Tag Archives: restaurants

Photographer Captures Mystery of Sea Glass in Art Museum Exhibit

375376377Humans have recycled materials since ancient times, turning waste into new products. But nature is also a master recycler, especially when it comes to glass objects that have been discarded into the oceans. The abrasive action of water and sand, manipulated by currents and tides, and the chemistry of the ocean environment can create unique textures on the surfaces of glass items that human technology would be hard-pressed to create. And exposure to sunlight often results in color changes in the glass itself, turning once-clear glass to subtle and unique hues. Collectors prize these nature-made works of “sea glass,” and delight in the quest to identify their origins.

Nationally known photographer Celia Pearson was commissioned to produce 150 images of the sea glass collection of Marylanders Richard and Nancy LaMotte – comprising some 30,000 pieces for their 2004 book Pure Sea Glass. Since then these small treasures, including collections from Italy and Spain, have been an enduring inspiration for Pearson. A selection of her intriguing photographs is featured in an exhibition titled Celia Pearson: Glass Transformed, A Photographer Explores Sea Glass, opening Oct. 1 at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum.

The exhibit runs through Dec. 29 with gallery hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. A reception will be held on Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. with the artist as special guest to give a talk followed by a book signing. Seating is limited, and reservations are required.

Produced with archival inkjet technology, Pearson’s photographs can be as large as thirty inches in size, offering the viewer a surprising and surreal view as tiny pieces of colored glass assume the appearance of massive sculptures.

Pearson observes, “I came to experience sea glass as a photographer rather than a collector. I have always been compelled by its physical beauty. Part of the beauty of sea glass is that it has its own light. Light makes these bits of sea glass come alive.”

Observing her own images, Pearson adds that they are often about order, balance and harmony. “I see this glass not only through the lens of my camera but also through the lens of my own particular passions. Regardless of how they came to be, you will see these images through the lens of your own particular passions, and thereby this glass will be, once again, transformed.”

The Art Museum is located at 3100 S. Ocean Blvd. Admission to the Museum is free at all times, but donations are welcomed. For further information, call 843-238-2510 or visit www.MyrtleBeachArtMuseum.org.


Enter your hottest recipe to win a St. Augustine trip.

The hot little datil pepper is a great inspiration for cooking contest aficionados to enter either an appetizer or dessert in Hot Shot Bakery’s SPICY HOLIDAY HEAT recipe contest. For 25 years, Sherry Stoppelbein has been feeding St. Augustine, Florida ~ with a restaurant, bakery and an award-winning hot sauce company.

One winning recipe will win a vacation at the historic St. Francis Inn (circa 1792), plus take home a yummy collection of Hot Shot Bakery’s datil sauces, jams, mustards and jellies. (Mango Dipping Sauce, Nolby’s Hot Mustard, Sloppy good BBQ Sauce, Datil pear Relish, Datil Citrus Jam and 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Degree Burn Hot Sauce.)

The Grand Prize Winner Receives:

2-night stay at the beautiful, historic St. Francis Inn (Sunday thru Thursday excluding holiday periods). All Inn amenities including breakfast and afternoon social hour with homemade refreshments.
Lunch at Hot Shot Bakery
Two Tickets Aboard Old Town Trolley
Two tickets to St. Augustine Lighthouse
An assorted case of Datil B Good Jams, Condiments and Hot Sauce
The prize-winning recipe will be incorporated into one of the restaurant’s menus!

Official Rules: Send Spicy Holiday Heat Recipe via email to Leigh Cort Publicity ~ leighcort@bellsouth.net by December 30, 2011

A brief story about the recipe, not to exceed 100 words
Name, address, telephone # and email (No previously published recipes will be considered).
All ingredients and preparation instructions.

All submitted recipes become the property of HOT SHOT BAKERY and will not be returned.

Judging: Entries will be judged by Sherry Stoppelbein.

Who can enter: Entrants must be 18 or over. There are no substitutions or transfer of prizes. Prizes are not redeemable for cash. By acceptance of prizes, winners consent to use of their names and/or photographs for publicity purposes without further compensation. Winner will be notified by January 15, 2012.

