Saluda's Restaurant celebrates many histories. Its solid mahogany bar was part of Philadelphia's Blakely Hotel in the late 1800s, its walls sport vintage European posters advertising festive drinks, and its menu pays homage to timeless Southern staples, from shrimp and grits to artfully grilled rib eyes. Perhaps the greatest nod to the past is the building itself, which was constructed after World War I as a VFW officers club. There, veterans would gather to carouse and reminisce, fostering a convivial tradition that Saluda's has since restored and nurtured.
Executive chef Blake Fairies fuels the animated atmosphere with dishes whose down-home roots benefit from French and Italian influences. His prime concern is freshness?in an interview with Undefined magazine, he revealed how his fish du jour is often prepped the day after his friend Mark, a member of Abundant Seafood in Charleston, lures it onto his boat with promises of a free tropical time share. Like much of the kitchen's produce, chef Blake?s flash-fried green tomatoes come from local farms, and his entrees incorporate seasonal ingredients to complement ones imported from across the world. The results are plates that blend classic taste with inventive zest: steaks in black-truffle butter, helpings of handmade pasta, and pork chops brined in sweet tea. At the bar, guests can peruse more than 300 wines as well as cocktails and small-batch bourbon.
There are people who love cooking from scratch and people who shudder at the thought of assembling a turkey club sandwich. Rosewood Market and Deli caters to both. Aisles of grocery items help list-makers check off boxes for gluten-free food, pasture-raised meats and eggs, and local raw milks. The produce section harvests organic choices from local farms, and the cheese case displays sticks and slices from around the region and the globe. In the deli, soups, salads, desserts, baked goods, and other items satisfy tastes from vegan to carnivore. Quick meals in the grab-n-go case include sandwiches and salads that can be topped with homemade dressings and spreads, such as tamari gravy dill vinaigrette and a spicy chipotle spread.
Rosewood Market and Deli has matured from its beginnings as the Basil Pot restaurant in 1973. It?s grown while adhering to the idea that ?people can take an active, hands-on approach to their own wellness through delicious food,? as it proclaims on its website. A commitment to sustainability permeates the market, from its cardboard-recycling dumpster and reusable produce boxes to its compostable utensils and ability to accept biodegradable credit cards.
For three years running—2011, 2012, and 2013—Columbia Metropolitan magazine has declared Gervais & Vine's wine list the city's best. What earned it the distinction is simple: globe-spanning variety. Its menu hosts everything from California's 2011 J. Lohr pinot noir to South Africa's Spice Route “Chakalaka” and Germany's Dr. L Riesling, which completed medical school during its fermentation. All told, more than 40 wines by the glass fill the list, complementing the Mediterranean-inspired tapas of head chef Jason Holowacz.
When crafting his entrees, Holowacz focuses on pairing. Dishes range from the Spanish flavors of grilled shrimp to Italian favorites such as pizza with goat cheese and herb-infused olive oil, allowing guests to experiment with their white or red selections. For pointers, periodic winemaker dinners and wine tastings cover different varietals and their best edible matches. And while guests sip and sup, inside or on the outdoor patio, Gervais & Vine entertains their ears every Wednesday and Thursday night with live jazz.
Tokyo Grill’s chefs stand over sizzling grills, their furrowed brows illuminated by the dancing flames as they speedily prepare food that blends hibachi flavors with fast and casual dining. With swiftness and precision, they grill fresh vegetables alongside juicy strips of steak, cuts of chicken, and plump jumbo shrimp, then quickly plate the still-steaming meats atop beds of rice speckled with wedges of zucchini, slices of onion, and traces of fairy dust. Elsewhere in the kitchen, sushi chefs are equally hard at work, folding crabmeat and crisp cucumbers into sushi rolls.
Beef ‘O’ Brady's is celebrating its 26th year of business-related beefiness. Salute its anniversary with a strawberry- or mango-flavored iced tea, coffee, or a fresh Irish limeade as you drink in refreshing sports action on one of the venue’s many televisions. Amuse your whole family with games in the kids’ zone or by telling stories about Babe Ruth eating pretzels pretty quickly.
Awarded Best New Restaurant of 2010 by Columbia Metropolitan magazine, Rosso Trattoria Italia serves fresh and rustic Italian dishes in an opulent, yet relaxed atmosphere. Rosso's menu features an array of antipasti, pastas, grilled meats, and wood-roasted dishes, all prepared with local and seasonal ingredients. Seat your entourage in dark leather chairs surrounding an elegantly lit table, and begin your chewing spree with antipasti, such as the steamed black mussels ($9). Or share a wood-fired brick-oven salsiccia pizza, topped with spicy sausage, mozzarella, and crushed tomato sauce ($12), in observance of pizza power.