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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

excep[tion]al


As part of the upcoming Carolina Green Fair, there are several fundraisers happening around town to promote healthy, local dining and drinking. Sounds right up my alley!


Many of the Lowcountry's finest restaurants are participating (four at a time), and tonight's was the first installment, and we had tickets! It was the Upper King Street Beer Tour!  We enjoyed an evening of delicious local food, beer pairings from New Belgium Beer and American Harvest Vodka (an organic spirit), as well as the company of some new friends.  

Our tour included: 
Hall's Chophouse for the 1st Course
Fish Restaurant for the 2nd Course
O-Ku for the 3rd Course 

Osteria la Bottiglia for the 4th Course
  

When we first arrived at Hall's, I feared that it would be a long evening, since we didn't know ANYONE, and there were nametags involved. A social event, and by the way I forgot to mention, I didn't sleep a wink last night. This is NOT going to be good. But then, I spotted them. Normal people! Three normal people in the corner, with 2 extra seats at their table. Yes!  

 
First we got our Long Island 'sweet tea' cocktail made with the aforementioned American Harvest Vodka. Then, we made our way to them, the folks in the corner that would soon be our new friends. Turns out that it was a young couple, Lindsey and Kevin who live here in town, and a third person that we initially thought was a high school friend, possibly a sister of the girl, whose name was Karen. Karen was visiting from just outside of Memphis. She owns a liquor store, which is way cool in my book, and it turns out that she is actually Lindsey's mother, could it be?


 At Hall's, we had the tea and vodka cocktail + fried green tomatoes with a corn, arugula & shrimp mixture. All local ingredients, yum!

 
At Fish, we were served the nicoise salad + New Belgium Trippel. Probably my favorite combination. I loved the pickled eggs, green beans, shredded meats, olives, and dressing. You've heard my praises of Fish's lunch before, and my oh my, this salad was delish.


At Oku, we had a sushi combo (including the potato-wrapped roll and various pieces of sashimi) + New Belgium Hoptober. The entree proved to be more than I could eat. Sushi wrapped in hashbrowns? Yes, please!


And lastly, at Osteria la Bottiglia (the only restaurant where we had not been before) we had vodka infused watermelon cocktails and a fruit tart for dessert! What was pretty crazy about this space was that I used to get my haircut here! And now, it looks like an Italian restaurant that's been around for centuries. Just gorgeous and definitely a place that we will visit again!

Brian & Kevin, not convinced of the cocktail! They later ordered beer.

By the way, the man in the photo above (not my husband) is the most knowledgeable man I have ever met regarding beer. He is the ultimate beer connoisseur. Brian and I are 'beer snobs' in most circles I'd say, Brian more so than I, BUT this guy knew everything about every beer. Quite impressive. Also, we learned of his 'beer of the month club' gift that his mother-in-law (Karen) got him, and this may be the perfect gift for Brian! We'll keep you posted on that.

All in all, we had a great time, and hopefully we'll see our friends around town, if not at the next tour, then maybe at a local beer tasting or the Green Fair! It was all so delicious, and I'd highly recommend participating in one of the tours this year, or perhaps next year! 

And if you haven't been to the Green Fair in Marion Square, it's tons of fun with live music, great food, good beer, artwork, and much, much more! Last year we saw the Steep Canyon Rangers perform a great show, and we look forward to the events for this year as well! So join us at the Carolina Green Fair on Sunday, September 25th from noon-8pm!

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