Wining & Dining in Church

Not really, but the Parson’s Table does take its name from its original use as Little River Methodist Church.

Ed Murray Jr. thrives on the stress of creating delicious plates of food for hungry diners six nights a week. The executive chef and owner of Parson’s Table in Little River, SC has been cooking for 35 years and still loves the kitchen. He maintains an optimistic outlook about the economy and the accompanying challenges.

He thinks of the Little River area as a “dining destination” with the fine dining presented by the Brentwood, Chianti South and his Parson’s Table. The trio attracts a loyal following of golfers and locals, and more visitors are discovering these great finds.

Murray’s philosophy is promoting “break the chain” by eating local.
Murray has always emphasized fresh local seafood and produce, even before the concept was such a trending phenomenon. His fish selections echo the catch brought in to the dock just minutes away. This week it’s sea bass which is prolific, as well as some trigger fish, all of which are line-caught with respect to protecting the sea turtles and any endangered species.

During his 18 years at this restaurant which he bought from his parents, changes have included more attention to dietary needs, more glazes rather than heavy sauces, half portions/small plates and an expanded appetizer selection. But there’s still a big batch of cornbread stirred up daily!

He calls the menu eclectic, as it ranges from curry dishes to traditional veal marsala or wiener schnitzel, along with the emphasis on regional and coastal dishes.

One of the long-time favorites, which will probably always remain on the menu, we hope, is the Little River Shrimp and Scallops. Steaks, lamb and prime rib are also special. Murray also has expanded the wine list and has a sommelier on staff and years of recognition by Wine Enthusiast magazine and Wine Spectator.

Murray has been named among 80 of the Best Chefs in America, a group distinguished by such notables as Wolfgang Puck, and the restaurant has received the Mobile Travel Guide award and the Diners’ Choice Award from Open Table.

From Chicago, by way of Boston, Albuquerque, Las Vegas and Daufuskie Island, Murray relishes his first and only job of cooking and enjoying the heat of summer in the kitchen. The other heat he loves is that of a marathon run which is one of his other passions.

Antique cypress doors, beautiful stained and beveled glass and the main chandelier were collected from a variety of sources by the original owner. The small rooms offer privacy for groups as well as additional displays of the furnishings.

Take a little tour here:

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Lowcountry in your Pocket

The South Carolina Lowcountry is in your phone.  Things to see and do throughout Beaufort County are covered in our app Hilton Head Essentials, published by Sutro Media this month. It’s available for download from the iTunes app store for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch devices.

More than 800 images with 130 items showcase the coastal area.

It includes a Google map for each entry; one-touch phone calling to each business; one-touch access to the individual website; immediate access to selected YouTube or user reviews; relevant hours and pricing information. Categories include where to stay, where to eat, shopping, attractions, selected upcoming events plus a bit of history and local culture throughout Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort and the neighboring rural areas and towns.

Authors Liz and Charlie Mitchell, long-time South Carolina coastal residents, created the app in partnership with Sutro Media. Their first app Myrtle Beach’s Best was launched in December with a new version published in January.

Updates of Hilton Head Essentials are planned for additional golf and event coverage. Local businesses are invited to follow the authors on Twitter or the Hilton Head Essentials Facebook page or contact the authors via their website.  Event schedules and updated information may be considered for inclusion in future versions. Businesses do not pay to be listed, and the authors base choices on personal experiences and availability of quality content.

The Mitchells also co-authored two travel books published by Channel Lake in the 2010 Tourist Town series. The books available from major booksellers and from Amazon are Hilton Head: A Guide to the South Carolina Lowcountry and Myrtle Beach: A Guide to South Carolina’s Grand Strand. Both books are sold at Sunset River Marketplace in Calabash where the authors appear for periodic special events.

The Hilton Head guidebook also is available in Beaufort at Cuthbert House Inn and at the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce and in Bluffton at Rose Hill Mansion.

