Bar Review: Thoroughbred Club (Charleston, SC)

I always do my bourbon research before traveling – whether it’s asking friends for recommendations or turning to the internet. Thoroughbred Club in the Belmond Place Hotel was suggested as a top place to visit in Charleston by the Charleston City Paper.

After walking all over Charleston while we were there for Memorial Day Weekend and dodging rain drops with weary feet we stopped for a drink at the Thoroughbred Club.

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Its dark interior with horse racing memorabilia on the walls was just the ticket for me. The atmosphere was warm and inviting.

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Their bourbon list is not as deep as some but the atmosphere more than makes up for it. They have a nice selection of bourbons, whiskey, spirits, beer, and wine. Head bartender Mouzon Taylor has developed a reputation for pairing bourbons with food, and he mixes up some splendid bourbon cocktails.

I had an Old Fashioned. This trip was kind of like our Florida Keys trip a few years ago where every stop included Key Lime Pie. We tried a lot of Old Fashions in Charleston and the one I had at the Thoroughbred Club was very good.

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Lynn had a “Mouzon’s Mash.” It’s a silky blend of bourbon, fresh peaches, mint, lemon, and simple syrup created by Mouzon’s peach-farmer grandfather.

The staff was very friendly and helpful. You also get an amazing complimentary trio of a nut and snack mix. One cup had spicy, one regular, and one sweet. They have a very nice menu to compliment the bar selection. We did not try any food as we still had more ground to cover that afternoon. The reviews I have read are very positive and everything we saw looked good.

The bar was very full and lively, we look forward to returning to eat and try a few more of their cocktails.

By the way, I’ve found some of the best places for bourbon restaurant advice and other travel tips are Garden & Gun, Southern Living, and the New York Times travel section (they have some great 36 hour itineraries). Check them out before your next trip to bourbon country!

Bar Review: Husk (Charleston, SC)

No trip to Charleston is complete with out a meal at Husk. It’s a great restaurant and next door to it they have a cool bar. Both are in historic late 1800’s buildings. Husk is known for their food and bourbon and it’s tough to get a table. Husk has almost any bourbon you would ever want to try, and knowledgeable bartenders to help you make your choice.

Make sure to make reservations WAY in advance of your trip. Our daughter was in Charleston a couple months ago and as she and her husband pulled into town they tried to swing by Husk for a late lunch. The restaurant is so popular, rightfully so, that they were fully booked for lunch. When she mentioned this, Lynn immediately made reservations for our trip to Charleston over Memorial Day Weekend.

Husk describes their restaurant as:

“Centrally located in historic downtown Charleston, Husk, from James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s and the Neighborhood Dining Group, transforms the essence of Southern food. Led by Brock and Chef de Cuisine Travis Grimes, a Lowcountry native, the kitchen reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in Charleston.”

Our meal was delicious! I had the fried chicken and it lived up to the billing. The menu changes daily and I had a tough decision to make between chicken fried steak and the fried chicken. The waiter suggested the fried chicken and that was all I needed to know. Lynn had the shrimp and grits. Both were winners. We finished lunch with the delicious Chocolate Chess Pie. The dessert menu even has recommended bourbon pairing for the dessert.

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My Barrel Aged Manhattan at lunch
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The delicious dessert menu!

After lunch we strolled, did some shopping, toured the historic Joseph Manigault house built in 1803, and the Charleston Museum. The Charleston Museum is recognized as the first museum in America. It was founded in 1773.

When the museum closed at 5:00pm, we found our way back to the Husk Bar which opens at 4:00pm daily.

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It is very cozy with a long bar on the first floor and a nice room on the second floor for groups to sit and enjoy the food and beverage.

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I tried the Jefferson’s Chef’s Collaboration. It is one of the creative offerings from Jefferson’s and was developed with the collaboration between Chef Edward Lee and Trey Zoeller Master Distiller. It has a hint of vanilla, cherry, and a little apple. It was a great pick and went well with the appetizer we had – pimento cheese on toast. I don’t remember all the ingredients but I do remember if was really good and went well with the Jefferson’s which was blended to be enjoyed with spicy foods.

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Lynn had an old fashioned and they used an orange and cherry bitters which gave it a wonderful flavor.

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Yes, we enjoyed Charleston, Husk, and, despite dodging a lot of rain over the weekend, look forward to our next trip there!

Bar Review: FIG (Charleston, SC)

Lynn and I spent Memorial Day Weekend in Charleston, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia for a wedding in Augusta.  We started in Charleston on Friday night. We got in late and decided to head to FIG and see if we could get seats at the bar. Lucky for us, we put our name on the list and got seated in about 15 minutes.

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FIG is an acronym for “Food Is Good” and as a bourbon blogger I have to say the drink is good too! They have a nice bourbon and whiskey selection with a creative cocktail menu. Lynn had “I’ll be Bach” which is made from Rittenhouse Rye, Dry Curaçao, dueling bitters, and Prosecco.

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I had the “Brooklyn” which is made from 12-year-old Elijah Craig, Dolin Dry, Maraschino cherries, Ramazzoti. Both were very good and very different.

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After enjoying our cocktails we ate some really good food. I had the special pork entree for the evening. It was so tender and so tasty. It was served with Carolina Gold Rice. The rice was good as well. Lynn had 2 appetizers. One was the rock fish which was served raw on Carolina Gold Rice with some wasabi on it. The other the Razor Clams served in a summer tomato sauce. The food was amazing and we topped it off with the Toasted Coconut Panna Cotta with blueberry, lime, & granola.

We love to sit at the bar, we always meet nice people, talk whiskey and food, and learn from the bartenders and staffs. We had a great time and will go back next time we are in Charleston. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing my review of Fifth & Fitch in Augusta.