Last week’s roundup of my top pre-event picks for this month’s Charleston Restaurant Week failed to mention two spots that should be praised for their lower-cost offerings.
Whereas the annual event used to offer guests their choice of three-course menus for a set $30 price point across the board, restaurants now can set their own price, with most up in the $35-45 range.
But Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille on Capitol Street in Charleston and Barkadas at the Fort on Cantley Drive at the bottom of Fort Hill are moving prices in the other direction this year by dropping the cost of their three-course meals to $24 and $25, respectively. That’s a sweet deal for a nice appetizer, entrée and dessert.
Adelphia comes in the lowest, where $24 will get you a side Greek or specialty salad; Greek potatoes or dolmathes (grape-leaf rolls) with a choice of Pastitsio (Greek lasagna), Greek-style cod on rice or Greek stuffed peppers; and baklava cheesecake.
For just a buck more, $25 at Barkadas provides you with a house salad or charred Brussels sprouts; a glazed salmon bowl with Thai peanut sauce or beef bistek bowl with rice or noodles; and either crème brulee cheesecake or a salted caramel chocolate brownie.
As with all Charleston Restaurant Week locations, be sure to get your reservations in advance.
The Olive Tree offers special menu
Speaking of Charleston Restaurant Week, The Olive Tree Café on Second Avenue in South Charleston is once again offering its own similarly inspired special menu at the same time. From Jan. 30-Feb. 3, guests there can also piece together their own $45 meal from some fantastic-sounding options.
Appetizer options include spinach naan crostinis with loaded hummus; Valbreso feta whipped with West Virginia honey and topped with pecans; or Trinidadian chicken curry bisque.
For dinner (all with a choice of sides) you can choose a Black Angus petite filet and crab cake with spicy remoulade; charcoal-roasted swordfish with Mediterranean spice-infused butter; a “Tour of Near East” platter featuring kibbeh, kafta kebab and stuffed grape leaves served on naan with hummus and baba ghanoush; or a vegetarian iron skillet roasted lion’s mane mushroom steak with shallots in a red wine reduction.
Desserts are either baklava cheesecake bananas foster; beignets with three-berry compote and vanilla bean gelato; or chocolate decadence cake drizzled with three-berry compote, Ghirardelli chocolate and Turkish coffee crem fraiche.
The Olive Tree always impresses, so this is another fine option for diners next week.
FeastivALL releases this year’s menu
While Charleston Restaurant Week has been getting lots of love of late, another big annual winter foodapalozza is just weeks away as well.
Organizers of FeastivALL have released the five-course meal that will be served at the upcoming fund-raising dinner at the University of Charleston on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Raising much-needed money that supports the arts year-round through festivals, after-school programming, in-school programming and more, FeastivALL offers a five-course meal with wine and beer pairings, live entertainment, a live auction, an online auction, a VIP reception and more.
And unlike similar events, this one offers the added twist of pitting beer against wine to see which pairs with the evening’s food the best. Better yet, it’s the evening's guests who get to vote and determine the winner!
In honor of 2023 James Beard Award Finalist Chef Paul Smith, who has supported the FeastivALL fundraiser since its inception, each course of this year’s meal will have elements inspired by the James Beard cookbook.
“Charleston and the surrounding region have a rich culinary scene and FestivALL is so fortunate to partner with amazing chefs for our FeastivALL fundraiser,” said FestivALL Executive Director Mackenzie Spencer. “We look forward to a wonderful night of food, fun and, most importantly, fundraising in support of the arts.”
Speaking of that wonderful food, here it is!
Appetizer: Tuna tartare wontons – Chef Seth Samples, University of Charleston
Salad: Baby arugula and shaved Brussels sprout salad with candy-striped beets, roasted fennel, toasted pine nuts and Parmesan Reggiano finished with tomato vinaigrette made with DiTrapano Olive Oil – Emily Isaac, The Humble Tomato
Soup: Tuscan bean soup featuring DiTrapano Olive Oil and James Beard-inspired chicken broth – Chef Tim Urbanic, Bop & Nana’s and formerly Café Cimino
Entree: Braised wagyu beef cheek Bourgogne with herb garlic Yukon Gold Smashed Potatoes and seasonal vegetables – Chef Paul Smith, 1010 Bridge
Dessert: James Beard-inspired shortcake with West Virginia maple sugar strawberries and bourbon chantilly cream – Chef Brian Magliochette, CB Culinary Service in Pittsburgh
Tickets are $130 for general admission and $175 for VIP access to a pre-dinner reception and more. They may be purchased at www.festivallcharleston.com/feastivall.
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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at www.wvfoodguy.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at email@example.com.