Small plates with Ariel Turner

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Encore, encore

The former American Grocery restaurant space at 732 S. Main St. has a new tenant — Encore Gastrolounge. But they aren’t at all new to the neighborhood. The owners of On the Roxx, which is next door, snagged the space and have just opened their new small plates and dessert lounge that seems strategically positioned to grab the after-dinner crowd from neighboring restaurants Husk and Otto Izakaya, or overflow from the bar next door that often has a line out front. Owners Elizabeth Hunt and Heather Frechette recommend trying the Lollipop Lamb Chops off the savory menu and Ode to Ferrero from the Sinful Seven Dessert menu. Encore is open Tuesday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.

 

Perfect pair

Roost is hosting a paired beer dinner Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. with Quest Brewing, and there are still tickets up for grabs. You can be sure with chef Daniel Dobbs planning the menu that it’ll be savory and perfect for a winter night. Cost is $55 per person or $100 per couple. Call 864-312-9577 or email walter.brown1@hyatt.com.

 

More cheese, please

Better get there early for the second annual Birds Fly South Mac-N-Cheese Off on Feb. 24 from 2-6 p.m. Last year, the line wrapped around the block at Hampton Station, and with 35 different submissions this year (20 more than last year’s options), you can be sure the crowd will be that much bigger. Plan to drop $2-$5 as a donation per person, with all proceeds going to local nonprofits.

 

Yeah, THAT TR

The Travelers Rest restaurant scene is hopping. The next spot on the list, the American-style gastropub Hare & Field, is about a week from opening, says co-owner Chris Williamson. The owners of Farmhouse Tacos, Chris and his wife, Katie, will open up their new concept at 327 S. Main St., Travelers Rest, in the former Duke’s Doggs, which sits directly on the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail. Chris described the menu as “urban comfort food,” consisting of small plates, casual entrees, and “A Really Good Burger” — Benton’s bacon; house beef grind combining short rib, chuck, and sirloin; “awesomesauce”; and a handmade brioche bun.

 

Not your average hotel restaurant

Hotel restaurants have a bit of a mediocre reputation, but the restaurant inside The Inn at Patrick Square in Clemson (like Roost in the Hyatt) is bucking the trend. Called The Stumphouse Café, this three-service restaurant serves as many locally sourced ingredients and products as possible, such as Methodical Coffee, honey from Vdovichenko Bee Farm in Anderson, Sallie’s Greatest Jam from Cameron, pastries from Sweet Spot Bakery in Clemson, and Mt. Gilead granola from Charlotte, N.C., to name just a few. It’s definitely worth a little drive, even though it’s not football season.

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