PAPPY & COMPANY HITS CHARLESTON FOR 72 HOURS OF FOOD, WINE & FUN.
Charleston conjures up a sweet love affair inspired by its cobblestone streets, historic architecture and nostalgic memories (did we mention that it’s also our alma mater?) As first time participants at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival (CHSWF) we were thrilled to get back to one of our most favorite cities for a long weekend of imbibing, dining and exploring. Since our last visit, the city’s gastropub scene has grown exponentially and was hard to squeeze it all in to just a few days. Here’s our Pappy & Co city guide for those looking to enjoy the best of Charleston in 72 hours.
We kicked off the culinary weekend with a Rise & Shine breakfast at the gorgeous 1Kept location in partnership with Executive Chef Trey Dutton, and Alan Benton of Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams. This six-course breakfast menu incorporated our Bourbon Maple Syrup into an array of recipes including the maple bacon vinaigrette, Pappy maple-ango cream, Nashville style chicken and waffles, and the Benton’s bacon beignets. Chef Dutton set the bar high for what was to unfold on our culinary adventures and reminded us that our Maple Bourbon Syrup is good for so much more than just Sunday morning pancakes.
Moving on to the Artisan Tent at the actual festival, we spent the days among some of the region’s best artisan craft makers, bakers and retailers. We showcased our best sellers while having the pleasure of meeting some of our biggest fans from Charleston. Thousands came to sample our Handmade Bourbon Balls, Barrel Aged Maple Syrup and Bourbon Nib Brittle, meanwhile visiting some of our other culinary friends. Not to be missed were bite size samples of the infamous 7-Layer Caroline’s Cakes. These multilayer confectionary delights are a southern treat best known for the “World’s Best 7-Layer Caramel Cake.” Down the aisle was a new discovery we soon were obsessed with: La Farm Bakery. This quaint French bakery from Cary, North Carolina served up delicious fresh baked breads, with our all time favorite being the doughy mini baguettes sprinkled with bits size morsels of Belgian white chocolate bites. Try dipping this in our Barrel Aged Maple Syrup for the ultimate mini dessert. This was a perfect time to quench our thirst, thanks to one of our favorite bar partners Bittermilk cocktail mixers. Of course we’re partial to Bittermilk’s Old Fashioned Set, but all of their hand crafted small batched mixers are perfect for the at home cocktail enthusiast.
Just when we thought our eating and drinking was complete, we hit the town for some of the Charleston’s best restaurants and bars. Our first night we dined at Basic Kitchen, an adorable boho chic health inspired restaurant that serves delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners using local, seasonal ingredients. But don’t be fooled, their cocktails and desserts are just as swoon worthy as their signature dishes. Must try’s are the Basic Bowl, Beet Margarita and delicious fresh pressed juices for breakfast.
The following evening we headed to James Beard Awarded FIG (Food Is Good) where Executive Chef Jason Stanhope treated us to a multi course feast showcasing the best of the menu’s modern and creative offerings. Standouts were the Tartine of Beef and Tuna Tartare, Ricotta Gnocchi with Ossawbaw Bolognese and Yukon Gold Potato Puree (aka: what we think could possibly be the best mashed potatoes we’ve ever had). What makes FIG so special is the incredible food, gorgeous décor and intimate ambiance, but the staff and service truly sets this place apart. You instantly feel like one part VIP one part family member, with the perfect mix of attention to detail and relaxed energy that makes this a must try for any trip to Charleston.
Our last night we enjoyed a Tuscan inspired Italian dinner at the romantic La Farafalle, which included grilled branzino, king crab handmade pasta and a delicious whipped ricotta starter that could have easily passed for dessert. Executive Chef Michael Toscano treated us to a table side presentation of his signature black truffle fettuccine pasta that is one of the best theatrical food demonstrations we have ever had the pleasure of enjoying--not to mention eating.
Still looking for more to enjoy while in Charleston? Here are a few other spots we tried along the way:
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: You haven’t had a proper biscuit until you’ve stopped by Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit shop. These handmade tender buttery treats are the perfect start to your day. And best of all you can have them delivered to your home to bring back the taste of Charleston wherever you may be.
Shopping on King Street: From our favorite brands like Cynthia Rowley and Marine Layer to Charleston specialty boutiques like Hampden Clothing and Finicky Filly, it’s worth spending an afternoon strolling the shops of King Street.
Drinks at The Dewberry: set in the historic Federal Building this retro inspired hotel serves up hand crafted cocktails in the settings of a historic Charleston living room with the gracious hospitality and effortless style you can only find in the South.
A run along The Battery: Not only is this a great way to explore a new city but after all the eating and drinking we were doing, a run was much needed to keep us moving. This route takes you through some of the best sightseeing on foot Charleston has to offer.
Stay at The Spectator: Voted as one of the South’s most stylish places to stay, this chic new boutique hotel located in historic downtown Charleston is the perfect home base with the just the right touch of luxury and genteel glamour.
We’re looking forward to CHSWF 2019 and can’t wait to return to Charleston next year. Have other favorites you think we should try on our next trip? Be sure to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!