Leave the Toga at Home, Good News for Locavorism, Fat Hen Family Dinners, Pizza Bella, Eat at Abe's 

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Finally, after years of bad souvlaki and industrial stacks of vertical roasted blamb (beef and lamb) stuffed in stale pitas about town, modern Greek cuisine has come to the Holy City. Samos, the newest opening east of the Cooper, celebrated a soft opening last week, and if the initial tastes are any indication of future performance, it will be a coveted reservation for quite some time. Fronted by the capable Andy Fallen, a veteran F&Ber who's managed some of downtown's best restaurants, Samos has imbued the old J. Bistro spot with the whitewashed Aegean charm of an inviting outdoor "ouzo lounge." With a menu that pushes Greek food into the fine dining arena, and a wine list that will make you rethink Greek wine altogether (it includes flights from a cooperative based on the island of Samos itself), we're pretty sure that this new place will quickly become the talk of the town. Call (843) 856-5055 for more information. —Jeff Allen


State Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers will be breaking ground on the new state farmers market in Columbia on Wed. Aug. 27. The plan is for the market to relocate to Lexington County to serve as a hub for farmers and agriculture. They also have plans to add an amphitheater, an RV park, and a restaurant featuring Certified S.C. Grown products. —Stephanie Barna


We've never been blessed enough to have family dinners before working a shift at a restaurant, but we obviously weren't at the right place. Bon Appetit magazine features the Fat Hen in the article "The First Seating" in its September issue. The article is about what restaurants across the country serve their employees for pre-service (a.k.a. family) meals. Chef/owner Fred Neuville likes to feed his co-workers what they're cravin' — a lot of the time that's Fat Hen's smoky, sweet, and stringy slow-cooked barbecue brisket sandwich with blue cheese coleslaw. No wonder his staff is so friendly and accommodating. The article also features recipes for each dish. The secret behind Fat Hen's delicious barbecue sauce? Ancho chiles, pomegranate, and pineapple juices. —Alison Sher


Just in time for the rush of college kids, Pizza Bella is now open on Calhoun Street, behind Moe's Southwest Grill. The seemingly cursed spot has been rotating through different pizza places for years, including Bada Boom Pizza and Slices by Doriano. You may recognize the name Pizza Bella from its President Street location. Their new, second spot is slightly more upscale, but both restaurants are fully in operation. If you're a fan of Pizza Bella, you can still find the same thin NY-style pie on Calhoun Street, along with some Mediterranean items like falafel sandwiches and baba ghanouj. —Alison Sher


We were bummed when Luna Rossa closed it doors after 30 years of serving Charleston, but now Abe's Oyster House is ready to open for business. Co-owner Art Martin from Art's Bar and Grill, has renovated the space into a rustic sports, music, and raw bar of sorts. The menu will feature sandwiches, dinner entrées, and an array of raw or steamed mollusks. Martin hopes that his new restaurant will bring something new to the Mt. P area. Abe's will have live music throughout the week and football games playing on their 10 high definition screens, as well as outdoor seating. Abe's is set to open on Sept. 2. — Alison Sher



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