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January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to say thanks for a great 2013 and happy 2014 to everyone!

Here are a few pics from our New Year’s Eve Tasting Dinner.

We have to thank you – our loyal customers – for making these dinners a success.

And we have to thank our amazing staff…

From the kitchen led by Chris & Johnny…

To the front led by Jordan & Ryan!

And last but far from least…

Many kudos to our farmers & fishermen — who truly make this possible!

We are honored to be nearing our 7th year serving delicious, local food.

Thank you everyone!

Crab Maison

Oysters en Brochette

Duck Fricasee a la Marengo

Tile Fish a la Provencale

October 28, 2013

Share Our Strength Dinner!

Hello out there in cyberland!  Just wanted to give everyone a little bit more info about the Share Our Strength dinner that we will be participating in this Sunday thanks to the Indigo Road Restaurant Group!

The dinner, which will be on Sunday, November 3 from 5:30 to 9 p.m., will benefit No Kid Hungry, a network dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the United States.  Click here to buy tickets!

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Obviously, this is a super cause, and be rest assured that the Indigo Road Group has gone to every length  to insure that this is also a super dinner.  The venue will be at the breathtaking Le Creuset headquarters overlooking the Ashley River, and the format offers a unique angle as well.  The dining room will be divided into small sections that will each have a team of Charleston’s top chefs cooking for them.

We certainly love our teammates from Coda del Pesce, Wild Olive and Red Drum, and here’s our menu to entice you even more.  Hope to see you this Sunday!

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1st Course by the Glass Onion

Chicken Liver Mousse with Winter Salad

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2nd Course by Trattoria Lucca/Coda del Pesce

Jetty Caught Black Bass “Braciole”

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3rd Course by Wild Olive

Crespelle with Duck, Gorgonzola & Cherry Agro Dolce

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4th Course by Red Drum

Tiramisu Cannolis

October 23, 2013

Cook It Raw, Share Our Strength and More FUN!

WOW!  What a fun and busy fall this is turning out to be for the Glass Onion.  From cooking fried chicken for 400 at the Southern Foodways Symposium (see pic above!) to participating in the Cook It Raw Charleston event, we could not be more thrilled and honored.

http://www.cookitraw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/BBQ-Poster-Sold-OUt-edition.jpg

While the Cook It Raw event is sold out (as the above poster proclaims!), there are several other upcoming events we would love to see locals and visitors attending.  Firstly, Indigo Road Restaurant Group will be holding a dinner on Sunday, November 3, to benefit No Kid Hungry, a network dedicated to ending childhood hunger in the United States.  Click here for more info.

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A few weeks after this event, we will be participating the food festival down at  Palmetto Bluff, Music to Your Mouth.  We will be cooking it up that Saturday, November 23, during the day.  Click here for more info!

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After this, it will be time for Thanksgiving, which means time to order your sides and sweets from the Glass Onion.  Stay tuned for a blog devoted exclusively to this; in the meantime click here for the menu!  And then (insert deep breath here) it will be time for the first ever Garden & Gun Jubilee.  We are thrilled to be operating a pop-up diner at this unique event out at Charlestowne Landing.  Click here for more info but expect Glass Onion deliciousness alongside amazing artisanal goods from around the southeast, basically the ultimate holiday shopping experience.

Shortly after Jubilee (the next day, in fact, Monday, December 9) Chris will be cooking it up with fellow alumni from Slightly North of Broad (SNOB) in a tribute dinner to Chef Frank Lee, the patriarch of Charleston dining.  This event will be hosted by Charleston Wine and Food Festival and will be held at the Grocery, 4 Cannon Street.  Click here to buy tickets.  All proceeds will benefit the Festival’s scholarship programs.

This seems like just about enough info for now but please know that we will offer sides and sweets for Christmas/New Year’s Eve pickup…and we will be hosting our annual New Year’s Eve Tasting Dinner, which will be a tribute to the grand dining of old New Orleans!  Check back for more info.

And also, know that the restaurant will be open for regular hours during all of these events.  As usual, we will close for Thanksgiving day, Christmas Eve night, Christmas day, and New Year’s day.  Otherwise, it will be business as usual.  You can also check out our calendar by clicking here to see all of these events and our regular GO happenings!

