Monday, November 17, 2014

The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivans Island near CHS

File under Greatest Days Ever:

My dear friend Theresa, my housemate at Wesleyan and in the early San Francisco days, and I hadn't really spent quality time together in literally 15 years. She flew down from Brooklyn recently to rectify the situation, so we met up in Charleston for a bro getaway.

First order of business, after coffee and a Sea Biscuit Cafe biscuit on the beach at Isle of Palms, was to hit the new Sullivan's Island restaurant, The Obstinate Daughter. I'd heard about it from the smart humans at The Local Palate magazine and was dying to go.

With reason. This "Natural Blonde" Bloody Mary tasted just like a fresh, yellow heirloom tomato. Light and lovely and amazing. Mix made by one of their bros. So good.

We loved the shrimp roll (a take on the New England lobster roll), and dare I say it: I kinda liked it better than the lobster roll at The Ordinary, Mike Lata's King Street CHS hall of glorious seafood. Heresy! But maybe true!

Then the housemade ricotta gnocchi with short rib ragu and pine nut gremolata hit the table, and it was game over. I would be happy to eat this once a week until I die of heart failure.

Only logical next step was a stroll around Fort Moultrie.

I love South Carolina, y'all. Even better when enjoying it with a friend from afar.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Ginger Wine Ninjas Pinot Noir from Columbia SC

Columbia, SC has a new wine label, produced by 3 red-haired wine brains who know their stuff: Ginger Wine Ninjas' 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir!

Recently killed a bottle by the fire with a dear friend, and let me just say, it goes right nice with some fancy cheese and conversation. Lean, structured, and serious, it's great wine made by great people.

They worked with a custom crush facility in Oregon to produce the wine.

With the limited wine knowledge I carry around in my brain's back files, I see it loosening up nicely over the next year, so it'd be a good one for buying a few bottles for now, and a few for cracking open when sweater weather hits next year. Right?

Congrats to the gingers: Kaitlin Ohlinger, recently of Cellar on Greene and now in Oregon proper; James Alford of Morganelli's, and Bryan Della Volpe of Gourmet Shop. The wine is available in all 3 places.

Now that Kaitlin is posted up in Oregon, it will be exciting to see what grapes/juice these guys get their hands on to make future wines.  Here's to hillside fruit and smart peeps making rad things happen right here in Soda City.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bovinoche Whole Roasted Animal Fest in Columbia Was Rad

Tom Hall did it again.

Tom Hall in his most natural environment

The co-founder of Columbia Mardi Gras, Plowboys bandleader and avant garde Southern filmmaker -- with lawyer-ish tendencies -- brought together a killer team on Oct. 18, 2014 to execute a Midlands iteration of Jeff Bannister's Bovinoche, the legendary whole animal roast that garnered national attention (read: front page of the Wall Street Journal) when it launched in the upstate in Simpsonville.

The Midlands event was held at Hall's beautiful, historic new Magnolia Farm Lodge cultural retreat center in Ridgeway, SC (about a half hour from Columbia, SC). It's an old plantation that Hall and his family and friends have revved up into a bed and breakfast meets year-round summer camp for adults who love art, cooking, hunting, and sipping bourbon around the fire.

At Bovinoche, a big, lovely crowd feasted on pulled pork of all sorts, including a pig cooked in la caja china; roasted whole lambs; a gigantic roasted whole cow; a litany of quail, unbearably good sausages and more. Here's one great photo of the roasting carnage by Bannister. More great pics here including the giant cow, compiled by David McGowan Hicks.

There was good beer and great decor.

Live music and great friends.

Angry bakers and GREAT T-shirts.

Groovy old outdoor stoves.

And to wrap up the evening, fireside picking and grinning til the wee hours. 

One can only hope that Hall and Bannister bring it back to the Soda City area. We love our niche market food festivals, y'all.

So what's your favorite roasted beast?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quick dinner.

An easy, fancy-feeling thing is this:

  1. Roast a bunch of chopped kale in a little bit of high-temp oil at 400 degrees til it's crispy. Use some fancy salt and fresh ground pepper. Fresh ground coriander doesn't hurt.
  2. Heat up a bag of Trader Joe's butternut squash risotto. #cheating
  3. Chop up some of that fresh basil you've been miraculously keeping alive in your laundry room/sunroom. #redemption
  4. Put on top of each other, sprinkle with pecorino romano or parmesan. Or both! 

The end.