Lowcountry Food Scene

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.

BY CARRIE HIRSCH

Unlike hurricane preparedness, when filling the bathtub with water is highly recommended, wine preparedness does not require filling the bathtub with wine, although riding out a storm with a fine Bordeaux could be quite enjoyable. Unless Bacchus, the God of wine, is secretly sitting on your shoulder while dining there’s a chance you’re on your own when it comes to selecting from the wine list or bringing just the right bottle of bubbly to a party. No pressure, of course, but all eyes are on you!

Here are a few helpful steps you can take for wine preparedness: join a wine club, attend wine tastings at restaurants and other venues, then go to your local wine shop and ask questions - consider it a wine library where you can hit the bottle (and the books) and sample new and exciting wines.

COWBOY BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE SPECIALIZES IN MEATS

SPECIAL TO FORK & FUN FROM HILTON HEAD MONTHLY

Offering grilled skewers of 16 types of meat all carved tableside and an extensive salad bar, Hilton Head Island’s Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse is an upscale all-you-can-eat experience in a contemporary setting. It’s located in the home of the former Robert Ivine’s Eat! in the Village at Wexford.

BY CARRIE HIRSCH

TRANSFORMING THE COCKTAIL AND MORE

Flowers are the colorful paint that decorates nature’s canvas. But their beauty goes beyond their bright petals — essences of honeysuckle, lavender and elderflower have been making their way into cocktails, foods and beauty products. Flower-infused cocktails are popular on the bar scene, and creative mixologists are mixing up cocktails with floral essences and infusions and garnishing them with delicate edible flowers for dramatic presentation.