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.
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.
Caprioska welcomes visitors with a menu of upscale eats. Jump-start a dormant digestive system by choosing the chorizo, a pair of Argentine sweet sausages served with chimi-churi ($7.95), or win your taste-buds' hearts by offering them eight sauce-tossed wings ($6.95). Continue the quest for cuisine with a beef Caprioska burger ($7.95) or sirloin steak ($12.95) accompanied by the sweet music of a vegetable medley and mini baked potatoes. Pescatarians can pick a maritime meal, such as the grilled salmon flanked by sautéed asparagus and rice pilaf with a red-pepper coulis ($13.95), and fowl-focused diners can indulge in the spicy buffalo-chicken wrap ($7.95) or chicken alfredo ($9.95).
The recently renovated Polliwogs (formerly Icy's Sports Bistro) flings together locally sourced ingredients, including fresh seafood from South Carolina's coast, to craft a southern- and Cajun-inspired menu of homegrown delicacies. Rescue a delicate crab cake, which dodges the drizzle of remoulade sauce by hiding beneath a portobello mushroom umbrella ($16). Firefly shrimp or salmon, sautéed with sweet-tea vodka and andouille sausage, recline atop cheese grits ($12), and shrimp or oyster po' boy flatbread sandwiches team up with a fresh-faced spring mix and fried green tomato ($9). Bottled microbrews, including RJ Rockers' summery Son of a Peach from Spartanburg and Thomas Creek's dark Deepwater Dopplebock from Greenville, pour forth regional pride by enthusiastically chanting the names of state lawmakers.
At The British Bulldog Pub, British-born owners Mark Bowyer and Bill Quirk team up with the American-born Rob Sharpley to create a fun-for-all atmosphere that's enhanced by live music, televised games, and a profusion of frothy ales on tap. While English Premier League soccer games engage fans throughout the bar, patrons may peruse chef Damian Wanek's authentic pub menu, introduced by starters such as the scotch egg ($8), hard-boiled and hidden from pipe-smoking detectives under the disguise of breaded ground sausage. At dinner tables, traditional island favorites such as bangers and mash ($11) share space with more imperial international cuisine, such as the braised chicken curry ($13) backstroking in a creamy and tomato-y sauce. The beef-and-Guinness pie ($10) encapsulates braised beef, mushrooms, and vegetables under a baked, flaky crust and may be chased with bites of Guinness chocolate cake ($6) or Guinness-coated high-fives.