Thanksgiving Prep

I’m not much help in the kitchen (besides my mad dish washing skills), but I always eagerly volunteer to set and design the table. In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I’d thought I’d share some pretty tablescapes to get you inspired as well as a few reminders on the ins and outs of holiday meals:

My favorite place setting of all time from Mrs. Lillien because it provides for three types of wine.

But, for those who may want to focus more on the meal and less on the wine pairings, this graphic prepares you for all scenarios:

Also, check out Cup of Jo’s wonderfully illustrated guide to table manners.

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Foodie Friday: Charleston, SC

Sorry for the belated post. We threw a super fun couple’s shower this past Saturday and I’ve been running on high speed since last Wednesday to get everything done. We’ll just play a little catch up this week. I wanted to devote an entire post to the amazing food we had on our Charleston trip. I’m dying to take the Hubs and parentals back with me because they would be in heaven. We tried a little of it all and I can honestly say we didn’t have a bad meal. Settle in because this will be a long post – we ate a lot! Here’s the breakdown:

(1) Magnolias – my friends Geoff and Katy actually recommended this one and after walking by it, I don’t think anyone had to be convinced. We just did lunch here, but the entire menu looked amazing. The atmosphere is beautiful with big magnolia branch centerpieces. The pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes come highly recommended as appetizers. We had the blue crab bisque and a couple of the salads, all of which were delicious. Geoff and Katy went for dinner and said the filet topped with pimento cheese was not to be missed.

(2) FIG – This is one of the hottest restaurants on the Eastern seaboard right now (they even catered Blake Lively’s wedding). The atmosphere is fancy, but inviting with warm yellow and orange walls. The wine and cocktail menus are extensive, and the actual menu is small, but on point, with everything coming from local farms. This was a great dinner for a girl’s night and would make a great date night as well. Their “NBD” prosecco cocktail starts your evening off right as does their cheese plate with fig mustard. Follow up with one of their awesome fish choices or stick to small plates like the delicious gnocchi.

(3) Social Wine Bar – The thing that initially attracted me to this super hip wine bar/restaurant was their $15 wine flight pairings. We had perfect timing and were in Charleston for their Restaurant Week, so I had the three course meal with an awesome wine pairing. My favorite course was the St. Andre Cheese with strawberry tarragon preserves for dessert. I want to come back here and try all of the awesome cheeses and charcuterie on their menu. (Images from Social’s website)

(4) Poogan’s Porch – This was perhaps my favorite meal. Even if the food had been awful I would have loved this place. It is in an old house that is beautifully decorated (and there is even a ghost story to go with it). They seated us upstairs in a big, but quaint room where we could all easily talk to each other. But, the food wasn’t awful, it was amazing. We tried a variety of the appetizers, but the gouda mac ‘n cheese was hands down the best. In true low-county spirit I had the buttermilk fried chicken for my main course and it was even better than I expected. (Second image from Poogan’s website).

(5) Husk – After dinner at Poogan’s Porch we went next door for drinks at Husk. Husk is also an adorable restaurant (and the number one restaurant in Charleston right now) in a huge house, and adjacent to it (in a slightly smaller house), they have a wonderful craft cocktail bar with mixologists that totally look the part. The awesome bartenders also let me sample Jack Rudy’s Small Batch Tonic (finally!) and its amazing – gin and tonic girls, (I’m looking at you, Kathryn) this is a must. Besides the perfectly-made cocktails I also had a delicious banana-flavored craft beer that I would highly recommend (if I could remember the name of it). Garden and Gun was way ahead of us.

(6 & 7) AW Shucks & Charleston Crab HouseWe also got lunch at two great casual seafood chains on Market Street. I took full advantage of our coastal location and got the peel ‘n eat shrimp at both. At Charleston Crab House, Michelle and I split perhaps the best oysters I’ve ever had – they were smothered in garlic butter and topped with Parmesan cheese. These are both great spots for some just down and dirty seafood.

(8) Vendue Inn Patio Bar and Bin 152Since the whole point of the weekend was to celebrate Michelle’s upcoming nuptials, we tracked down a few good watering holes as well. We went to the Vendue Inn’s rooftop patio bar twice because the view was amazing and the drinks were cold. This is where I discovered Palmetto beer, my local brew of choice for the weekend. My favorite bar, however, was Bin 152. If Bin 152 was in Fort Worth, I’m pretty sure I would never go any where else. They have a huge wine selection and amazing cheese plates to go with it. The decor was shabby chic with a huge gallery wall that made me swoon and the woman behind the bar was French. Maybe I should just open one of these in Fort Worth myself…

(9) Kings Pops and Bakehouse – Two other spots worth mentioning (before I starve to death this morning from talking about all this food) were Kings Pops that we came across at the farmer’s market in Marion Square and the Bakehouse where we stopped to rest our tired legs after shopping all day. Kings Pops is a popsicle stand with yummy flavors like blackberry ginger lemonade, chocolate sea salt and watermelon mojito. Bakehouse is a super cute coffee shop/bakery that makes great coffee drinks and thirst quenchers. I mention both of these because you will need a lot of these cool refreshments if you go to Charleston in the summer; even in September it was still hot and humid.

If you missed the previous Charleston post, check it out here.