Introducing Myrtle Beach’s Best

Our new travel app Myrtle Beach’s Best is now available for download via iTunes for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It’s $1.99 with free updates forever. As you might expect, it’s written in our two strong and opinionated voices. You wouldn’t want any less than honest reviews and opinions of locals when planning your trip, right?

It includes more than 130 insightful entries, richly visual slide shows with 1120 views and a Google map for each entry; one-touch phone calling to that business; one-touch access to the establishment website; relevant hours and pricing information and immediate access to some YouTube or user reviews. You can add your own comments too.

These categories are offered: Attractions, Beaches, Best Dinners, Day Trips, Easy Lunches, Entertainment, Festivals, Golf, Shopping and Top Hotels. 

An alphabetical listing of everything is shown, and it can be sorted by city, by distance from wherever you are, by price or by category:

The introduction to the golf listings offers a slide show of some beautiful Myrtle Beach National courses:

Sutro Media is a new kind of app publishing company, one that bridges the gap between traditional print media and new media outlets. It’s amassing the world’s largest collection of indie travel writing voices to create new products on the exciting and versatile mobile platform.

If you travel, you will find it easy and fun to explore the world using a mobile phone.  You may be standing on a street corner surfing for a reliable restaurant or lying on the couch planning a tour, and the app will lead you by the hand. No need for a phone book, a map or even the Internet to find where to shop, dine or play in Myrtle Beach when you have the app on your mobile device.

Sutro Media currently has more than 60 apps for sale on iTunes and another 175 in the pipeline.

Let us know what you think.

Spanish Wine, French Chef, Southern Hospitality


It’s no secret among area food lovers that Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro in Little River is the place to be. This is a lovely upscale restaurant, voted the Best French Restaurant on the Grand Strand last year and in the running in the current competition.

The restaurant is in a restored circa 1910 home visible from U. S. 17, just minutes north of Myrtle Beach, although sitting back from the highway and facing a side street. The mood for fine dining is enhanced by the architecture and the seating in several small rooms, as if it’s still a private home hosting a few guests for dinner.

Kimberlee and Chef Eric Masson

The French chef/owner Eric Masson has classical training, three degrees from a noted French culinary school and extensive experience which is reflected in the delicious and creative entrees. His wife Kimberlee is popular for hosting the Wine Club which meets monthly for themed tasting events. The couple is increasingly recognized for their culinary contributions to the Grand Strand scene.

Chef recently hosted a private dinner for celebrities Aaron McCargo Jr. (left) of Food Network TV’s “Big Daddy’s House” and Guy Fieri, (right) also of current Food Network fame.  Seven courses, a lot of wine, a few beers and about five hours later, the guests raved about the hidden gem of a restaurant.

Daily choices are a light menu at the upstairs wine bar, a four-course prix fixe or a diverse les viandes (meats) and les poissons and fruits de mer (seafood) menu. The chef grows his own herbs and chooses fresh seafood brought from local waters. The discriminating seafood lover will be happy in this one local place which does not serve a single fried seafood platter.

A recent wine club meeting showcased a five-course menu with tastings of 20 Spanish wines which members brought.  The Chef’s Amuse Bouche was Indigo Farm Organic Fig with Fresh Goat cheese and Applewood Smoked Bacon. The chef actually goes to the nearby farm and picks his own figs too. The next course was the Paella de la Casa with local shrimp, imported Chorizo, grilled chicken, sautéed peppers and steamed mussels in a Spanish saffron rice. You can’t eat this without saying Yummmmmm!

The next plate arrived, and most diners abandoned knife and fork for the finger-licking good lamp chops, Chuletillas de Cordero con Mermelada de Pimientos de Piquillo. That was followed by Tapas of Spanish cheese.

One of the chef’s specialties was presented for dessert: Cinnamon Scented Crème Brulee. I’ve sampled his various flavors of creme brulee on other occasions and loved every one of them.

The wine club dinner meetings are limited to an intimate gathering of 20 with reservations required, and the conversation flows as freely as the wines.