Thank you for your continued support.  We could not do any of this without you our loyal customers and our fantastic staff.

April 8, 2013

Eat Local Challenge: Let the GO Help!

Hopefully, most of you who live in the Charleston area need no introduction to the awesome organization Lowcountry Local First (LLF).  This local business advocacy group started up about the same time as the GO (I remember going to their kickoff when we were in our planning phase and thinking, “This is exactly the type of community we want to join!”)

Now, 6 years later, they offer weekly member meetings, hold a  myriad of workshops, run a farm incubator program, and host cool community awareness events like this month’s Eat Local Challenge.  The challenge encourages Charlestonians to take the time to eat more locally, which could entail simply eating at more farm to table restaurants and/or sourcing entirely local ingredients for your home cooking.

Needless to say, taking the challenge to the full extent can certainly prove quite the challenge.  Reading about folks like local farmer Rita Bachmann’s search for an entirely South Carolina grown pantry made me realize the GO could definitely offer a bit of help.

Obviously, we would love to see you in the dining room enjoying some of the local deliciousness that Chris and the crew are always cooking up.

Like this Creamy SC Broccoli over our Housemade Handkerchief Pasta…

But we can also help you stock your own kitchen.  In our display fridge (up in the front right corner of the restaurant) we sell Celeste Albers’ eggs and raw milk, Anson Mills products, and our own salad dressings, pimento cheese and pickles.  In the freezer just to the right of the fridge we sell our own local, all natural sausage — Belle’s Country Links.  We hope that you already know and love Belle’s but if not then please consider this your proper intro.  Chris has been making this sausage for years here at the restaurant.  But over the past two years we have worked with Keegan-Filion Farm in Walterboro to bring you this whole hog, heritage pork sausage packaged for retail sale.  You can find it here in the restaurant sold in frozen, one pound packages (4 links  for $9.)

We put Belle’s to good use all hours of the day.  We serve it as an appetizer alongside our pimento cheese; we serve it as an entrée alongside our crispy duck leg; and we certainly love our favorite brunch staple – Belle’s Sausage Gravy.  While this is of course outstanding over buttermilk biscuits, we also recommend adding fresh, local shrimp to make a very original shrimp and grits!

In fact, you can come out and taste our SC Shrimp with Belle’s Sausage Gravy over Anson Mills Grits for yourself this weekend at the opening of the Marion Square Farmers Market.  We will be cooking it up in the LLF tent at 10:30.

And as our own little Eat Local perk we would love to hear your stories about cooking up Belle’s at home.  Please email us at ilovetheglassonion@yahoo.com or post to our facebook page.  (Photos are encouraged!)   On Monday, April 22 (Earth Day) we will draw a winner from all who have contacted us with their own Belle’s dish, and that lucky person will receive a GO gift basket (containing Belle’s (of course) and our sweet red pepper relish — Thunder Sauce!)

Look forward to hearing from y’all soon!  Remember…LOCAL FOOD TASTES BETTER!

 

March 29, 2013

POWER MOVE = thunder sauce + easter lamb

Happy Spring!  Hopefully, spring has sprung wherever you call home.  Here in Charleston, we are hankering for more sunshine and warm water to bring us strawberries, soft shell crabs and such.

In the meantime, we just wanted to remind any of y’all that might be planning an Easter lunch this Sunday that our sweet red pepper relish (aka Thunder Sauce) should definitely be your secret (or not-so-secret) ingredient. We swear by it in our deviled eggs (see recipe below).  But it also happens to be the perfect garnish for lamb. The tangy deliciousness of the Thunder contrasts beautifully with the richness of the lamb.

Trust me; I’m headed to Ted’s Butcher Block to pick up my two racks now!

P.S. You can buy Thunder Sauce here at the GO of course and on our website but also at Ted’s, Crosby’s Seafood (at Folly Beach) and Avondale Wine & Cheese.

Jennie Ruth’s Deviled Eggs

These deviled eggs are a tribute to my partner Chris Stewart’s grandmother, Jennie Ruth. She was an inspiration to his cooking with her classic Southern ways, and here you see that tradition shining through. We do add some GO flair to this recipe with Chris’s Thunder Sauce, a sweet red pepper relish, as our secret ingredient!

