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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Salut! Capital Cocktail Classic returns to downtown Charleston

It’s time to “save the date” for sipping bliss!

Portabella Mushroom Wellington and Beef Roll from DT Prime
Portabella Mushroom Wellington and Beef Roll from DT Prime

The 4th annual Capital Cocktail Classic returns to downtown Charleston from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday. Oct. 7, when four downtown bars and restaurants will serve up tantalizing food-and-cocktail pairings in a competition to see which one reigns supreme.


WV Blackberry Sangria from DT Prime
WV Blackberry Sangria from DT Prime

Ticketed guests have three hours to visit all four establishments offering a tapas-style appetizer and signature cocktail, then will vote on their favorite food, drink and overall pairing at the end of the night.


And yes, as always, I’m here to give you a sneak peek at the dishes and drinks that await!


Bar 101 and Ichiban on the corner of Virginia and Capitol streets are pairing up for their pairing. An Appalachian Sour cocktail featuring Old Forrester bourbon, house-made fuji apple-ginger puree, a splash of sour mix and lemon juice with a cinnamon apple garnish, as Chef Evan Wilson described, “tastes like fall in a glass.” So good.


It will be served alongside a crispy pork eggroll with a delicious roasted tomato curry sauce that he should bottle and sell by the case!


The sweet drink helps cut through the savory, salty eggroll to make for a delightful bite and sip.


“So our pairing is pork and apples,” Wilson added. “That’s about as fall as you can get, so you can’t go wrong.”


Just down the block on the corner of Quarrier and Capitol streets, DT Prime is showcasing a Blackberry Sangria with West Virginia blackberries marinated in Devil’s Due blackberry moonshine, then blended with housemade red sangria and lots of fresh fruit.


Appalachian Sour from Bar 101
Appalachian Sour from Bar 101

It’s a savory complement to their duo-dish featuring a Hernshaw Farms portabella mushroom wellington with fig glaze, alongside a separate New York Strip shaved beef roll stuffed with cream cheese and jalapenos from Gritt’s Farm with a blackberry balsamic reduction.


That beef roll is phenomenally good, and the fruity drink pairs so well with the dish's tangy balsamic and creamy cheese filling.


Also on tap at this year’s Capital Cocktail Classic will be offerings from Black Sheep Burrito & Brews and Sam’s Uptown Café, which I’ll be teasing in the coming weeks. Consider yourself warned.


Early-bird tickets purchased now through Sept. 29 are $50 per person, with the regular price of $60 kicking in from Sept. 30 through Oct. 7. Tickets may be purchased at bit.ly/3RnziT8, but please note you must be 21 years of age or older to attend and valid ID will be required when you check in that night.


The upscale pub crawl is a fundraiser for Fund for the Arts, which provides funding and support for 11 small member arts organizations across the greater Kanawha Valley.


Dim Sum Coming to Hurricane


A new restaurant offering dim sum, boba teas and other Asian fare in Hurricane has announced its grand opening on Sept. 26.


Crispy Pork Eggrolls from Ichiban
Crispy Pork Eggrolls from Ichiban

Located at 3554 Teays Valley Rd. next to Whiskey Taco, Wok’d Asian Grill promises “a culinary journey like no other” thanks to a menu of appetizers and main courses featuring a fusion of flavors.


An initial menu teases steamed pork buns, sticky rice, shumai, crispy eggrolls, bibimbap and a variety of wok-made “sizzle bowls,” along with a few traditional Chinese dishes (General Tso’s chicken, fried rice, lo-mein, etc.) and a selection of fruity boba/bubble teas.


There will also be special gluten-free options like glass noodles made with sweet potatoes instead of rice, and those with diabetic issues can adjust the sugar level in their boba tea selections as well.


For a sneak peek and more details, check out WokdWV on Facebook.


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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 wvfoodguy@aol.com.

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