Chef Michael Toscano serves near-perfect food at Le Farfalle (Charleston City Paper) Sep28

Chef Michael Toscano...

If Le Farfalle were a person, you’d want to be seen with her. Soundtrack by Alabama Shakes, wardrobe by Ralph Lauren: She’s effortlessly cool and unquestionably popular, yet exerts a polished restraint. And then there’s the food. You see it and your heart sinks. Just look...

Delicate dishes and impeccable service make for a winning combination at Henrietta’s (Charleston City Paper) Sep07

Delicate dishes and ...

Billed as a Southern brasserie, Henrietta’s is the flagship restaurant of the new Dewberry Hotel. Housed in the former L. Mendel Rivers Federal Building overlooking Marion Square, the building’s exterior retains much of its bureaucratic severity, while the revamped inside boasts a...

Chef April Robinson uses her powers for good at Butter Tapas (Charleston City Paper) Aug03

Chef April Robinson ...

In hindsight, I’m kicking myself after my visits to Butter Tapas. Sure, both times the food was on point — thoughtful, flavorful, and beautifully plated — and both times the service was skillfully handled by a gracious waitress. But how am I supposed to feel after discovering that a...

The experimental menu at Harold’s Cabin is one of the most exciting in the city  (Charleston City Paper) Jul13

The experimental men...

Unabashedly wry, Harold’s lunch menu is divided into three categories: Kickshaw, On a Roll, and Nectar and Regale. If you’re wondering if the homey decor is hiding a dictionary or two, you’re not alone. The menu is full of one-word terms used to define much more complex...

The Bulgogi and Banchan Are Worth the Trip to 843 Korean BBQ & Sushi House (Charleston City Paper) Jun15

The Bulgogi and Banc...

If your knowledge of Korean food starts and stops at kimchi, then 843 Korean in North Charleston is likely to expand your culinary horizons while providing some wholesome, G-rated, live entertainment. If you know the difference between ssamjang and gochujang and when to use them, then...

It’s All About the Window-Framed Raw Bar at The Darling (Charleston City Paper) May25

It’s All About...

The Darling on King Street is clearly doing something right. A place to see and be seen, there’s a palpable buzz the minute you step through the door. Reservations require advance planning, and large parties hoping for a last-minute table can anticipate such requests to be met with...

Cure’s Nostalgic Plates Will Suit Those In the Mood For a Retro Meal (Charleston City Paper) Apr27

Cure’s Nostalg...

If this were the first sentence of a sci-fi romance novel, then Cure would be a star-crossed time traveler. A holdover from simpler times, the restaurant’s round leather booths and Frank Sinatra soundtrack collude with the old school menu to provide a time capsule to 1961: oysters...

The Codfather Brings Proper Fish and Chips to North Charleston (Charleston City Paper) Apr06

The Codfather Brings...

FADE FROM BLACK: Int. Codfather chip shop — day CHIPPER (standing beside a vat of bubbling oil, but not petting a cat because that would be weird.) You’ve known of me for several months, but this is the first time you came to me for counsel, for fish. But let’s be frank here: you...

Go For the Hummus at Istanbul Shish Kabobs (Charleston City Paper) Mar09

Go For the Hummus at...

Imagine you’ve been on the road for several hours. You’re tired. You’re hungry. The kids are whining. What’s that smell? You see a budget hotel in the distance and decide to take refuge there. The website reports it has an onsite “casual eatery.” Sounds...

Anson Restaurant Returns With Its Signature Southern Classics (Charleston City Paper) Feb10

Anson Restaurant Ret...

It’s been roughly two years since Anson Restaurant suffered a kitchen fire, but if the crowds present on my visits were any indicator, its fan base has been merely biding time. Anson is back. Reinvented in an elegant fashion, Anson’s sophistication extends to returning chef Jeremy...

Poogan’s Smokehouse delivers well-done upscale comfort food (Charleston City Paper) Jan13

Poogan’s Smoke...

Consider the best dish your mama used to make. Now imagine it prepared by a talented chef — familiar tastes elevated by honed technique. If upscale comfort food hasn’t inspired its own grassroots movement yet, the new Poogan’s Smokehouse on East Bay Street should give that...

Gnome Café delivers solid vegan fare (Charleston City Paper) Dec23

Gnome Café delivers ...

Although the new all-vegan Gnome Café may call to mind certain mental images, it’s not the hippie enterprise you may be expecting: no burning incense, wall tapestries, nor a single note of Grateful Dead music are to be found. Rather, Gnome Café is surprisingly minimalist and...

Screen Door Does Wood-Fired Pizza Right, But Struggles Elsewhere (Charleston City Paper) Nov25

Screen Door Does Woo...

