Lowcountry Food Scene

WINES TO GIVE AS HOLIDAY GIFTS OR TAKE TO GATHERINGS

The holiday season is upon us, and whether you are gifting to your friends, family or office colleagues or enjoying other traditions that remind you it’s “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” I want to share some tips that may come in handy as you select the perfect bottle of bubbly or other beverage to toast the holiday.

Hosting the holidays can be stressful, but with a beautiful table setting, good cheer and a few life hacks, you’ve got this!

Professional party planners live by a list, and using one will make your holiday celebration go more smoothly. Plan ahead, and don't be afraid to delegate.

BY CARRIE HIRSCH | PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN

The motto of this family-owned business is “there are no strangers at Stack’s, only friends we haven’t met yet.” This welcoming philosophy continues as Randy and Debbie Harvey celebrate their 15th year this spring at Stack’s Pancakes and More. Their daughter Kimberli and her husband Michael joined the team five years ago. They continue to offer a warm and friendly atmosphere and menu items with high quality ingredients. The restaurant retains a Southern influence and generous portions.

BY CARRIE HIRSCH | PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN

Founded by European colonists in 1607, Santa Fe is the oldest state capital in the U.S. which gave it centuries to develop a cuisine of its own.

“Finding new and flavorful things to do with red and green chilies are a big part of what we do – going back to the days of the Mexican –American War to see the origins of Southwestern food – big steak, chicken and pork dishes with chile sauces, along with corn and flour tortillas. I took our chefs to Santa Fe to learn about the history of the food,” says Marshall Sampson who purchased Santa Fe Cafe twelve years ago with his business partner Sean Crosby, now in its twenty-fifth year of operation. He doesn’t consider Mexican restaurants competition and says “I’m not saying we’re better than Mexican food - we’re just different. We have our own niche.” No doubt the chefs also took in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the works of Georgia O’Keefe.

BARRY KAUFMAN | PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN

MEET SOME OF THE FOLKS BEHIND YOUR FAVORITE SUDS AT AREA BREWERIES.

Beer comes in a variety of styles: Thin and hazy, carrying the piney fragrance of hops. Opaque mahogany, topped by a thick creamy head. German lager. Czech-style Pilsner. Crystal-clear sour beer, dry as a bone and sparkling with notes of champagne.

BY CAROL WEIR | PHOTO BY LEXI LAPOINT

From the deck of the Salty Dog — the big catamaran, not the restaurant — it’s possible to watch families on the outdoor patio at the South Beach Marina restaurant enjoying their dinners and live music. Some partygoers on a recent Salty Dog Happy Hour cruise even waved goodbye to them as the boat slipped away from the dock and the voyage got underway on Calibogue Sound. Now in its third year, the adults-only cruises are a hit with visitors and locals ages 21 and older.

CARRIE HIRSCH | PHOTO BY ROB KAUFMAN

FARM AND BLUFFTON SELF HELP COOK UP DELICIOUS PARTNERSHIP

Less than two years after opening, FARM Bluffton has established itself as a hub for progressive, sophisticated yet straightforward food. The fresh herbs and much of the produce come directly from the restaurant’s nearby garden at Williamson Lowcountry Farms — there’s no 18-wheeler pulling up to deliver jet-lagged veggies from another hemisphere. “In season only” is FARM’s mantra; that means no strawberries in December, but there will be loquats in May.