Thursday, November 15, 2018

Come next year you could be drinking blue wine at NICO

Allez le bleu!

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 11:17 AM

Neon blue wine? You could be swilling this at a NICO brunch next summer. - CONNELLY HARDAWAY
  • Connelly Hardaway
  • Neon blue wine? You could be swilling this at a NICO brunch next summer.
I drank blue wine last night. No, I was not at a frat party. I was actually at respectable French spot, NICO. The Coleman Boulevard restaurant, with owner and Chef Nico Romo at the helm, just celebrated a year of Scotch oysters, fire roasted fish (my order, if you're wondering), and pommes frites. And now, Romo's ready to leap into the future with the promise of le vin bleu.

Blue wine, specifically Pasion Blue, which we sampled at NICO, is produced in Spain and has been gaining popularity in France over the past few years. The wine, despite its neon blue appearance, is totally natural, with no added sugar. Romo compares the drinkability of the wine with rosé, and hopes to draw crowds with the chilled vino in the warmer months.

  • Connelly Hardaway
From the Chardonnay grape variety, Pasion Blue wine gets its color by a process of natural treatment with anthocyanins, a flavonoid found naturally in food. Romo encouraged us to drink the wine with our eyes closed; the blue color can be, well, off-putting. The taste, though, ain't bad. A little sweet and a little tart this wine would go well with seafood or a fresh pasta dish.

While the wine is not currently available for purchase in the United States, Romo hopes to offer it at NICO starting sometime in the next year.
Location Details NICO
201 Coleman Blvd
Mt. Pleasant
Charleston, SC
(843) 352-7969
Dinner (Daily), Lunch (Fri.-Sun.)
French and Seafood

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Stems & Skins shares tips for how to celebrate the holidays ... with tinned seafood

Not your average chicken of the sea

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Make this at home and impress all your chichi out of town guests - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Make this at home and impress all your chichi out of town guests
The Stems & Skins crew wants you to forgo the pigs in a blanket and sad artichoke dip this year.

If you've stopped by Stems and Skins in Park Circle, you know that they know how to elevate seafood from a can into a light, satisfying, and unique bite. But if you thought that that kind of experience was limited to hip wine bars, you'd be wrong.

Here are a few tips from S&S co-owners Justin Croxall and Matt Tunstall for an at-home holiday happy hour spread that will have your out of town guests saying, "incroyable!"

1. Invest in high quality tinned seafood (think spicy sardine pate, yellowfin tuna belly, trout in escabeche.) Celebrity chef Jose Andres developed a brilliant line of tinned seafoods which we serve and sell at Stems & Skins.
2. Hit up your local bakery for fresh bread. We prefer thinly sliced baguette from EVO but another French loaf would also work well.
3. For brightness in both presentation and flavor, prepare a simple salad of arugula dressed in lemon vinaigrette (fresh lemon juice plus extra virgin olive oil).
4. Fill a small bowl with flaky seas salt (we use Bulls Bay Sea Salt) and another small vessel with butter. Look for a small-batch churned butter (like Banner Butter) for exceptional flavor and texture.
5. Instruct your guests to take a piece of baguette, spread butter on it, add seafood and sea salt and top with a little arugula. Wash it all down with a salty, crisp, coastal white wine.
Location Details Stems & Skins
1070 E Montague Ave
North Charleston, SC
843) 805-4809
Dinner, Late Night (Tues.-Sun.)
Wine Bar and Wine & Cheese Shop

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

One80 Place hosts sixth annual turkey and a $20 drive Tues. Nov. 20

Give a little gobble

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 12:33 PM

Make sure all Lowcountry families have a turkey to carve this Thanksgiving - FLICKR USER JENNIE-O
  • Flickr user jennie-o
  • Make sure all Lowcountry families have a turkey to carve this Thanksgiving
Almost 400 years ago, the Mayflower, carrying 102 passengers, crossed over from England to establish a village, Plymouth, in the New World. We all know the story: brutal winter, disease, half of the voyagers perishing in the reality of new environs. But we forget, almost every year, about the coming together (if for only a brief time) of the settlers and the Wampanoag, the Native Americans who taught the green English how to cultivate corn and catch fish and tap trees for honey. They feasted for three days that first Thanksgiving.

