drinkin’ on the job…droppin’ anchor

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We’ve been at the cocktailin’ again…at The Anchorage in Greenville’s trendy, up-n-coming West End. Check it out in the June issue of TALKGreenville!

An anchorage is something that provides a stronghold or connection…and this month’s cocktailin’ spot has done just that for the Village of West Greenville.  This uber-cool arts district has become a hot destination these days with over 60 galleries, shops, restaurants, and services, and it’s thanks to early “inhabitants” like The Anchorage that folks are flocking in.

“Cocktail by Committee”…

When Beth and Chef Greg McPhee began hiring for The Anchorage, they focused on assembling a collaborative team.  Relying on the collective experience of Mills and Chris behind the bar as well as practically all other employees, the whole “team” plays a part in what you see, taste, smell and experience.  When a new or unusual ingredient piques someone’s interest, Mills might come up with some creative ways to use it, but it often takes the team coming together to find the perfect balance.  They describe the process as “cocktail by committee”.  We think their “committee” rocks!

Photo by Nathan Gray

The Zombie…

The staff at the Anchorage maintains a huge sense of pride with the product they serve both in the kitchen and behind the bar. No detail is overlooked. The Zombie is a perfectionist’s dream.  The color alone is exquisite, but add some freshly picked mint & a silver straw and you have a work of art. Hand-crushed ice, a special blend of three rums, fresh fruit juices, a dash of bitters, and house-made cinnamon syrup come together to create the perfect concoction to scare the summer humidity away.  Served from their nitro draft system, there is (conveniently) no long wait to quench your thirst. PSA- there’s a reason it’s called a Zombie

Photo by Nathan Gray

The Strawberry Manilow…

One of us took a really long time to get the riff on Barry Manilow…we aren’t saying who but it wasn’t the blonde…just sayin!  But beyond its clever name, this one is worth ordering just to watch zee bartender hand-carve the ice for the glass. This is truly a bespoke cocktail, and we get excited just watching this kind of attention to detail! Rye, rum, house strawberry vinegar, rosemary and ginger beer are all part of this magic potion. And since vinegar has long been used to battle dehydration, we consider this the perfect answer to staying hydrated in the dog days of summer…so make sure you drink enough- just sayin

Simple-n-local…a winning combination

The food (and drink) philosophy at The Anchorage is focused on “eclectic simplicity.”  In creating the always up-to-date brunch, dinner, and cocktail menus, they focus on local/regional ingredients that can be super-simple yet interesting all at once. In fact, the brunch cocktail menu features “The Michenada” which highlights the local Birds Fly South brewery’s “Anchorage Saison”…neighbors helping neighbors.  We love it!

How it all began…

Just two short years ago, the McPhees were approached with an idea that started the ball rolling for this West Greenville gem.  The budding arts district needed a night-time destination and Beth and Greg had the experience and expertise to make it happen.  And did they ever!  They took the old Brandon Mill Infirmary and worked their magic.  Today, The Anchorage is a bustling hot-spot with both indoor and outdoor dining and a kick-ass cocktail menu that keeps folks coming back for more!

Open for dinner Tuesday – Saturday and brunch on Sunday, the Anchorage is anchored in and waiting to see you!

The Anchorage . 586 Perry Avenue . Greenville

(864)219-3082 . theanchoragerestaurant.com

Angi Einstein and Alex Ryan – www.therarebelle.com

drinkin’ on the job…and feelin’ crafty

Surprise, surprise! We’ve been out doin’ some cocktailin’ for TALKGreenville again. Read all about it!

Image from theNoseDive.com

The Main Street scene here in Greenville is hoppin’ these days.  The warmer weather is coaxing folks out and about, and the doors of some of our favorite establishments are thrown wide open – just begging passersby to come in and sit a spell.  Right at the heart of it all is Nose Dive with its “windows on the street” and a crafty little secret up above…the second floor bar, “Crafted”.

Image from theNoseDive.com

A little goes a long way

While some folks behind a bar prefer to be called mixologists and try to get all fancy and fussy with ingredients, others go for minimalism and like to call themselves good ol’ bartenders.  Walker and his team fit into the latter category.  They have mastered the art and craft of libations with fresh simplicity.  As often as possible, their creations consist of just three ingredients and a garnish.  The results are stunning.

Image by Nathan Gray

Sneaky Pete…

One of the best things about the bartenders at Nose Dive is their complete dedication to their roles – these fellas dive right in!  Sneaky Pete is one of their artistic creations that meets you head-on, then lingers a bit with its spicy kick on the back end.  Careful, this one really will sneak up on ya.  Just sayin’.

