A LA CARTE 

And They Like It Stinky
Avondale has gotten one step closer to yuppie heaven with the opening of Avondale Wine and Cheese. Proprietor Manoli Davani has transformed the small storefront into one of the coolest little shops in the West Ashley area. Besides the city's most comprehensive and well-selected board of domestic and imported cheeses, she also plans to offer hard-to-find value wines, and "The Black Sheep," an inviting café environment featuring house-pressed coffee, wine by the glass, and slabs of cheese from the daily chalkboard selection. Rumors of a tea room (sans white gloves) slated for the rear of the space and the encyclopedic cheese knowledge of Davani make this a definite place to check out. --Jeff Allen

Let It Shine
Now approaching its two-month birthday, City Lights coffee shop owner Sean McCrossin says his baby is slowly growing into its small space at 141 Market St. City Lights serves Counter Culture organic coffee and McCrossin says he's pouring the best brew he's ever had -- and at a cheap price. A small collection of red and white wines is available, along with St. Peter's Porter and Peroni beers, for those who want more than a coffee buzz. Sandwiches and baked goods are also on hand. Come February, McCrossin said his shop will host a cupping party. Not sure what cupping is? It's like a proactive wine tasting with coffee beans in which the taster observes and notes the bean-to-drip-to-cup-to-mouth process. Stop by or call 853-7067 for details. --Lindsay Sainlar

Making the Grade
Charleston came in at number four on Travel + Leisure Magazine's top 10 U.S. and Canadian cities list.  T+L also published a list of the top 500 hotels in the world and a few local buildings got some recognition: Charleston Place was referred to as the city's most luxurious hotel, Planters Inn was described as "a charming, intimate retreat right in the center of town," Woodlands Resort & Inn was said to have a European-influenced Southern charm, and for the first time both the Wentworth Mansion and the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island made the list. --LS

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