Masson’s previous successes as executive chef include Marché at 74 State Boutique Hotel, Albany, New York; owner of Saratoga Lake Inn & Bistro, Saratoga Springs, New York which was voted Best French Restaurant by the Metroland in the first year of business.  He also was the Iron Chef Competition Winner in 2004 for the local competition sponsored by the March of Dimes.  He was executive chef/operations manager/owner, Ferrandi’s Restaurant, Amsterdam, New York which was voted Best French Restaurant by Metroland three years in a row.  He was awarded the 40 under forty by the Capital Region Business Review in 2000.

His French experience was as executive chef, Chez Mary de Rosay,Megeve, France;  executive chef/partner, Restaurant Le Quincampe, Paris and executive chef, 5 Infanterie Regiment, Paris.

A little bit French and totally lowcountry in warm hospitality, this is a dining experience to repeat often. For information about the wine club, cooking classes or special events: TheBrentwoodRestaurant.

Drinking Wente with the Winemaker

Karl D. Wente, the winemaker himself, charmed two dozen diners at Greg Norman’s Australian Grille in North Myrtle Beach at a recent wine dinner.

We were sipping Riverbank Riesling, 2008, when Karl arrived at the table with a bottle of beer in hand. His second, which he explained with the traditional winemakers’ old saying:

It takes a lot of beer to make wine.

Winemakers are farmers spending long hot days in the field and a cold beer quenches the thirst.

Of course he never tires of the taste of wine. After as much as a 10-hour day of continuous blending and tasting:

I went home and popped the cork on a bottle of wine to relax on my porch with my guitar.

“Palate fatigue is not a real phenomenon at all. Of course we can taste all day, and it requires a lot of that to achieve the best blend and try to see into the future of how it will age.”

He’s passionate about winemaking, with genuine pride of family achievement as well as young adventure in creating new blends and experimenting with technique.

The country’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery is known for its 125-year history and for its portfolio of fine wines created from some 3,000 acres of sustainable farmed Estate vineyards. Karl is 32, the fifth generation to farm the family vineyards in California’s Livermore Valley and Arroyo Seco, Monterrey.

His first vintage at home was in 2002, although he had two earlier ones during his previous study and work. He is currently making wine with Annika Sorenstam, another fine mix of precision golf and fine wine such as the Greg Norman-designed course at Wente Vineyards.

I use the tools I have and make the best possible wine.

“No day is the same. There’s always a different season and a different vintage. We live with the cycles and stages of nature and take what the land gives. It’s the same land, but it gives a different product each year. We are more fortunate than in western Europe where sun and seasons affect the growing. We might not have the perfect rain pattern, but we can open a valve. When to irrigate is the single most important decision a farmer can make.”

What is his favorite thing to be doing? I guess I expected an answer related to the winemaking we were discussing.

Skiing in steep deep powder in Squaw Valley with Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” blasting through head phones.

Karl E.Wente (l) Peter Dombrowski

Peter Dombrowski, the restaurant’s director of operations, Chef Greg Sandford and Chef Jeff Edwards were showered with praise for the scenic deck seating along the waterway as well as for their creative menu and inventive pairings.

Chef Jeff Edwards (l) Chef Greg Sandford

The seven courses wowed the diners as much as did the wine and the intimate gathering offering conversation with the winemaker. Both chefs referred to the duck breast as their personal favorites. As the fifth course, it was prepared Hungarian smoked paprika dusted with a Tellicherry pepper potato mousse and cherry vanilla compote. This course was paired with the subtle sophisticated Murrieta’s Well Red Meritage, Livermore Valley, 2005.

One diner preferred the third courses of pan seared jumbo diver scallop, crabmeat, asparagus and lemongrass, ginger scented Hollandaise sauce. It was paired with a Louis Mel Sauvignon Blanc, 2008, with a crisp acidity and clean refreshing finish.

Another raved about the fourth course of Escalope of salmon served with puff pastry and creamed leeks Dijonaise. This was perfectly paired with Riva Ranch Chardonnay, 2008, a medium-bodied wine with rich golden color and subtle oak barrel aging.