In the six months since opening, Screen Door on James Island has been through more transformations than The Wolfman. After initial chef Blake Joyal’s menu was scrapped a month after opening, the restaurant’s fare descended into a worrisome state of evolutionary confusion. What...

Grand Bohemian Hotel’s Élevé Restaurant is Hit or Miss (Charleston City Paper) Nov04

Grand Bohemian Hotel...

Élevé is a study in quirky interior decorating. Inside the Grand Bohemian’s rooftop restaurant, it’s wall-to-wall glammed-up shabby chic, with mismatched chandeliers and old armoires filled with liquor. Flanked by two vibrant yellow bars on either end of the seriously loud room —...

The Smoker Steers the Ship at the Rusty Rudder (Charleston City Paper) Oct21

The Smoker Steers th...

Driving past The Rusty Rudder on N. Highway 17 in Mt. Pleasant, I nearly wrote it off as dive bar. Inside, however, what I found was more what I’d call a “barbecue-joint-meets-family-friendly-sports-bar-meets-seafood-restaurant-meets-outdoor-patio party-spot.” Sound like a...

Lowcountry Street Grocery’s Bus Hopes to Drive Out Hunger (Charleston City Paper) Sep30

Lowcountry Street Gr...

We hate to say it, but the word Kickstarter often makes us roll our eyes. In today’s crowdfund-happy world, every conceivable idea from manufacturing bespoke toothpaste to starting a line of sweaters for alopecia-suffering pandas seems to get an IndieGoGo campaign. So it was with some...

No Butts About it, Smoke BBQ is the Business (Charleston City Paper) Sep23

No Butts About it, S...

Smoke BBQ, the former food truck turned chic brick-and-mortar shop, occupies a lofty and modern space on Upper King Street. The former home of the short-lived L.I.F.E. Bar and equally short-lived vegan motorcycle restaurant, Motobar, has come a long way. From industrial tables to exposed...

Apartment A Serves Savory Mississippi Tamales in a Charleston Single House (Charleston City Paper) Sep09

Apartment A Serves S...

Act I, Scene I. It’s mid-afternoon at Apartment A. As the sun filters through the windows of the 150-year-old building, the soundtrack to pretty much every John Hughes film plays softly overhead. The former dwelling on Coming Street exists squarely in the netherland between restaurant,...

Assessing Charleston’s Culinary Tours to Find the Best Entertainment for Your Summer Guests (Charleston City Paper) Jul29

Assessing Charleston...

Well, hello there, sultry summer. It’s the dog days. We’ve reached max oppressive heat, bug bites, sunburns, and summer’s revolving door of visiting friends and family. You know what we’re talking about, whether there’s a bloodline connection or not, family is...

Thai Elephants is the Gold Standard for Retro Rolls (Charleston City Paper) Jul22

Thai Elephants is th...

If you’re looking to spend a teary 15 minutes humming Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You,” while being horrified at the behavior of some of your fellow human beings, then by all means google the words “Thai elephants.” If you’re looking to spend a...

A Day of Dining on $10 in Charleston (Eater) Jul16

A Day of Dining on $...

New to town, reporter Vanessa Wolf attempts to eat three meals with only $10. 8:59 a.m. Arrived in Charleston from the west, long after the first fingers of sunrise had awoken the marshes. The buildings seem to shimmer under the clear skies, vibrant shades of amber, aqua, and salmon. Although...

Fountain Cafe and BBQ nails a Reuben and serves some promising ‘cue  (Charleston City Paper) Jun17

Fountain Cafe and BB...

What do you get when you mix a 1950s-style soda fountain with some earnest young adults, a Huey Lewis soundtrack, and a heaping helping of pimento cheese? If you guessed 1985’s highest grossing film, Back to the Future, you are darn close. However, if you said, Mt. Pleasant’s...

La Provence: Upcountry’s  Ooh La La (Maui Now) May16

La Provence: Upcount...

Arguably the most charming part of France, the sun-soaked, Mediterranean-flanked Provence region extends north  to the snow-capped mountains of the southern Alps. Quite suitably, Maui’s own little taste of Provence is also quite charming. Nestled on a quiet Kula hillside, the garden-like...

Nick’s Fishmarket  Maui Offers Something for Everyone (Maui Now) May05

Nick’s Fishmarket Ma...

There’s something fishy in Wailea. Although the name implies a casual corner shop where you might pick up some poke for the beach, saunter into Nick’s Fishmarket Maui in search of some raw mahi mahi filets for the grill and quickly find yourself a fish out of water. Located in the plush...

Maui Brewing Co.’s  Menu Offers a World of Flavors (Maui Now) Apr20

Maui Brewing Co.’s M...