Help your neighbors take part in a feast of their own this year with One80 Place's annual Turkey & A $20 drive. From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tues. Nov. 20 drive through One80 (35 Walnut St.) and drop off turkeys (fresh or frozen) plus monetary donations. The more you give, the more the nonprofit will get: this year, donors have committed to giving $20,000 if One80 Place can raise $30,000. Help them reach their goal of raising $50,000 and collecting 500 turkeys.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., local mascots and on-air personalities will be at One80 Place to hype up the drive. Can't make it? Donate online and follow and share One80's social pages with information about the drive: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also create your own Facebook fundraiser page; just select how much money you want to raise and when your drive ends.

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A peek at 2019 High Water Festival 'experiences' off stage before they're on sale Thursday at 10 a.m.

Pass the Peas, Oyster Education, and Low Tide social

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Wed, Nov 14, 2018 at 11:35 AM

  • Seaborn Oyster Co.
Go for Leon Bridges, stay for the Seaborn Oyster Co. led bivalve education class and learn about the intricacies of oyster farming whilst humming "River." High Water Festival 2019 promises plenty of opportunities to eat your way around Riverfront Park, for a small additional fee. After that initial $150 buy-in, may as well round out the weekend with all the experiences you can handle, right?

Kicking off the fest is the annual Low Tide Social. This year's fete starts Fri. April 12 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $55 and can only be purchased as an add-on to your weekend pass. That ticket gets you a traditional Lowcountry boil prepared by The Smoking Pot, special cocktails mixed up by guest bartenders, oysters from Seaborn Oyster Co., and a performance by Shrimp Records Family Band and special guests.
Don't fall off the edge with excitement, get your ticket first thing in the morning - PROVIDED/SULLY SULLIVAN
  • Provided/Sully Sullivan
  • Don't fall off the edge with excitement, get your ticket first thing in the morning
Another festival tradition — as traditional as a three-year event can be — is the Pass the Peas brunch. Details are scant at this point, but expect a family style meal on the lawn of Quarters H at Riverfront Park. A portion of proceeds will go to nonprofit Green Heart Project, an organization that uses urban farms to teach students about hard work, community, and the value of locally grown, fresh produce. Past Pass the Peas (say that three times fast) have included top-notch chef lineups with the likes of Jacques Larson, Kevin Johnson, Martha Lou Gadsden, John Lewis, Rodney Scott, Carrie Moray, and more, preparing a coursed meal paired with local libations. The 2017 and '18 Peas tickets were a cool $150, so start saving up now.

Also this year, you'll get to eat and educate yourself with Seaborn Oyster Co. oyster education classes on Sat. April 13 and Sun. April 14, with two sessions (1:30 and 3:30 p.m.) both days. Like the Low Tide Social, these classes are only available as add-ons, set at $50 a pop. During the one-hour class, learn the basics of oysters and oyster-farming and shuck and taste a dozen oysters from Seaborn.

Set your alarm and order tickets online starting at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Thurs. Nov. 15.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Basic Kitchen hosts a "Very Basic Thanksgiving " dinner on Turkey Day eve

Worry free, fancy-full

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 4:30 PM

Your in-laws are slowly but surely invading your pantry, your nieces and nephews have all but destroyed the dining room — you can't serve a turkey in a blanket fort, unfortunately — and your wine supply is dwindling faster than you could ever have anticipated. It's the holidays, y'all, and we all need a break from close-quarter family time every once in a while. Grab your crazy fam and get them out of the house Wed. Nov. 21, Thanksgiving Eve, for Basic Kitchen's "Very Basic Thanksgiving" feast.

Falling serendipitously during this hectic time, BK's monthly wine dinner will be served a la carte from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

Dinner items, prepared by chef Nick Wilber, include fried chicken; roasted carrots with orange blossom carrot puree, citrus, and dukka; charred broccoli, amo blanco, truffle oil, and almonds; Hasselback potato with herbed butter; farro risotto with beets and creme fraiche; roasted City Roots mushrooms and braised leeks; whole roasted parsnips with pine nut prune gremolata; whole baked celery root with parsley sauce; miso braised collard greens and croutons; smashed whey braised rutabaga; and apple tart fruit pie.

McCarus Beverage Co. will be pouring French wines, highlighting different explorations of the Gamay grape variety (pairing perfectly with turkey, BTW). There will be a sparkling, a white, and three reds available.

Make your reservation via Resy today. 
Event Details Basic Kitchen Wine Dinner
@ Basic Kitchen
82 Wentworth St.
Charleston, SC
When: Wed., Nov. 21, 5:30 p.m.
Price: A la carte
Wine and Dinners

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