Lovers of beef and big reds favored the sixth course of Greg Norman Premium sirloin Carbonara and fresh English peas which was paired with the Shorthorn Canyon Syrah, 2007.

A few guests closed the evening with casual travel plans to Wente Vineyards for another big helping of a fine restaurant, wine tasting, golf and entertainment.

Duck Fat Salute to Indian Summer

The best halibut I’ve ever eaten! You should have been here! It was a memorable evening with fine wine, perfect food pairings, a lively group of  guests discussing some swinging resorts and plenty of duck fat!

Greg Norman’s Australian Grille in North Myrtle Beach delivered a big WOW with the predominantly California wines from Majestic Fine Wines and Chef Jeff Edwards’ presentation of a six-course menu. Most of us could not eat all of that food or drink all of the six wine choices, but we gave it our best shot.

Chef Jeff Edwards

Leah Carlto

Leah Carlton, Majestic’s Carolina region sales manager, introduced each wine and discussed the Kendall -Jackson company and its heritage.  The company was begun in 1982. Its founder Jess Jackson, now age 80, his wife and family continue to run the daily operations of the winemaking. As one of the largest landowners in California, the company grows their fruit on some 14,000 acres of coastal vineyards.

The evening opened with Tuna Tartare spiked with mango, avocado and crispy wontons served with Kendall-Jackson Grand reserve Pinot Gris 2008. The rich bright wine is made with a touch of Chardonnay, Muscat, Viognier, White Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Roussanne in addition to the primary Pinot Gris and fermented in French oak barrels. Only two thousand cases were produced. Diners loved this course and the reasonably-priced wine served in the Shark Pub with its spectacular view of the Intracoastal Waterway.

The second course of Roasted Acorn Squash was thick, rich and a huge hit paired with Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2009. Among the group’s Chardonnay fans were our new friends Rob and Suzanne Cure, West Virginia residents who frequent these and other fine wine dinners during their regular visits to the Myrtle Beach area. They were immediately pleased with the subtle oak flavor of this wine.

Wondering about the duck fat? The third course of Poached Halibut took honors at the end of the evening as everyone’s favorite course. Cooked in the style of Gascony on a Butternut Squash Gallett and Pomegranate Essence, the dish was so outrageously good it demanded the chef’s explanation.  The Gascony region of southwest France is famous for its ducks and geese products such as pates, preserves and foie gras. The real secret to this favorite dish: it’s cooked in duck fat. Now you know.

Also, the Chardonnay lovers were thrilled with the creamy, viscous Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2008, tasting of its eight-month fermentation in French oak.

Next came the Bone-in Roasted Veal New York Sirloin with a Carrot Celeriac Hash. Meat lovers were happy with the big veal dish. Red wine aficionados were excited by the Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2006. Nothing can describe this Napa fruit flavor more than the velvety smooth mouth feel.

The fifth course was Seared Bison Strip Loin. A few guests commented that they were not big eaters of red meat, although they preferred the red wines with anything. We love bison on a regular basis, a bit pricey and not always in a regular grocery but low fat in comparison to other red meats. The meat lovers licked the plate clean on this big course. The wine was an intense concentrated Yangarra Estate Shiraz 2007, nicely complimenting the bison. This wine is produced from grapes of a single vineyard located in South Australia.

The grand finale was the Black Forest Tart, a fat chocolate cherry treat, served with Cambria Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008. All of the rich fruits and earthy flavor lead to a silky taste well suited to dessert.

Duck fat was not the only attraction, but we would go back for it any day!

Pancetta, Polenta and Panini in the Lowcountry

Panini’s has been our favorite Beaufort, SC restaurant for years. There’s no better view of the sunset over Waterfront Park and no comparable pizza for sure. Always trying to top their own success, they’re serving new specialties this weekend for the Beaufort Shrimp Festival. The People’s Choice winner for so many years  we all lost count, and we’ll see some serious competition again.

The historic bank is a lovely building, easy to find downtown on the corner of Bay Street and within walking distance from any of the bed and breakfasts and a couple of  hotels. Or walk up from the park to the back  for casual outdoor dining during almost any season .

