Tu expertly delves into the cuisine of the Indian subcontinent (Charleston City Paper) Feb20

Tu expertly delves i...

Sitting in Tu 2.0’s dark middle room, with strings of colorful Christmas lights and a club version of Bieber’s “What do you Mean?” pulsating overhead, I find myself fabricating an imaginary conversation between co-owners Joey Ryan and husband/wife team Josh Walker and...

With standout aperitivo and made-to-order creations, Babas on Cannon hits the mark as a unique local cafe (Charleston City Paper) Nov21

With standout aperit...

Just when you thought Charleston couldn’t possibly support another small plates, European-inspired bar, along comes Babas on Cannon. With its high ceilings, full-length picture window, and white marble everywhere, elements of the airy space certainly look like they came from the Wine...

The Royal American serves up stellar music, boozy punches, and solid bar bites, with a few standouts (Charleston City Paper) Nov14

The Royal American s...

As your eyes adjust to the dark inside the former forge warehouse on Morrison Drive, you might notice the old photo booth, stained glass church windows, or a row of five top hats hanging above the stage. Certainly it’s hard to miss the vintage painting of a naked blonde, lying on her...

Papi’s Taqueria serves lust-worthy tacos in a chic, laid-back space (Charleston City Paper) Oct31

Papi’s Taqueri...

“Ay, Papi!” is not something I’ve ever exclaimed … until this week. As the jubilation hit a notable peak, what can I say, except that Papi’s Taqueria made me do it. Whether Papi is a real boy or just a figurehead is unknown. Regardless, the Isle of Palms...

Two successful Charleston pop-up chefs talk about finding a semi-permanent niche in the city (Charleston City Paper) Oct24

Two successful Charl...

pop-up \ ‘päp-‘?p\ Phrasal verb of pop To appear or occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Used in reference to retail opportunities, dining experiences, and flashy ads promising untold sweepstakes riches, pop-ups are the surprise party of modern times. So what does it mean if a...

Daniel Island’s brewpub Dockery’s has ambitious goals to prove size matters (Charleston City Paper) Aug29

Daniel Island’...

After opening in early December of last year, Dockery’s — a mammoth, 10,000 square foot restaurant, brewery, and music venue on Daniel Island — brought in a new chef this spring. With stints all over the place, including The Macintosh and Obstinate Daughter, chef Chad Anderson’s...

Folly’s newest beach bar, Lowlife, serves up tasty fare with a side of laid-back vibes (Charleston City Paper) Aug22

Folly’s newest...

Let’s start with the obvious: The name is magnificent. At once self-deprecating and a clever nod to the area, Lowlife elicits a chuckle and covers a lot of sins. Like the Eggos in the chicken and waffles ($12). Eggos? By which you mean a locally sourced, hand-crafted, bespoke heirloom...

The Establishment’s dishes are so divine, you might just wax poetic (Charleston City Paper) Jul18

The Establishment...

If I should think of love  I’d think of you, The Establishment,  Your arms outstretched,  Offering me a bowl of razor clams ($13). Adorned with delicate, yet pungent garlic blossoms,  I blush as my breath grows bad. In contrast, the sweet, light shellfish meat luxuriates in a fresh...

Bistro A Vin is the French newcomer we didn’t know we needed (Charleston City Paper) Jun20

Bistro A Vin is the ...

As you walk into Bistro A Vin ­— the sister establishment and next-door neighbor to pastry-focused Cafe Framboise — the sound of Frank Sinatra fills the air. In accordance, the olive oil shop-turned-wine-bar is elegant, but cozy, with two high-tops, a handful of tables, and a bar with seating...

Renzo is exactly what a perfect neighborhood restaurant should be (Charleston City Paper) Jun06

Renzo is exactly wha...

In a town teaming with establishments serving small, thoughtful, farm-to-table dishes, it’s hard to stand out. Renzo, employing a seeming mantra of originality squared, has found a niche. It’s the bastard child of a well-heeled Spanish/Italian chef and a mad scientist. Not...

At Saltwater Cowboys, it’s the view that’s worth the wait (Charleston City Paper) May09

At Saltwater Cowboys...

If you’ve ever had any doubts about the validity of the old “location, location, location” adage, try to get a table at Saltwater Cowboys on Shem Creek. Be sure to bring a light snack, some correspondence you’ve been meaning to address, and a deck of cards, because the...

Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. can hold its own (Charleston City Paper) Apr04

Edmund’s Oast ...

Just a little more than a half-mile from the original location on Morrison Drive, Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. might at first seem a little redundant. Was it such a good idea to situate the two related establishments so close to one another? In the simplest terms, yes. Because where Edmund...

