Food & Wine

ROOFTOP RETREAT

There’s no better time to be outside in the Lowcountry than now, when temperatures begin to fall. And there’s no better place to celebrate the season than at one of Charleston’s rooftop eateries. Balao Seafood Legend opened its doors earlier this year, a welcome addition to Charleston’s skyline.

VINO SARDO

Old-time religion meets old-time wine meets new-time wine

A WINNING CONCEPT

In Charleston, the competition for hearts and stomachs is fierce. The Holy City has been attracting national attention and culinary talent ever since Hurricane Hugo ushered in a renaissance that raised the bar for Southern food throughout the region.

EFFERVESCENT LIMOUX

Traversed by the Aude River, not far upstream from picturesque Carcassonne, the city of Limoux sits serenely on the shoulders of the Pyrenees in southern Languedoc.

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.