The pizza and pasta have been my favorites, although the big salad and crusty focaccia have kept me happy for about a hundred lunches. Of course the panini needs no explanation — plenty of varieties on the menu. Hoagies are on the new fall menu, and I’ll be tasting the blackened flounder hoagie with caper remoulade sauce on my next lunch visit.

The new menu features even more local seafoods with Nick’s special touches. His heritage is Italian, and his thinking is Italian albeit with South Carolina lowcountry accents.

My small plate order of peel and eat local shrimp, lager steamed with old bay, was a big meal for me. Nothing small about it. Plan on plenty of napkins and cold beverage too! It’s spicy and just right. As an experienced critic of all things shrimp, I can promise the shrimp bisque on the starter menu is some of the best ever. The Italian taste is pepperoni. What a great combination! Any of the seafood tapas are tasty too, with more variety and unique presentation that you will find anywhere in town. Our friends who eat calamari everywhere they go will be right at home with the almond crusted dish and spicy aioli plus fra diavolo sauce.

For dinner, everyone loves the Mediterranean Shrimp and Grits. It’s simply made with pancetta polenta which is an improvement over many traditional recipes. One of my personal favorites is the new Flounder Francaise with lemon butter and almonds, plus pancetta polenta.  If you crave paella, this is the right place — the only place to fall in love!

Know about my favorite dessert? Well, two or three actually, and they’re here! Creme brule, tiramisu or chocolate panini, just for me. Yummmmmm

Guess we’ll be here a lot to sample more new dishes, but never too far from a mac and cheese (5 imported cheeses) or a Mediterranean pizza fresh from this brick oven. Hope we’ll see you too!

Dinner with Art in Olde Englewood

We made a return trip to Dearborn Street in Olde Englewood for dinner to fill our bellies at the tropical-themed Mango Bistro. Mango Bistro is owned by an energetic and friendly couple, Marie Laforge and Ricardo Roggero who hale from France and Brazil respectively. Their hospitality was marvelous, and we enjoyed wine and conversation with Ricardo while Marie personally crafted our delectable fare.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Black & Bleu Crepe which featured tender beef, bleu cheese, yummy horseradish sauce, crispy bacon & tomato (I had them hold the onion). I will absolutely order that again! It was such a rich, while not overpowering, and creamy deliciously unique flavor, unlike anything I have ever tasted! A fresh side salad with house dressing also accompanied my crepe. I was hesitant, I admit, not being the most adventurous eater, by far, and having only ever had dessert crepes, I didn’t know if I was going to like it. What a pleasant surprise! All too often I regret ordering out of my comfort zone, but was so delighted with my choice that I will certainly entertain the idea of being slightly more adventurous on future menus!

My friends agreed that the food was excellent and all enjoyed their choices as well. For dessert we treated ourselves to something small since we were all full from cleaning our plates, but we couldn’t resist when the waitress stopped by with a tray full of already prepared “Mini-Delights” in flavors including Tiramisu (which I jumped right on), chocolate mousse, Almond Joy, and others. The tasty little temptations are a brilliant idea! She comes over with the cute and harmless looking little glasses, hardly bigger than a shot glass, and they are so pretty with layers of chocolate yumminess–how can you say no? They are so small and cute!

We were entertained the entire time by the live music and dancing on the covered front porch. Ricardo was full of interesting stories including the birth of Mango Bistro from Marie’s dream and love of crepes and French cooking combined with his small computer business and how they persevered following a flooded shop, remodeling troubles and battles over business permits. His Ph.D. in biology from the University of Kansas seems hardly relevant to this unique business.

Marie’s lovely art exhibit is almost as enticing as the food. She designs on canvas, converts to digital and has them produced in China to create silk sarongs.

The food, the music, the making of new friends….This dinner was the perfect end to a day spent exploring the Olde Englewood shops and beautiful area beaches. We look forward to stopping in Englewood again and visiting with Marie and Ricardo over another bottle of wine.