Small Plates with Ariel Turner

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Oak & Honey is expected to open late January.

Swarm the hive

Announced about six months ago, Oak & Honey is expected to open later this month. Located on the corner of Spring and East Washington streets in the new dual branded Residence Inn/SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel, the restaurant and cocktail bar concept from Auro Hotels has a distinct nature theme from the décor to the menu. Keying off the name, local honey takes center stage both visually – displayed in the center of the prominent bar – and on the menu. Cocktail names such as Milk & Honey, Killa Beez, Pollination, and Let it Bee are clearly on-brand. Menu items will also feature the golden nectar. Take the cedar plank beef short rib with local honey-hoisin bbq, the charcuterie board with a crock of honey for drizzling, and house-made honey bourbon beef jerky, for instance. The team of Auro master of mixology Zachary Calfee and newly named executive chef Nicci Hughes, Roost’s sous chef, have created a menu that will be as appealing as the pristine dining environment.

The Carolina Spice

A family owned bakery in Anderson, The Sweetery, introduced its latest creation – a biscotti like snack that can be paired with a Bloody Mary or sweet white wine – this week at The National Association of Specialty Foods trade show in San Francisco. It’s called “The Carolina Spice,” and is part of the company’s Wine Sticks and Beer Buddies line. It was actually about five years ago that a couple of Clemson University interns suggested that they make some sort of a “cake crouton” to eat with wines, beers, and teas. After several iterations, the Sweetery finally created a biscotti type baked pastry that not only was good to eat alongside wine, but was also great to dip in your wine for a more enhanced flavor. This latest Wine Stick is designed to balance the acidity of a Bloody Mary. If taking the short trek to Anderson isn’t possible, you can order them at thesweetery.net/product-category/wine-sticks.

New year, new you

Whole Health Nation returns for its second year on Jan. 19, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., at Zen. The health summit’s mission is to expand the collective concept of health while supporting local connections in the community, and to educate and develop skills that empower people to live a vibrant, health-filled, and purposeful life. This year’s theme is Tending Your Fire: Experience Secrets of Health and Longevity with a focus on promoting internal health through diet. Visit wholehealthnation.com for more information and tickets.

Wine and dine

You’ve got two great wine dinner choices at the end of the month, but tickets will go fast for both. First, The Anchorage, 586 Perry Ave., presents its first wine dinner of the new year on Jan. 29. David McCarus of McCarus Beverage Company will showcases some of his favorite sparkling wines (mostly champagne, of course) with five paired courses for $105+ per person. Purchase tickets by calling 864-219-3082 or emailing info@theanchoragerestaurant.com. Secondly, Restaurant 17, 10 Road of Vines, Travelers Rest, will host Breakthrough Beverage’s Burgundy wine expert Craig Locascio on Jan. 31, 6:30-9 p.m. for a six-course paired dinner. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com.

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