The Red Pepper is an Italian eatery with rich roots. Owner Fred White first learned the ropes of the restaurant business at his grandmother's Italian restaurant in Rochester, New York, mastering the art of crafting sweets and savories from fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, basil, and ricotta cheese. He went on to open lauded eateries across the country, then settled with his family in the Charleston area and opened The Red Pepper in Summerville. Here, locals relish hoagies, pizzas, and other sumptuous New York?style Italian food. Red umbrellas and baskets of flowers dot an outdoor patio, drawing diners into the fresh air for alfresco meals and drinks.
From the Press
Charleston City Paper: "Hearty, tasty southern Italian fare in a couple of nicely-dressed dining rooms."
USA Today: "The food is homemade and flavorful, and the staff is attentive."
The herringbone pattern of the bricks on the street just outside Eclectic Chef seems to point wandering feet right in the restaurant’s direction. In warmer months, the eatery’s patio welcomes guests beneath its large, red umbrellas, which offer shade as customers bite into crisp salads tossed with sliced strawberries or wild gathered greens. Guests can also feed on hot or cold sandwiches comprised of warm roast beef and slow-roasted barbecue pork, or paninis filled with barbecue chicken. In addition to the cozy café’s offerings, Eclectic Chef also offers personal-chef and gourmet to-go services, allowing busy diners to feed themselves and their families hearty, healthy meals.
Dessert refuses to be an afterthought at Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Cafe. More than 30 ice-cream flavors?repeatedly lauded by the Charleston City Paper and Moultrie News?pile atop cones or blend into milk shakes, and classic banana splits make mouths water with their pecans and cherries. The caf??s scoops of amaretto cherry or java chunk are generous, living up to the vision of Rod Lapin, who opened the first Ye Ole Fashioned in 1972 with the idea of making customers? jaws drop at the size of his portions.
Today, at more than half a dozen locations, including one helmed by his daughter Becki and her husband and Summerville locations owned by Todd Lapin, that hasn?t changed. Ten strips of bacon layer the caf??s signature BLTs; chili-laden, all-beef hot dogs weigh down their buns; and the plates are required to start lifting weights regularly before they?re allowed to carry double-decker sandwiches or burgers.
Friends for more than a decade, Michael Biondi, Steve McCauley, and Joey Siconolfi share a love of board games, the outdoors, and, perhaps most importantly, brewing beer. At their Charleston nanobrewery, Frothy Beard Brewing Co, the trio draws on local ingredients to craft an eclectic lineup of flagship, seasonal, and specialty pours. Along with mainstays, including a ginger-flavored pale ale, Frothy Beard's 1.5-barrel system yields everything from coconut-milk stouts to peppermint porters. Pints and flights flow freely in the brewery's taproom, where bartenders also fill take-home growlers or the cupped-together hands of especially thirsty patrons.
The faculty of local artists at Wine and Design in West Ashley and Mt. Pleasant helps students create works of art in a social, supportive setting with lessons designed for people with no artistic experience. After uncorking bottles of wine and kegs of paint, budding artists spend two hours imitating pros stroke for stroke as they transform canvases into paintings of colorful landscapes and vibrant still lifes. Guests of any experience level are welcome and Wine and Design provides all necessary materials, including paint, brushes, and corkscrews.
In addition to regular classes, Wine and Design offers private parties and Art Buzz summer camp for kids at both Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley. In an effort to paint it forward (Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley), they also donate funds to causes, such as Relay For Life and the MUSC Children's Hospital.
Beneath the shade of oak trees bearing Spanish moss, Irvin~House Vineyards' owners Jim and Ann Irvin concoct five award-winning wines from four varieties of muscadine grape grown and harvested on their 48-acre property. Each batch fills bottles adorned with labels crafted by local Charleston artists before visitors sample their muscadine-rich flavors during tastings and tours. In addition to weekly winery sessions, the Irvins enthrall community members and wine connoisseurs alike with varied events, such as bluegrass and grape-stomping festivals, held on land that shelters a renovated party barn, flower and vegetable garden, chicken coop, and outdoor picnic area. The Irvins' acreage also accommodates Firefly Distillery, which supplies tastings of its Firefly vodka and Sea Island rum to curious visitors and marooned pirates bemoaning their empty flasks.