In this issue: Charleston, Newport, Boston, and Venice…
Charleston is an unlikely place for a gastropub-style meal, but stranger things have happened in this pecan pie-lovin’ town. Executive Chef Jeremiah Bacon now hosts beer dinners at Carolina’s restaurant the last Wednesday of each month. On February 28, expect hearty fare like caramel corn-dusted scallops with savory scallop funnel cake and ginger-parsnip purée paired with Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale. The cost: $65 for a five-course, prix-fixe menu (Maalox not included).
Drink: Get ready to raise those pinkies
Come March 25, it’s tea time at New York’s fine Chanterelle. The Tribeca French restaurant is hosting High Tea and Treats ($55 per person) as part of its ongoing salon series. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted with tea-infused cocktails. Then it’s on to a sampling of specialty teas and treats by pastry chef Kate Zuckerman, accompanied by a lecture on the finer points of tea service by restaurant general manager George Stinson. Milk and sugar, anyone?
Play: Monkey business
Bostonians are going bananas for Franklin Park Zoo’s newly renovated gorilla exhibit, which opens to the public on February 17. Visitors will now be able to stand face to face with the gorillas, including Little Joe and Okpara — adolescent males who haven’t been on view for more than three years. The gorillas share their Tropical Forest habitat with many exotic animals, including mandrills, capybaras, Baird’s tapirs, and pygmy hippos.
Stay: Splendor on the lagoon
It’s a Venice twofer. Visitors can experience a performance at one of the world’s most famous opera houses and stay at one of La Serenissima’s finest hotels. Starting with the March 16 premiere of Rachmaninov’s Francesca di Rimini and Aleko, the Hotel Cipriani is offering the Great La Fenice Opera Theatre Package. The €1,450 package includes three nights in a junior suite, prime box seats at La Fenice, and a pre- or post-performance three-course dinner.
Made-to-Order: Crazy for cacao
Giddy for chocolate? If so, check out the “Chocolate, Chocolate, and More Chocolate” getaway at the regal Chanler, in swingin’ Newport. Chocolate mint-chip dessert drinks, chocolate-scented bath salts, chocolate-scented bubble bath, chocolate swirl soap — it’s all here, along with a private balcony and a personal butler. What’s for dinner? Roasted squab breast and foie gras panna cotta with chocolate and cherry accents. Yum. The sweetest part is the package price — $650 per night. Not bad for white-glove Newport.
—Charlotte Kaiser Weinberg