Image by Nathan Gray

El Delicioso…

El Delicioso is muy delicioso! We were quite impressed with how the red pepper garnish creates its own special impact on the overall flavor of this concoction. The fresh, crisp scent is the first to hit the senses…then the tastebuds kick in with the balanced flavors of tequila, Sadlers (liken it to angostura bitters) and just a hint of elderflower syrup.  This is where you realize these guys know what they’re doing – no one flavor is going to overpower another on their watch.

Image by Nathan Gray

Rusty Nail Revamp
Everybody loves a comeback; and classic, old-school cocktails are getting a chance in the spotlight these days…with a modern twist here and there.  This particular oldie-but-goody is the perfect finish for a wonderful evening.  With an expertly balanced combination of Drambuie, Fernet-Branca and bourbon – this one just might be a trifecta of simplicity.  Off to the races!

image from theNoseDive.com

Nose Dive doesn’t only show its crafty side in its cocktails.  The craft concept is front and center in the kitchen as well.  So don’t miss out…even if you choose to retreat to the “grown up” area upstairs, you can always order from the inventive menu downstairs.  No need to venture anywhere but here.  As they say at Crafted, “just sit back, relax, and sip into something more comfortable.”

Crafted at Nose Dive . 116 S Main Street . Greenville

(864)373-7300 . thenosedive.com

Angi Einstein and Alex Ryan – www.therarebelle.com

drinkin’ on the job…with a spritz of HOPE

We’ve been “drinkin’ on the job” again for TALKGreenville…this time with a spritz of hope for the Cancer Society of Greenville County’s Hope Ball

It’s spring at last!  While temps might not always cooperate, we are at least getting a glimpse of the sunny, happy, HOPE-ful days ahead.  One of our favorite parts of this time of year is the chance to emerge from our hibernation and dress up in our finest for one of the most elegant evenings in Greenville…the bi-annual Hope Ball, benefitting the Cancer Society of Greenville County.  And, just as we have done before, we had a hand in creating a signature cocktail…the Spritz of Hope…for this special event.

Labor of Hope

As with any elegant affair, the devil can be in the details.  Volunteers have been hard at work for months on sponsorships, décor, menus…and, our favorite…the bar!  The kind folks at Itz Spritz (with three delicious flavors) and Tito’s vodka have very generously stepped in to provide some “supplies” for the big event.  So, we thought it would be fun to use their wares to create a little somethin’ special. We belles just love to tinker around in the kitchen!

Hope in a flute…

Our first concoction starts with Itz Spritz Elderflower & Citrus and takes it to a new level. We eagerly infused a batch of Tito’s with fresh thyme and lemon and were quite smitten with the results. The thyme-infused vodka blends beautifully with the refreshing elderflower-citrus to create a lively spring-time cocktail with the perfect herb-floral balance. Itz Thyme to give this one a try!

Hope in a glass…
Our cup runneth over with this tasty, titillating cocktail. Once again, we got creative with our Tito’s and infused it with fresh cucumber. We doubled-up on the freshness by adding Itz Spritz Cucumber Lime Twist, then added a splash of ginger beer for a little extra pop of flavor. Crisp, cool and fizzy, this is the drink you want when you’re ready for a flavor frolic!

The winner…The Spritz of Hope

While we tend to be more about embellishing, we belles know when to let simplicity speak for itself.  Our final creation is the perfect example.  In this lil libation, we used Itz Spritz Golden Pear, then added a healthy pour of Tito’s, grapefruit juice, and a dash of grapefruit bitters.  We found the ideal recipe to keep one feeling fresh throughout the festivities!

You will have to attend to take a sip of this winner.  We HOPE to see you there!

And now…the details.  The Cancer Society of Greenville County (CSGC) is a local organization serving local cancer patients.  All funds raised stay right here, giving HOPE in the battle against this non-discriminating disease. The ball will be held on April 27th at the Poinsett Club.  Call the CSGC or visit their website for more information. Get those gowns and tuxedos ready!

The Cancer Society of Greenville County . 113 Mills Avenue . Greenville (864)232-8439 . cancersocietygc.org

extra, extra…here all about this event, belles

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Here’s a not-to-be-missed event, belles…at our fave antique emporium in Greenville…The Rock House Antiques. House of Landor out of Raleigh is bringing their vintage wares for a trunk show this weekend!! We encourage you to stop and shop for that special “find”!