 

6 large eggs

2 ½ tablespoons Thunder Sauce

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add eggs; boil for 14 minutes. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Transfer eggs to this ice bath. Once cool, remove from water and peel. Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks. Add the yolks, Thunder Sauce, mayonnaise, yellow mustard, and hot sauce to the bowl of a blender or food processor; run until smooth. Alternatively, combine these ingredients in a medium bowl and work together using a fork until relatively smooth. Spoon into the whites.

YIELD: 12 Deviled Eggs

 

March 21, 2013

Happy Birthday to Us!

So, today marks the 5th anniversary of the GO, and we really must offer up our most sincere thanks to YOU. We owe our success to all of you who make local food a priority!

Tonight, we invite you to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine with your dinner (5-9) in appreciation of your support. You can expect to see some old favorites on the menu like fried chicken livers, pork belly, country captain and more!

And in closing I’d like to pull a quote from our own cookbook, Glass Onion Classics, which we feel states our mission succinctly.

“Somewhere in the midst of our busy, harried lives, the simple, everyday pleasure of a delicious meal has lost its way. At the Glass Onion, we beg to differ. We believe that a day is not complete without a meal that satisfies the soul.”

Please join us in continuing to fulfill this mission every day!

And for old time’s sake here’s the recipe for our Red Velvet Pound Cake…

Sarah’s Red Velvet Pound Cake

Mystery surrounds the Red Velvet Cake; the particulars of its origin and ingredients vary from cook to cook. But any bona fide Southerner better have one in their repertoire. Mine comes in the form of a pound cake, as I feel the density stands up beautifully to all that cream cheese frosting! And I certainly don’t go light on the food coloring, since red is the point, after all.

2 ½ cups sugar
8 large eggs
1 14-ounce can condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound unsalted butter, melted
2 ¼ cups cake flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup red food coloring
Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a Bundt pan with softened butter and then dust with cocoa powder.

Combine sugar, eggs, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a food processor; mix until combined. While running, pour butter into food processor bowl and continue running until thoroughly combined. Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder into egg mixture, whisking as you go. Add red food coloring; whisk to combine. Pour batter into pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Release from pan onto serving plate.

Allow to thoroughly cool.

Applying frosting to a cake is a battle against crumbs. It is easier done when the cake is cold since it will be less likely to crumble; thus, there will be several trips back and forth to the refrigerator during the icing process.

To frost: Refrigerate the cake until cold. Once cold, remove the cake and apply a thin layer of Cream Cheese Frosting using an icing spatula. Return cake to refrigerator until frosting hardens. Remove cake and apply remaining frosting using icing spatula. Refrigerate until frosting stiffens up a bit. Slice while cold, but cake is best served at room temperature.

YIELD: 16 to 20 servings

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
15 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice and mix on low speed until combined.

P.S. The icing can be made in advance and refrigerated but should be brought to room temperature before using.

March 12, 2013

PRE-St. Patrick’s Day at the GO!

If you don’t plan on being somewhere that they dye the river green on St. Patrick’s Day…

 VIA

Then we figure it’s really about eating the right food.  So, we invite you to join us this Saturday for our all natural, house corned beef!  Yes, we know that Saturday happens to be the day before St. Patrick’s Day, but we don’t want y’all to miss out on our legendary corned beef just because we are closed on Sunday.

Chris got the brisket in from Southeastern Family Farms (a co-op of small family owned farms in Alabama), and it is in the brine as I type.  On Friday, Chris will braise it in the brine and voila…outstanding corned beef!

We will be open for Saturday brunch from 10-3 and then for dinner from 4:30-10.  We will even supplement our beer list with a little Guinness!

Trust me, PRE-St. Patrick’s Day at the GO will rock your taste buds (or my name isn’t O’Kelley!)

February 21, 2013

GO Charleston Wine and Food Festival!

VIA

Long time; no blog!  We have admittedly been a bit remiss in our blogging lately but not without good reason.  Firstly, we must say thank you to all who participated in our Mardi Gras and Valentine’s festivities last week.  Y’all kept us super busy, and we loved every minute.  Hope you enjoyed yourselves as well!

