week. After the Tasteful Pursuit on Tuesday, he'll hop out to Kiawah for a summer harvest dinner at the Ocean Room where he will be the guest of Chef de Cuisine Nathan Thurston. The $125 meal ticket includes all wine pairings for the four-course dinner. Make a night of it and take advantage of special pricing for Sanctuary lodging too.
For bargain hunters in the suburbs, Crave is hosting a California wine dinner on Monday night that will feature five courses of fresh summer fare like heirloom tomatoes and Tasmanian king salmon paired with wines for only $54.
Beer fans have the toughest decisions to make next week. There are four beer dinners scheduled, starting on Sunday night at Farringdon Bistrobpub with an amazing six-course Victory Beer dinner for $45 with courses like fresh-made pretzels and salt-baked anchovies.
On Tuesday night, the Culinary Institute of Charleston — Palmer Campus will host head Samuel Adams brewer Bob Cannon for a multi-course, beer-paired meal. We got a preview taste of the mussels appetizer from Scott Steffanelli over at 181 Palmer on the downtown campus, and let's just say that you will want to drink the beery broth those mussels come served up in. Delish. That dinner costs $85 and proceeds benefit the school.
On Thursday night, there are dueling beer dinners, with the four-course Stone Beer Dinner at Laura Alberts on Daniel Island for $45 and the Coldest Beer Dinner of the Year at Ted's Butcherblock, which will pair ice cold beers with a four-course summer menu of all cold dishes, crafted by the chefs at Ted's for $30.
And don't forget that Tuesday, July 14 is Bastille Day. Several local restaurants are holding special events to commemorate the French holiday. High Cotton will have a Loire Valley wine tasting that features 12 wines from the region, while Fish will be hosting a French celebration featuring live music, entertainment from the Charlesotn Ballet Theatre, a $6 French bar menu, specials on Pernod & Absinthe drinks, a $35 Lyon-inspired prix-fixe menu, and Petanque (the French version of bocce ball.
And if none of those are appealing, you can always attend the Palette and Palate stroll on Friday night, which is much less of a commitment, letting patrons stroll from art gallery to art gallery, sampling great food along the way.