Here are some examples of what you might find…

The Rock House Antiques . 415 Mauldin Road . Greenville

And while we are at it…here are some vintage shopping tips…

1.  For clothing, shop your size…and a size up…and a size down.

Sizes have changed over the years.  Those of us who might have worn a 4 in the 80’s now find ourselves a very slim size zero (while having lost not a single ounce!).  Don’t take the label at its word…use it as a suggestion.  Also, we have found that many ladies who pass on their clothing to these shops are very much like us…addicted to alterations.  Many…even most…of these items have been tailored to fit the original proud owner.  This often means that an 8 has become a 6 through the bust, or a 4 at the waist.  The only way to be sure is to…

2.  Be prepared to try on.

Wear something that’s easy-on, easy-off.  What you purchase is yours (no returns), so let’s make sure it’s do-able.

3.  Don’t ignore the shoes.

We have scored scarcely-worn Manolos, Louboutins, you name it, at vintage shops. Often the shoes find their way to these shops because they were a poor fit for the original owner…so she really didn’t wear them much at all! Don’t be afraid to give them a try.

4.  Don’t forget the fellas.

Hermes ties, Burberry wool scarves, belts, shoes, maybe even a classic old tuxedo…the options for the men can be just as numerous as those for women. Give the men’s section a quick run-through.

5.  Check out the stores in different cities and different neighborhoods

You will, of course, want to visit House of Landor in person, and go ahead and haunt the vintage clothiers in other cities you frequent. While stores on the Upper East Side might be filled with Chanel, those in Soho might be filled with Pucci, Gucci, or who knows what. Give them all a chance…the treasures are worth it!

a&a

Drinkin’ on the job…and perfectly in sync

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The latest installment of our TALK Greenville “drinkin’ on the job” adventures…

Photo from kitchensyncgreenville.com

Winter weary and ready for some “sunny & warm”, our cocktailin’ adventure this month took us to a cozy neighborhood place with farm-fresh fare and cocktails to lighten and brighten the spirits – Kitchen Sync on Laurens Road.  Warmly greeted by Kathryn behind the bar and introduced to Kevin (co-owner Kevin Feeny), we quickly settled in and let the doldrums disappear.

Cookin’ with a conscience

Photo from kitchensyncgreenville.com

Kevin and his sister, Karin Farrell, spent years pondering the possibilities of creating a conscience-driven neighborhood go-to that featured inventive, delicious scratch-made food. From the use of eco-friendly building materials and appliances to composting, planting gardens, and sourcing locally as much as possible…even partnering with an organization providing work to people trying to get on their feet after incarceration, they have certainly succeeded on the responsibility front. And as for that inventive, scratch-made fare…it speaks for itself!

Tequila Paloma

Tequilaaaaah! This delicious, not-too-sweet, brilliant alternative to the margarita features Jose Cuervo silver, fresh pink grapefruit and lime juices, and sparkling Pompelmo San Pellegríno – all beautifully poured into a very generous glass.  It makes for the perfect mood enhancer! PSA:  tequila is the only alcohol considered to be an upper and spirit-lifter…an old wives tale maybe, but these belles plan on believing it!  Let the Paloma perk you up!

Jo Montana


The San Francisco belle among us couldn’t resist tasting this handsome libation named after one of her first crushes. It certainly didn’t disappoint. Just like her favorite quarterback of all time, the Jo Montana is strong, potent, delicious and not hard to look at! Comprised of local Dark Corner Jocassee Gin, St. Germaine, fresh lemon and lime juices, and fresh mint from the restaurant’s own garden, it’s the perfect sip of approaching spring!

Photo from kitchensyncgreenville.com

Although we had experienced Kitchen Sync for lunch and dinner on other occasions, this particular visit had us focused on the very happy “happy hour”.  With special nibbles and libations offered each early evening, one could easily fall in the habit of just hangin’ out at the bar ad infinitum.  But we do encourage you to venture out into the other nooks and crannies of this delightful establishment.  You’ll find tables filled with families (yes…there is a kids menu), couples, chatty chicks out for ladies night…it runs the gamut.  Grab a table and peruse the menu.  We promise you will find something to ring your bell!

Kitchen Sync . 1609 Laurens Road . Greenville . (864)568-8115 . Kitchensyncgreenville.com

what’s ringin’ our belle…round 135

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A wonderful winter cocktail…

Via Minimalist Baker

Finally a way to clean those silicone mats

Via Food52

How to stretch those boots…from Whowhatwear

And…of course…this boot totally rings our belle! Gucci … at Nordstrom.

