After a plane ride and not much lunch, we were ready for an early happy hour with something to nibble. O'Hara & Flynn Wine Bar offers wine, beer, appetizers, and small plates. It seems the menu changes frequently depending on availability. I had a French Pinot Noir, my husband had a beer, and we noshed on Speck, Salame with Fennel and Belle Etoile Triple Creme Brie. Our server, Michael, was very personable and gave us some recommendations for coffee shops in the area (see below). He also mentioned that on the weekends, O'Hara & Flynn has live music.
For dinner we headed across the street to FIG (Food Is Good). We walked in with no reservation and sat at the bar to order a Soul Revival. We lucked out and were seated at a table within 10 minutes. James Beard Award-winning Chef Mike Lata and partner Adam Nemirow recently renovated the interior which is beautifully plush. I had the Puree of Sunchoke Soup with walnut pesto and celery heart and the Ricotta Gnocchi with Grassfeed Beef Bolognese. Both were incredibly delicious. My husband had the Jumbo Black Bass with fennel, blood orange, verjus blanc and arugula. Great food from Executive Chef Jason Stanhope with friendly service to match.
Husk was undergoing restorations during our visit, so they were shuttered that weekend. One of our Uber drivers claimed the bar was open for lunch, but when we stopped in the next day, it was indeed closed. From there we moved on to neighboring Poogan's Porch. It was there we found some well made Bloody Marys with Charleston Bloody Mary Mix. Just the thing to have in hand while we waited at the bar for a table to open up. Soon enough we were led into a side dining room, complete with a fire in the grate to warm us up. I had the Shrimp & Grits, while my husband had the Fried Green Tomato BLT and a side of biscuits. Filling and satisfying.
Worthwhile, the only non-food related mention here, is worth noting for all of the gorgeous clothing, shoes, jewelry and gifts. I couldn't resist the Sweet Petula Soaps with scents like Gardenia and Bourbon & Vanilla.
For dinner the second night, we had reservations at The Ordinary, the seafood and oyster hall from the folks at F.I.G. (purely coincidence). I started with a Classic Daiquiri make with angostura rum, lime and sugar, while my husband enjoyed a local beer. We started by sharing a special Rudderfish Crudo topped with olives and drizzled with olive oil--so fresh and tender. We continued the meal by splitting the Warm Bacon and Soft Egg Salad with frisée and boiled dressing. I was perfectly full at that point, but my husband had the Roasted Grouper with Jimmy Red grits and sauce daube for entrée. The fish was cooked beautifully and was full of great flavor. For dessert we split the Rice Pudding with Citrus, which was a perfect ending to the meal.
On the way back to the hotel, we had a nightcap at The Belmont. We both agreed that it had everything one wants from a bar: attentive barkeeps, expert drinks, an ice program, interesting atmosphere (art deco vibe, beautiful lighting, tin ceiling, bead board along the walls), cushy seating, linen cocktail napkins (this alone made a huge impression on me), good music, and an obscure black and white film playing on the back wall. I had a wonderfully mixed French 75 and my husband continued his exploration of local beers. The Belmont was tapped by Imbibe Magazine as the best spot to order Bartender's Choice, allowing the bartenders free reign.
The following morning, we discovered for ourselves that Black Tap Coffee has some of the best coffee in the downtown area (thank you, Michael). Sunday mid-morning the place was loaded with grad students and undergrads. The refurbished house in the Harleston Village neighborhood has a cool, minimalist vibe, delicious cappuccino, strong pour-over coffee and stellar cinnamon muffins. Since my diet is gluten-free, I skipped the muffins, downed my coffee and we headed over to nearby Caviar and Bananas for breakfast. This close to campus market has freshly prepared food and espresso drinks. I had the Florentine Omelet with a side of fruit and a latte. It all hit the spot and made the return trip home bearable.