Ahoy, me hearties. After many a week at sea, we did stumble upon yon shores in search of grub and grog. Good evening. Welcome to Maui Brewing Co. A table for one this evening? Aye. That is, I an’ me first mate, Pepe. We seek the flavors of the New World. That’s two for dinner, then? Pepe is...

Upcountry Fresh Tamales  and Mixed Plate: Say What? (Maui Now) Apr13

Upcountry Fresh Tama...

Boasting a veritable alphabet soup of words, we wonder if maybe this little restaurant is overcompensating. Although we’d understand if so, they really don’t have to. No bigger than your living room, Upcountry Fresh Tamales and Mixed Plate – UFTAMP, if you will – manages to churn out a wide...

Coconut’s Fish  Cafe is Bananas. B.A.N.A.N.A.S. (Maui Now) Apr07

Coconut’s Fish Cafe ...

In the six relatively short years since first opening, Coconut’s Fish Cafe in K?hei has become a top-rated area restaurant with a burgeoning string of franchised locations on the mainland. Named after the owner’s cat, the Coconut Shrimp  ($10.99) might be shocked to learn it’s not all about...

Badua’s Creperie  Express Shows Its Sweet Side (Maui Now) Mar22

Badua’s Creperie Exp...

It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning threatened to ignite the very ground beneath our feet, seeming to chase us as we ran toward the refuge offered by the Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall. Denied shelter in the Verizon store, we bolted up the stairs toward the food court as the howl of a wolf – or...

Haui’s Life’s  A Beach Defies The Stereotype (Maui Now) Mar14

Haui’s Life’s A Beac...

In John Hughes’ 1985 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film starring Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy, we are taught not to stereotype others based on appearances. Haui’s Life’s a Beach – a veritable chameleon of a bar/restaurant/karoake...

Porto Puts Your Money  Where Their Mouth Is (Maui Now) Mar07

Porto Puts Your Mone...

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world. His hand rose and fell...

Kuau Store: 1942  Never Had It So Good (Maui Now) Feb28

Kuau Store: 1942 Nev...

In nineteen hundred forty-two Kuau Store was brand spankin’ new. Since that time, the little building off the Hana Highway has been through many incarnations, the most memorable to whit being the former Kuau Mart. Known for plate lunches, local surfer sightings and the proprietors’ uncanny...

Beat the Queue  for Restaurant Matsu (Maui Now) Feb22

Beat the Queue for R...

By all accounts, Central Kahului’s Restaurant Matsu is a re-purposed double-wide trailer located in a parking lot on a nondescript part of Alamaha, but don’t tell that to the throngs of satisfied customers. The place is often standing room only – abuzz with hungry diners and others awaiting...

Makawao Garden Cafe: Sandwiches, Salads and Mom (Maui Now) Feb15

Makawao Garden Cafe:...

If it’s been a while since your mom called you pet names while filling your empty tummy, it could be time to pay a visit to the lady who gave you life. But let’s say – for whatever reason – that’s not so easy. No worries, as the sweet, sunny proprietress of the all-lunch-and-only-lunch...

Stillwell’s Bakery and Cafe: Almost Famous (Maui Now) Feb08

Stillwell’s Bakery a...

Stillwell’s Bakery and Cafe in Wailuku came preceded by a veritable parade of acclaim. Their website boasts, “We are well known for our famous Chinese Chicken Salad.” and “Stillwell’s Cream Horns are a favorite for visitors and locals alike and boxes of them are often seen leaving Maui as a...

Duke’s Beach House: Location, Location, Location (Maui Now) Jan30

Duke’s Beach House: ...

Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968), the five-time Olympian who brought surfing to Australia, Southern California and – ultimately – the entire world, left behind one of the Aloha State’s greatest legacies. How he came to front the Hawaiian equivalent of Red Lobster is beyond us, but there’s probably...

Ichiban Okazuya Hawai‘i: An Unlikely Love Story (Maui Now) Jan23

Ichiban Okazuya Hawa...

Ichiban Okazuya: The first time we met, we hated each other. Us: No, you didn’t hate me, I hated you. The second time we met, you didn’t even remember me. Ichiban Okazuya: I did too, I remembered you. You ordered Chow Fun. The third time we met, you ordered the Katsu and we became friends....

The Fish Market Maui Serves it Up Hot… And Cold (Maui Now) Jan11

The Fish Market Maui...

Anticipation Anticipation Is making me late Is keeping me way-ay-aiting This song was not playing overhead during our visits to The Fish Market Maui (TFMM) in Lahaina, but if they ever decide to employ an anthem or theme song or something, it would get our vote. Heralded by great word of...

Zing Maui: Wailuku’s Got a Brand New (Lunch) Bag (Maui Now) Jan04

Zing Maui: Wailuku’s...

