The glass-lined facilities of Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts sit beneath the sprawling mountains of the same name, illustrating the blend of contemporary and traditional that come together inside the entertainment center. When entering the 1,500-seat building, visitors find themselves in a sunlit lobby with exposed brick walls, cozy armchairs, and plenty of windows that grant glimpses of the picturesque surroundings and eagles performing Shakespearean soliloquies outside. Further inside, the stage hosts countless family-friendly performances, from country-music concerts to dance troupes and musicals.
Voted Best of the Upstate 2010 for steak by Greenville News readers, Saskatoon transports rugged hungers to a Northwest-style lodge where a Groupon-exclusive specialty menu of five exquisitely prepared courses awaits them. The nutty acorn squash ravioli glints with brown butter and primes salivary glands with spiced pecans, ushering in a crunchy choir of vinaigrette-soaked heirloom tomatoes and arugula. Next, a parmesan-capped buffalo-sausage flatbread thunders out of the kitchen saddled by whooping braised fennel and the smoky flavor of wood-fired tomatoes. Choose from three entrees—grilled antelope loin in blackberry demi, crispy skin salmon with truffle-mushroom risotto, and hanger steak in chasseur sauce—each of which lend the main course a much safer interactive component than BYO-blowfish barbecues. For the rousing dessert finale, choose again between Canadian-whiskey bread pudding, Bailey's white-chocolate cheesecake, or creamy chocolate-mousse pie.
When Cory Wilk's 7-year-old son Cameron was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation helped Cory's family deal with the disease. To thank them, Cory did what he did best: host a meal at his restaurant, CityRange. He invited renowned chef Michel Nischan to cook a multicourse feast that raised funds for the organization. The event was one of many steps Cory's restaurant has taken toward health-consciousness, as was including healthy items on the menu catered to Coop's Health and Fitness's Ultra Fit eating plan.
The award-winning restaurant also woos taste buds with more decadent dishes, including cuts of Black Angus steak topped with fresh crabmeat, a bone-in chargrilled-pork chop, and tender medallions layered with blue crab cakes. Barkeeps craft cocktails, pour drafts of CityRange's award-winning brew into glasses, and grab bottles of wine sent from overseas via homing pigeons. Meals unfold around the dining room’s stone fireplaces and under the stars on the outdoor patio.
It can take an artist years to apply the right brushstrokes to a canvas, but at Corks and Canvas, it only takes one night. During each three-hour painting session, a professional artist walks classes through every step of duplicating a piece of acrylic art. Made up of participants aged 16 and older, the group classes convene at a public venue such as a restaurant. Students can buy food and drinks to snack on throughout the night or smear onto their canvas if they’re tired of painting. For scheduled sessions and private events for adults or kids, Corks and Canvas supplies canvases, paint, brushes, easels, and aprons.
Drawing inspiration from two timeless influences, Finch & Fifth embraces the spirit of a European bistro while incorporating elements of upscale southern cooking. In between sips of wine or one of the bar's specialty cocktails, diners can construct their own shareable charcuterie boards by adding anything from artisan cheeses and dry-cured olives to pickled cherry peppers and p?t? that is made in-house. The menu, termed "delectable and affordable" by Augusta Magazine, grows more eclectic from there, featuring dishes such as roasted mushrooms with wilted spinach and manchego cheese, as well as blackened catfish with corn, okra, and tomatoes served over stone-ground grits. Even with this dose of experimentation, Finch & Fifth exudes a refined atmosphere thanks to touches such as the espresso-hued wooden accents, the rolling library ladder affixed to the wall of wine- and spirit-filled cubby holes, and opera glasses guests may borrow to read the menu.
Kitchen 1454 harvests its ingredients from local farms, dairies, and merchants. The restaurant’s effort to support its neighbors produces an ever-changing menu, one that staff members scrawl on a blackboard along with a new long-division problem every day. With each visit, diners have the chance to peruse that blackboard for something new, from salads, sandwiches, and burgers to hearty entrees, such as meatloaf and fried chicken. Kitchen 1454 doesn’t hog all of its tricks-of-the-trade, though, offering interactive cooking classes with special culinary focal points, including French and Italian recipes.