Secondly, we are gearing up for the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, which starts next week.  (Above, see this year’s killer poster by local artist Robert Lange.)  We will be participating in several events and would love to see y’all there!

We are especially excited about the unveiling of food documentarian Joe York’s feature length film “Pride and Joy” on Wednesday evening at the American Theater.  York has been making short films for the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) since forever, and this compilation of that work should be pretty awesome.  If you are a food lover then this event and the SFA (a preservation group based out of Oxford, MS) should definitely be on your hit list.  We will serving pork belly lettuce wraps after the movie alongside some other delicious Charleston eateries.)  Click here to buy tickets!

VIA

We will also be in the Culinary Village on Friday from 2:30 to 3:30 serving up shrimp and grits with our own delicious, local, all natural sausage — Belle’s Country Links!  Click here to learn more about that demo! (And by the way, if you still have yet to experience Belle’s please see photo below to be convinced of their deliciousness.  Belle’s can be purchased here at the restaurant and in our web store.)

Belle's Country Links

And finally, we will be at the Festival After Hours Party on Saturday night from 8:30 to 11:30 in the bus shed.  We will once again be serving up our Belle’s Country Links there but this time over pickled cabbage.  Click here for tickets to that.

Hope to see y’all soon!

December 20, 2011

Remembering a Special Customer

As a restaurant owner who has spent time in the front and back of the house, I have to say that I enjoy meeting customers just as much as cooking food.  Actually, let me rephrase that to say I enjoy knowing customers just as much as cooking food.  When you go beyond a familiar “hello” with a regular customer and begin to know a bit about them, that’s what keeps each day from blending into the next.  And of course, there are certain customers who feel like old friends from the beginning.

Jack McCray was just such a friend and customer, and his recent passing left a definite hole in the Charleston community and in our little community at the Glass Onion.  Honestly, it is difficult for me to remember not knowing Jack.  I believe it was shortly after we opened the Glass Onion in the spring of 2008 that he came in to eat for the first time, and someone pointed him out with some loose description like “that jazz guy.”  At that point in GO history, I spent nearly every minute on the floor talking with customers — wanting to know them.  I must have struck up an easy conversation with Jack as I am completely enamored with the art of jazz music, and here I found a true jazz guru.

Seems like by his next visit, that I regarded Jack as a dear friend, sought his advice on jazz books, excitedly heard his then fledgling plans for the Charleston Jazz Orchestra (CJO), and of course made sure he enjoyed his fried catfish!

As anyone who has lost someone can attest, it is the little things that you end up missing the most.  With Jack, I miss his infectious smile and constant enthusiasm but also his one quirk with the Glass Onion.  He hated our pens at the register!

From day one, I attached fake flowers to our pens so that they would be less likely to walk out the door, and I have to admit that some men balk at using them.  Well, Jack went beyond balking, he voiced his dislike of the flower pens loudly (but with a smile, of course.)  This became such a running joke that one server brought in a giant foot long pen that we labeled “Jack” to clarify this would be Jack’s pen.  Other customers misunderstood and thought it so funny that we would name a pen; they never considered that we would have a customer so special that he might have his own pen!

But Jack was this special.  He was the kind of guy you wanted to denote a pen in his honor. He was the kind of guy who lit up entire restaurants, bars and concerts.  He was the kind of guy you wanted to truly know.

It was an honor knowing Jack McCray, seeing him out in the dining room, slipping him a piece a pound cake.  Folks like him make my job a pleasure.

***

Over the past few years I have had the joy of supporting the CJO and watching it grow just as the Glass Onion has also grown.  In honor of Jack McCray, I encourage you to give the gift of jazz this holiday season by purchasing tickets to all or one of their shows.   This helps build the sense of community that Jack envisioned, and that we at the Glass Onion also envision.

Visit www.jazzartistsofcharleston.org for more information.