The Shellmore offers simple pleasures very slowly (Charleston City Paper) Oct25

The Shellmore offers...

Enter I’On Village and you’ll note The Shellmore Eatery and Wine Bar has an immediate upper hand. The glass-front entrance sits on a charming tree-lined lane. Once inside, there are high tin ceilings, polished tile floors, and wooden Parisienne chairs, lending to an ambience that is at once...

1Kept’s menu is like a Top 40 list of twenty-teen hits (Charleston City Paper) Aug23

1Kept’s menu i...

Maybe it’s me, but 1Kept sounds like the name of a boy band, which somehow makes sense, as something about the restaurant reminds me of one. Occupying the space previously filled by Barony Tavern in the Renaissance Hotel, it’s hip, yet polished. There’s black silverware and...

Goulette plays it safe with a salad and duck fat frites formula (Charleston City Paper) Aug16

Goulette plays it sa...

While dining at Goulette, there is a consistent sense of being at the home of a gracious host, more than a stranger in a city restaurant. My first visit was on a slow Saturday night. When I inquired with the friendly, entertaining server as to ‘must tries,’ after a pause, he...

Gentry Bar & Room packs flavor, but lacks focus (Charleston City Paper) Jun21

Gentry Bar & Ro...

From the minute you walk in, it feels like Gentry Bar & Room is grappling with dissociative identity disorder. Is it a sports bar? Is it an upscale restaurant? Is it a rock concert? A man staring at one of the many television screens suddenly screams out in a calamitous manner, while a...

Stella’s is a gift from the Greek gods (Charleston City Paper) Jun14

Stella’s is a ...

When I think about the meals I’ve eaten in Greece, a few stand out. But none so much as a single grilled tentacle of octopus, served in a small, family-owned restaurant overlooking the sea on the remote island of Anafi. Seeing as that was eight years and a very long ferry ride ago — and...

Pancito & Lefty’s unique flavors will delight with a portions-to-price adjustment (Charleston City Paper) May10

Pancito & Lefty...

It’s easy to overlook Pancito & Lefty, a chic, cantina-style joint on upper King Street. From the outside, the windows still advertise “pizza by the slice” and it’s not entirely clear where the entrance lies. But just let your ears be your guide, and follow the...

Sorghum & Salt is building a dedicated fanbase one scoop of “olive dirt” at a time (Charleston City Paper) Apr26

Sorghum & Salt ...

During the first quarter of this year, while most of us were busy failing at our New Year’s resolutions, Chef Tres Jackson moved up from Alabama and opened his new restaurant Sorghum & Salt. Situated in the space that once held the beloved Two Boroughs Larder, Jackson inadvertently...

McCrady’s Tavern has plenty of hits and some unique B-sides too (Charleston City Paper) Nov23

McCrady’s Tave...

Getting to McCrady’s Tavern requires that one head down an unassuming, narrow alleyway. It’s just the kind of place where you’d expect Harry Potter to stumble upon the entrance to Diagon Alley. And while there were occasional moments of wizardry while at said tavern, this is...

Lewis Barbecue’s brisket will make you moan (Charleston City Paper) Oct05

Lewis Barbecue’...

It was like that scene out of When Harry Met Sally. Only louder. And much, much greasier. “Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh. My. God.” But this was no cheeky reenactment, just the throes of pure, smoked meat ecstasy. If you had asked me a few weeks ago what the best barbecue I ever had was,...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

Comedian Bill Maher Comments On Maui’s Monsanto Predicament (Maui Now) Dec29

Comedian Bill Maher ...

Arguably the most outspoken – if not the bravest – comedian in the business, Bill Maher brings his droll political observations to Maui this New Year’s Day. His annual Aloha Live Stand Up Tour is now in its fourth year and offers ticketholders the opportunity to experience his unparalleled...

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...

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...

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...

Ka’ana Kitchen Is Worth Every Shekel (Maui Now) Aug15

Ka’ana Kitchen Is Wo...

Whoever said “the best things in life are free” clearly never dined at Ka’ana Kitchen in the Andaz Maui. Alas, pricey is the way the gourmet resort cookie crumbles, but we promise you this: it’s worth it. For those that take to more “creative” measures to fund your new astronomical...

Fernando’s Mexican Grill Brings the Heat (Maui Now) Aug08

Fernando’s Mexican G...

Critiquing Mexican (or any cuisine, really) food on Maui is the social media equivalent of wearing a “kick me” sign to a Tae Kwon Do exhibition. Clearly, we like to live dangerously. Similarly, if you enjoy playing fast and loose with your taste buds, Fernando waits for you in all his...

Mulligans on the Blue: Bogeys and Birdies (Maui Now) Jul18

Mulligans on the Blu...

Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea is a veritable Maui institution known for Thursday quiz nights, rowdy St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and regular doses of the musical magic that is Willie K. But how’s the food? Happily, there are some reliable pub standards available. However, much like the...

The Daily Grindz: Wear Your Fat Pantz (Maui Now) Jun27

The Daily Grindz: We...

Are you a sumo wrestler who can’t quite seem to fill up? Does it take fourteen Hungry Man dinners to stop the rumbling? Have you ever been chased out of an all-you-can eat restaurant for “taking brazen advantage” of the situation? You may have an eating disorder. Look into it. Meanwhile, get...

Shaka Pizza: Escape to New York (Maui Now) May18

Shaka Pizza: Escape ...

In the book “It Must Have Been Something I Ate,” award-winning food writer Jeffrey Steingarten dedicates an entire chapter to one topic: pizza. How much can be said about pizza, really? Watch and learn. Largely considered an Italian invention, pizza (or a concoction going by that name anyway)...

Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors: Booze Optional (Maui Now) Apr25

Tamura’s Fine Wine a...

It’s official. We have a new crush, and we have it bad. Seafood lovers and party animals rejoice: Tamura’s Fine Wines and Liquors offers a stunning array of what you crave. Sure, the name, location and appearance are rather deceptive, but trust us on this one: Tamura’s is positioned to give...

Taco Bell’s New Brea...

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of anonymous fuming via the internet, is there? Last week’s blurb about Taco Bell’s forthcoming venture into breakfast spawned a whole lotta grumbling and one “I can’t wait for Vanessa’s review!” What’s that? A request? A dare? A double-dog dare? A Cheesy...

Amigos: Why Can’t We Be Friends? (Maui Now) Jan31

Amigos: Why Can’t We...

In a veritable Mexican food wasteland all but forsaken by authenticity with the likes of adobo, chilaquiles and mole, Amigos is considered one of the island’s lesser south of the border-style evils. With three locations to serve you – Lahaina, Kahului and Kihei respectively – we went in with...

Bill Maher Talks Shyness, Politics and Pakalolo (Maui Now) Dec08

Bill Maher Talks Shy...

Love him or hate him, outspoken political comedian Bill Maher returns to Maui for his third annual show this January 1, 2014. We caught up with him to chat about his past, politics and pakalolo. Maui Now: The last we met, I had an outstanding view of your rear end as you were running from me...

Rita’s Steak and Fish House: Consistently Inconsistent (Maui Now) Dec06

Rita’s Steak and Fis...

Depending upon where you get your statistics, it’s averaged that 44% of restaurants fail in the first year, 33% in the second, and a final 23% of those left standing crumble in the third. Why does this happen? While arguably glossing over some other elements, let’s drill this business lesson...

Cuatro: A Meal in Four Acts (Maui Now) Nov15

Cuatro: A Meal in Fo...

Act I – The Wanderers: Seeking Foretold Fortune The Scene: a modest strip-mall restaurant with a knockout view of Foodland. Stage Left: Enter Waiter, a ubiquitous presence at the restaurant. If you require a refresher – and even if you don’t – on some basic Spanish, Waiter (serving also as...

Lana’i ‘Ohana Poke Market: Magically Delicious (Maui Now) Nov08

Lana’i ‘Ohana Poke M...

Lana’i ‘Ohana Poke Market really chaps our hide. Without hesitation, the worst thing about the place is that it’s on Lana’i, a 50-minute, occasionally nauseating boat ride from Maui. Tis bullsh*t, my friends. If that weren’t enough, while you are within chewing distance of it, ‘Ohana Poke...

King’s BBQ & Chinese Restaurant Surprises (Maui Now) Nov01

King’s BBQ & Ch...

Back in fourth grade, we had a major crush on a boy named Robbie Knowles. He was an odd little dude who regularly did a spot-on monkey impression for no apparent reason. It was strictly a “longing from afar” kind of thing that was forced into suppression when a close friend wrote an a capella...

A Tale of Two Sushi – Nuka & Wayne’s (Maui Now) Oct25

A Tale of Two Sushi ...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of yoga studios, it was the age of kombucha, it was the epoch of composting, it was the epoch of GMOs, it was the season of avocados, it was the season of star fruit, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,...

A Talk With Legendary Blues Musician Keb’ Mo’ (Maui Now) Oct13

A Talk With Legendar...

Blues artist Kevin Moore, or Keb’ Mo’ as he’s more commonly known, is a three-time Grammy Award-winning blues musician. The singer, guitarist, and songwriter is described in his JamBase biography as “a living link to the seminal Delta blues that travelled up the Mississippi River and across...