Food & Wine

THE ART OF HOSPITALITY

“Our goal is to have people feel good when they leave, but not necessarily know why,” Patrick Whalen, owner of 5Church says to me. Based on the restaurant’s rave reviews, that strategy is clearly working.

CABERNET, IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER

He was one of the more colorful actors of his generation, a larger-than-life guy with “mythic presence, an image of beatific stoicism, grace under fire” and “wry unflappability in the face of life’s ever-threatening absurdities.” In short, Robert Mitchum was a big star.

TALES OF TERROIR

Terroir. What is it exactly? According to Jancis Robinson’s Oxford Companion to Wine, terroir is the “much discussed term for the total natural environment of any viticultural site. No precise English equivalent exists for this quintessentially French term and concept.”

HIGH-SPIRITED

Gorgeous new digs are turning heads at one of Charleston’s latest entrants to the downtown restaurant scene, and the menu is getting its share of attention, too.

GRATEFUL WINES

Our iconic American Thanksgiving celebration commemorates the travails and eventual triumphs of a band of English nonconformists who landed in what is now Massachusetts in December of 1620.

CULINARY CLASSICS REIMAGINED

We had just devoured the last bite of Pavlova (more about that later) and were ready for a little exercise when executive chef Josh Keeler stepped away from the exhibition kitchen and appeared at our table, offering to take us on a tour of 492.

DARK BEAUTIES

Cork. What a wonderful substance! It’s sustainable (it grows on trees) and versatile. Impermeable, buoyant, elastic, and with fire retardant properties, cork can be used to make all manner of products—everything from classy flooring to cladding for buildings.

LITTLE JEWEL BOX

Whether you’re hunting down a hot spot for dinner or a space to say, “I do,” consider a visit to the Old Village Post House Inn.

RENEWAL

The quilted landscape of western Sicily stretched out before me—a patch of vines here, a square of silvery-green olive trees there, a rectangle of young grain in the distance.

REVOLUTION

Things are changing in Sicily. If you are familiar with Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s wondrous novel, The Leopard, or the movie it inspired, you may recall what Tancredi Falconeri said to his uncle, Don Fabrizio Corbera.

THE ARTFUL PALATE

Muse Restaurant & Wine Bar is a celebration of Mediterranean foods and wine—and so much more.

HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR ENOPHILES

As the season of giving draws nigh, you may want to exchange gifts with wine-loving friends. Here are three options that our wine columnist likes.

OREGON PINOT NOIR

They said it couldn’t be done: grow Pinot Noir in Oregon. They were wrong.

COOL CLIMATE WINES

It was six or seven years ago that I first tasted wines from Sonoma County’s MacRostie Winery (macrostiewinery.com). I liked them, and I resolved to visit the winery the next time I was in California.

PEAK SEASON

With a recent facelift, an unwavering commitment to locally sourced ingredients, and a streamlined wine and cocktail menu, FIG is better than ever. It’s very hard to improve upon perfection, but chef/partner Mike Lata, executive chef Jason Stanhope (both hold the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast) and the entire team at FIG have done just that.

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

The red wines of Spain’s Rioja region lope along from strength to strength, gaining steadily in repute as the years pass. The blancos—whites—are not yet as well known as their carmine cousins. In fact, as one writer observes, Rioja is so famous for its reds that “many people remain completely unaware that the region also produces white wines.” What a shame.

A DRAMATIC COMEBACK

The century-old warehouse glows in the cool spring night, its fresh stucco, dark French doors, gas lanterns and weathered stone steps inviting you in. It is a happy sight to see this property in Charleston’s historic City Market alive again with soft lights, music and hungry folks.

A CULINARY LEGACY

Like many major cities on the culinary map, Charleston enjoys an increasingly well-rounded assortment of cuisines and trendy restaurant motifs to match. But how many food-forward towns can boast an eatery quite like 82 Queen, where history and cuisine meet in the intimacy of a Southern antebellum home? Here, a pair of 18thcentury properties, linked by ancient brick paths, lend genteel profiles to a restaurant that has served loyal guests for over 30 years.

TENUTA DI CAPEZZANA

It must have been a splendid wedding—the union of Caterina Maria Romola di Lorenzo de’ Medici, the pride of the Medici clan, with Henri de Valois, Duke of Orléans, second in line to the French throne. The bride’s uncle, bearded Pope Clement VII, traveled to Marseilles to conduct the marriage ceremony in the Église Saint-Ferréol les Augustins on 28 October 1533.

ALWAYS A CLASSIC

For those of you who remember the early days of the Charleston “food scene,” you’ll recall that fine dining options were few and far between. I am thinking of the mid-1980s, moments before Hurricane Hugo slammed into this coastal city and changed its landscape forever.