POWER MOVE = local food + local music

October 5, 2010

Coast Brewery — A Charleston Tale

On a visit to Coast Brewery in North Charleston, South Carolina you will find husband and wife team Dave Merritt and Jaime Tenny busy at work. They might be brewing, bottling, meeting with their distributor or doing endless amounts of cleaning. They take their business of crafting premium beer seriously. That said they also do business on their terms. The Grateful Dead might be playing softly in the background, and they might stop to throw the ball to their friendly mutt “Teach” (named for the pirate Edward Teach aka Blackbeard.)

Dave and Jaime have been operating their own brewery since September 2007, and Lowcountry beer enthusiasts recognize them as the local leaders in their field. Of course, like so many good stories theirs came about seemingly by happenstance. Dave might say it all started in 1994 during their senior year at Wando High School when Jaime moved to Charleston from New Jersey.

“And I didn’t like him!” says Jaime, finishing Dave’s story for him.

She might say it started when they began dating during her sophomore year at College of Charleston. Regardless, by 1997 they had their first son, Kai, and Dave had made his fateful trip to a home brewing shop.

Jaime says he began home brewing simply because he wanted better tasting beer, but that casual interest quickly evolved. In 1998 Dave headed out to the American Brewers Guild in Davis, California. He completed the 5 months of coursework, but he had to forego the internship.

“By this point, we only had like $5,” says Jaime with a good natured laugh.

So, Dave returned to his family in Charleston and began working at Southend Brewery. There he worked with head brewer Frank Hughes, who soon became his mentor. During his 18 months at Southend, Dave learned and experimented — crafting beers far ahead of that time. But when the leading local brewery — Palmetto — sought Dave out to be their head brewer in 1999 he could not say no.

At Palmetto there was no experimentation, but the job brought a degree of stability to the young family. And in 2001 Jaime had their second son, Aiden. Dave remained at Palmetto for over 9 years and even kept his position during the first two years of opening Coast.

As Dave honed his craft Jaime was “busy raising kids”, but she did find the time to develop her own palate. She clearly remembers her beer epiphany — drinking an Avery Maharaja around 2000. She calls it her “gateway beer” and can still recount her flood of emotions.

“Holy cow! Oh my god! What are hops? I really like them.”

Her genuine love for good beer inspired her to challenge South Carolina’s law that prohibited the brewing or selling of a beer with an alcohol content over six percent. In 2005 Jaime founded Pop the Cap — a group made up of South Carolina brewers — who began lobbying the state government to change the law. When they achieved their goal in 2007 it really paved the road to the opening of Coast.

Jaime and Dave both laugh now thinking back to the antiquated law. Only three out of the 29 beers they have brewed thus far would have been legal according to that law. Another victory came in June 2010 when the government deemed it legal for breweries to conduct tastings and sell a limited amount of beer on their premises. So, on Thursdays, from 4 to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Jaime and Dave sample folks on their latest creations and their staples like HopArt IPA and 32/50 Kolsch.

After overcoming so many hurdles it’s understandable that Jaime and Dave seem so carefree these days. Their happiness radiates off of them with the ease that comes when you find your way. Sure, the brew days still stretch out over 14 hours, and they only have a bit of part time help. But they are operating by their rules. They use organic ingredients, run the brewery on biodiesel, and send their spent grain to a local farm. They sell 99 percent of their beer in Charleston and don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Investors have approached them about expanding their operations, but they like the size of their business. Dave brews every batch, and they bottle the beer together. They banter back and forth all day.

“It’s definitely what he’s meant to do,” says Jaime.

“It’s not that difficult,” says Dave.

“When your gifted,” she replies.

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This is Dave and Jaime in the photo at the top of the page.

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Pop the Cap has now been renamed the South Carolina Brewer’s Association.

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At the Glass Onion we always offer delicious HopArt on tap.

And in one week, on Tuesday, October 12, we will be co-hosting a Fall Tasting Dinner with Coast and the Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Details are below…

Sustainable Seafood Dinner with 
Coast Brewery

Tuesday, October 12

Local Stone Crab or Oyster Salad
32/50 Kolsch
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Fried Grouper Pilau
HopArt IPA
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New Orleans Style Barbecue Shrimp
Event Horizon
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Sweet Potato Tart
Brewmaster’s Choice

*$55 for 4 courses & beer pairing
*Talks by brewmaster & fishermen
*7 p.m. — one seating!
*Reservations necessary — 225-1717

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