Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Notable Revelry at The Granary

Risky Business

Posted by Eric Doksa on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 6:58 AM

On Sunday night, Brannon Florie and The Granary teamed up with Revelry Brewing company to host one helluva beer dinner. Guests were welcomed with a spread of Florie's charcuterie and pickled vegetables — this time paired with Revelry's tame and very approachable Poke the Bear American Pale Ale (5.5 % a.b.v). 

Known for his farm-to-table approach of using local and season ingredients, Florie took a different path for this dinner by sourcing several ingredients from the West Coast. The second course was an adventurous take on pazole, introducing razor clams, lamb bacon, and radishes into the mix. A base of hominy, chili peppers, and avocado packed a citrus punch with subtle heat. Small cuts of clam were dressed in citrus in the shell while others were breaded and fried. 

Razor Clam and Lamb Bacon Pazole - BRANNON FLORIE
  • Brannon Florie
  • Razor Clam and Lamb Bacon Pazole

On hand to talk about each beer was Revelry head brewer and partner Ryan Coker, who's Gullah Cream ale (4.8 % a.b.v.) was crisp and, as expected, creamy, neutralizing the heat from the chili peppers. 

Throughout the dinner, Florie showed that he's not afraid to take risks. For the next course, Coker introduced the Oh My Darlyn! Barrel-aged Scotch Ale, a big beer aged in wet bourbon barrels for three weeks that sits at 9% a.b.v. — the type of beer we typically see paired with dessert. Instead, Florie served breakfast — a duck egg coddled in duck consommé with toasted brioche on the side for dipping, duck sausage with hints of maple syrup,  griddles duck hash, and crispy duck prosciutto bacon. A whole lot of duck, but a whole lot of love, with guests claiming it was the paring of the night. We agree. 

Florie continued with the go big or go home mentality by serving venison sweetbreads with fava beans, fiddlehead ferns, and morel mushrooms topped with an uni emulsion. He admitted that this was the first time he had cooked venison sweetbreads, but they turned out to be a hit and weren't extremely gamey. The bold flavors of the mushrooms and uni paired well with the Midnight Special Oatmeal Stout (6% a.b.v.)

Venison Sweetbreads - BRANNON FLORIE
  • Brannon Florie
  • Venison Sweetbreads

The dessert course was just as surprising as any other. Rather than pairing sweet with sweet, the hoppy Funkmaster Brett IPA (7% a.b.v.) made its way to the table with a plate of compressed strawberries, goat cheese sherbet, strawberry cream, and little bits of white balsamic gelée — a creative concept that worked out very well. 

Strawberries, goat cheese sherbet, mint, white balsamic gelée - ERIC DOKSA
  • Eric Doksa
  • Strawberries, goat cheese sherbet, mint, white balsamic gelée

This is the reason we love beer dinners — some risks are just worth taking.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

CHSWFF: Sinful Soul

Food made with Love

Posted by Eric Doksa on Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 11:33 AM

“I hope nobody ate breakfast,” were the initial words of food writer and City Paper contributor Jeff Allen on Friday morning as he addressed a group waiting to be schooled on Charleston’s Gullah and Soul food cuisine. The tour started at Marion Square where Jeff gave a brief overview of the area and the five restaurants on the agenda.

After a nice historical stroll through the neighborhood between King Street and St. Philip Street, the first stop was Dave’s Carryout. We could smell the fried food from about a block away. Everyone crammed into the small joint run by Sandra McCray and two family members. Small brown bags filled with fried shrimp, hush puppies, and tartar sauce were handed out to each guest. The shrimp was flavorful enough that it didn’t require any sauce.

Shrimp, hushpuppies, and tartar sauce at Daves Carryout.
  • Shrimp, hushpuppies, and tartar sauce at Dave's Carryout.

Jeff then led the group over to one of Charleston’s best kept soul food secrets, Ernie’s. A nice spread was setup that consisted of cornbread, a gelatinous okra soup, and butterbeans so good you could hear everyone in the room hum “mmmm” in unison. Ernie’s doesn’t advertise, the bowl of butterbeans speaks for itself.

Antuan Kinloch takes pride in the family butterbeans.
  • Antuan Kinloch takes pride in the family butterbeans.

A shuttle then took everyone up to “The neck” of Charleston, which is basically the border of Charleston and North Charleston, where the sisters of Bertha’s Kitchen cooked up a crispy fried pork chop, cabbage, and rice.

Pork chop, cabbage, and rice at Berthas Kitchen.
  • Pork chop, cabbage, and rice at Bertha's Kitchen.

At that point everyone was getting full and in need of a nap but two of the most important stops were still ahead, including the kitchen of a Charleston legend, Martha Lou.

Tables were setup outside and Martha Lou herself started carrying out trays of food that became part of a full-on buffet of rice, baked chicken, butterbeans, and mac n cheese. Word got out that Martha’s fried chicken is the best in town so she ended up bringing out a tray of that as well. It was agreed by everyone that Martha Lou was not messing around — this woman can cook.

Martha Lou
  • Martha Lou

Finally, the group was shuttled through some of the rough parts of Charleston on the way to Alluette’s holistic café for dessert. The good news was that Alluette uses almost all organic ingredients. We started off with a cup of decadent dark chocolate mousse followed by a plate of pound cake, bread pudding, and apple pie, which Jeff calls “the best apple pie I’ve ever had in my life.” I tend to agree.

Pound cake, bread pudding, and apple pie at Alluettes Cafe.
  • Pound cake, bread pudding, and apple pie at Alluette's Cafe.

After Alluette and Jeff made some closing comments the group applauded to the close of such a wonderful event. The stories about the rich soul food history that Jeff was able to share with everyone were truly amazing, and all of the food was cooked with pure love. The only thing that could make the event even better is a final stop at the battery where a spread of hammocks are lined up for an afternoon slumber.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Books for cooks

Posted by jimihatt on Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 12:19 PM

We @ guerrilla cuisine just got in some super cool cookbooks
and we want you to be the first to get your hungry lil hands on one or even two of our first in a signature series.
Look for jimihatt at a wine + food party this weekend

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Kind of Cookie would Charleston be?

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Tue, May 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Last year, Circa 1886 held an ice cream flavor contest, and the winner’s flavor — Seersucker — was featured on the menu during the summer. To view video of last year's ice cream contest (full disclosure: I was one of the judges) visit the restaurant's YouTube channel .

This year, they’re looking for a cookie that embodies Charleston. Will it have boiled peanuts? What about grits? Perhaps some pralines and benne seeds.

f you’ve got a clever idea for a cookie, go to their website and make your suggestions. Or submit a video tagged CharlestonChristmasCookie on YouTube.

If you win, your cookie will be featured on the dessert menu in December and, more importantly, you’ll get a free dinner for four at Circa 1886.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

J'Paulz gets a new head chef ... and it's a girl!

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Fri, May 8, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Showing a modest burst of progress, Charleston has gotten another female head chef.

J. Paul'z sous chef Tracy Little is sous no longer. Little has moved up after former head chef Daniel Caruso moved to Rochester, N.Y. with his new bride and took a position at a Wegman's Grocery Store restaurant called Tastings.

Little has been working at J. Paul'z for the past year and joins maybe three other head female chefs in our male-dominated culinary scene. With former positions at The Mustard Seed and Fat Hen, Little will be crafting a seasonal menu with tomato pie, pan-seared grouper, and truffle mac 'n' cheese. You go girl.

What's next, Charleston? Equal pay?!

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