Do you like breakfast? What about lunch? Then we’ve got an offer for you! What do you do when your stomach angrily informs you it’s time for a refill? Up until now, you probably had to drive around to area grocery stores, purchase a bunch of food, take it home, cut it up and cook it. No more...

Maui Kombucha: All You Need is Lovelovelove (Maui Now) Dec28

Maui Kombucha: All Y...

Key Vocabulary Kombucha – a lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened tea that most likely originated in China before spreading to Russia in the early 1900s. Lovelovelove – a listed ingredient in several Maui Kombucha food items SCOBY – Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast Early...

MiGRANT: Around the World in Eight Plates (Maui Now) Dec21

MiGRANT: Around the ...

Good morning, Mr. X. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to elevate the beloved cuisine of your childhood. You may select any two items for transmutation into fine dining fodder, but it is essential that you also include: Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches Spaghetti-Os Rice...

Journey Into the Vast Menu at Tante’s Island Cuisine (Maui Now) Dec13

Journey Into the Vas...

Tucked into the uber-crowded parking lot of the Maui Seaside Hotel in Kahului is Tante’s Island Cuisine, a breakfast, lunch and dinner joint that is something of a family-run Denny’s. The sweeping menu is borderline-boundless and runs the gamut from steak and lobster to local food and even a...

Roasted Chiles Kicks Things Up a Notch (Maui Now) Dec06

Roasted Chiles Kicks...

Forget the fact that you’re on Maui. Forget the fact that this is a strip mall. Forget. Forget! Olvídalo. ¡Olvídalo! — Now that you’ve forgotten, take a breath and focus your attention on the vaulted ceiling, woven leather chairs and long granite-topped bar before you. Humble exterior aside,...

Prison Street Pizza: Worth Getting Sprung For? (Maui Now) Nov30

Prison Street Pizza:...

We do not know the owner of Prison Street Pizza, but we imagine him a “calling it like he sees it,” no frills-type dude. Suffering from an over-abundance of imagination, we even conjured the following totally fake, make-believe interaction for you: Prison Street Pizza Owner (PSPO): I’m...

Thai Spice: Spice Up Your Life (Maui Now) Nov22

Thai Spice: Spice Up...

Let’s see. There was Sporty Spice, Baby Spice, Scary Spice, Posh Spice and… Who are we forgetting? Oh yes. Thai Spice. This latest addition to the all-star lineup has taken over the space left behind by Tortillas Burrito Company on the Hana Highway in Paia. The menu contains most – if not all...

Tortugas: Totally Tubular Tortas (Maui Now) Nov16

Tortugas: Totally Tu...

Oh, Tortugas. You so crazy. Let’s get this straight. On an island with plenty of Mexican options already, you open yet another one with a predominant focus on just one thing: tortas. Like a boss. The Mexican sandwich – which the restaurant explains are known as  “tortugas” (turtles) in Mexico...

Maui Fresh Streatery: Turning Japanese (Maui Now) Nov08

Maui Fresh Streatery...

Radiohead – Creep The Who – Pinball Wizard Warrant – Cherry Pie Led Zeppelin –Stairway to Heaven What do these four songs have in common? If you guessed, “They’re all sung by men,” well, thanks Captain Obvious. However,  if you know your obscure rock history, you’re aware that despite...

Pranee vs. Nutcharee: Rumble in the Jungle (Maui Now) Oct31

Pranee vs. Nutcharee...

As anyone who’s anyone who knows anyone who knows anything knows, you don’t go to Hana without enjoying some lunch from Pranee’s Authentic Thai Food… or Nutcharee’s Authentic Thai Food, depending on the day. But for those with flexible schedules, the age-old debate rages: do you go Saturday...

Surfside Spirits and Deli: Kihei’s Best Kept Secret (Maui Now) Oct26

Surfside Spirits and...

Understated to the point of being near-invisible, Surfside Spirits and Deli in Kihei has no need to fly so low under the radar. Rather, this stealth bomber of plate lunch purveyors deserves a loud, proud and regular spot in your rotation. Beyond offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, there’s...

Blue Ginger Cafe: When You’ve Had Your Fill of Resort Food (Maui Now) Oct19

Blue Ginger Cafe: Wh...

When last we saw our hero, he was wearing a sky blue tuxedo and drifting toward Tahiti on the back of a fiberglass swan paddle boat. Fortunes changed, tides shifted, sky blue tuxedos disintegrated and were replaced with Gap straight fit khakis, workers toiled in the sun, and fortunes changed...

Kula Bistro: Upcountry’s Comfort Food Oasis (Maui Now) Oct11

Kula Bistro: Upcount...

And you may find yourself bracing against freezing cold And you may find yourself in another part of the world And you may find yourself behind the wheel of an out-of-control bike And you may find yourself in a beautiful room, with some beautiful food And you may ask yourself Well…How did I...