Charleston, South Carolina…they have Bulldogs, the best looking food truck I've ever seen, gourmet chocolates and pastries, a Hipster coffee house, and rock star chefs. Fortunately for me, I had great company to dine with every afternoon and evening in Charleston. I’d like to personally thank Margaret Mays and Bill Lehew for the time they spent taking care of me in the Palmetto State.
On my first evening in Charleston, we went big; which translates as STEAK. I’ve been to steak houses all over the country and Hall's Chophouse rivals any one.
The action in the downstairs bar is fierce; upstairs in the main dining room, plenty of wood, leather, and dim lighting…heaven. Looking at the menu is a mere formality, as I naturally selected the classic steakhouse line-up...steak tartare, wedge salad, dry-aged rib-eye with truffle butter, creamed spinach, sauteed mushrooms. If a steakhouse doesn’t have these, my standard order, there’s a problem already. There wasn’t a single problem. The entire meal paired perfectly with Mastro Scheidt Family Cellars Blueprint and Signature.
The following afternoon, it was suggested we stop into a boutique chocolatier Christophe in the Historical District, for a quick treat and prepare for dinner at Anson Restaurant. A treat indeed; plenty of chocolate, in addition to a full-blown patisserie. Everything one would expect from a fine patisserie, breakfast, lunch or a snack. I logged the location of Christophe into memory for the next morning.
The following morning, I drove directly to Christophe for an almond cream-apple torte. Absolutely knocked my socks off. I didn't dine inside, instead, I brought my perfectly boxed pastry outside, placed the craft cardboard box on the hood of my rental silver Hyundai Sonata, ripped open the box and proceeded to eat my pastry like a wanton savage. I would have taken my pastry French style, simply wrapped with waxed paper and eaten out-of-hand, but I can see where the sealed craft cardboard box takes my rather pedestrian approach to breakfast to another, more refined level, as the craft cardboard box protects the pastry for the ride back home.
Black Tap Coffee exudes hipsterism, but I can't malign the coffee. The coffee is roasted by Counter Culture in Charlotte. Black Tap has a Japanese cold brew system and a proprietary cold brew methodology; which I think is:
- Add Tap water to coffee grounds for 24 hours and filter
I had their Black Tap cold brew for a late-afternoon pick-me-up. The flavor was intense, deep, dark chocolate flavors on the back palate with a solid linger.
I'll round out The Week that was Charleston in a second post.