Love this article about having hard conversations…sans Conflict

Via Goop

This tray would be perfect for a cheese board…

Via Pottery Barn

ring-a-ling!!

a&a

we always knew we were unicorns!

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Since our very first viewing of the Hot vs Crazy Matrix, we have been convinced that we are both unicorns…we just can’t quite seem to convince the men in our lives (seems we might be a touch above a 7 on the crazy scale in their opinion). Crazy, right?!

This shower cap is the perfect way to strut our stuff!

At last we get to prove our unicorn status!! Available at Amazon.

PS: for some giggles…check out the Cute vs Rich Matrix – a fool-proof guide to finding the right man

a&a

drinkin’ on the job…in the Hall of Fame

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Our latest TALKGreenville cocktailin’ adventure…

(photo from halloffamesportsgrill.com)

We fancy ourselves to be quite sporty…you just might not know it to look at us.  We tend to favor heels over flats, “dressed up” over “dressed down”, and when accessorizing, we go with “more is more”!  We look like girlie-girls, but we can get into a football game with the best of any manly-man! That’s why we dig a good sports bar.  When any worth-the-bourbon game is on, a good venue with TV’s in every nook and cranny really rings our belle!  And it’s a bonus when the drinks are flowing and delicious…and when the staff is like your best friend but you might have just met! Hall of Fame Sorts Grill…”a sports bar like no other”on Wade Hampton is just that place!!

(photo by Nathan Gray)

What color do you bleed?…

Gamecock or Tiger, Hall of Fame has just the drink for you…in the form of a grown-up slushy!  Always at the ready, swirling with icy deliciousness in machines at the bar, these are a must-try for any die-hard fan.  The garnet Gamecock is a bit like a raspberry margarita (but with vodka) and the Tiger is a blend of mango and orange.  And for the family divided, they will gladly give you a half-n-half.  How convenient!

(photo by Nathan Gray)

Deep Eddy in a Can

Believe it or not, we prefer simple over complicated…let the ingredients speak for themselves…and here they are singing in perfect harmony! Deep Eddy lemon vodka, club soda, triple sec, fresh mint and a splash of fresh lemon juice are served in a can of whimsy that is sure to keep this classic cocktail cool as the betting gets hot!  We cheer for team Deep Eddy!

The Man Mosa
No better way to watch the Super Bowl than in a classy sports bar that pumps up the standard mimosa to a new level. You will, of course, find the usual champagne and oj in this one…but they add lemon vodka, gran marnier, and raspberry liquer for good measure (just in case you feel the need for more alcohol with your alcohol).  This boozy beverage will have any fan cheering at full throttle.  We are betting that this one will be a winner every time!

(photo by Nathan Gray)

Sunday Bloody Sunday…

Sunday brunch without a bloody is a bloody shame!  Well…Hall of Fame has some bloody good options to solve that problem.  Choose from the revved-up “Spicy Southern 500”, the “Zesty Lemon Julious Pepper” version, or the “Mexican Futbol Ashtray” (while the name…ashtray…might cause pause, just jump right in.  Trust us!)  Sunday just got a lot more interesting!

With the Super Bowl looming, you might be trying to come up with a viewing game-plan.  While you could always fire up your own grill, set up your own bar…and then do dishes all day on Monday, who wants all that hassle? Hall of Fame has the food, the drinks, the game, and the dishwashers! And speaking of the food…we are true fans of really good pub grub, and odds are y’all will agree that Hall of Fame hits it out of the ball park. From their wings, to their chicken fingers, to their tenderloin bites, there is something for everyone. And – weather permitting – you might get to enjoy their cozy outdoor patio for a bit of fresh air as well.  All sports, all the time…Hall of Fame is the place to relax, watch, and enjoy.

Hall of Fame Sports Grill . 531 Wade Hampton Boulevard . Greenville

(864)609-4181 . halloffamesportsgrill.com

Angi Einstein and Alex Ryan – www.therarebelle.com

drinkin’ on the job…time to Thai one on

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The latest installment of our TALK Greenville cocktailin’ adventures…

Photo from Basil – Greenville

Now that we are through the holidays, we are reflecting on our eatin’ (and drinkin’) habits.  While we might have thrown caution to the wind for the last few weeks with lots of celebrating with friends and family, we have decided that a bit of discernment might be in order.  Fresh, healthy food is on the agenda…as are drinks with a little somethin’ extra…some redeeming qualities if you will.  We found just the ticket, folks…at Basil in downtown Greenville.

Options galore on the menu…

Vegan?  Vegetarian?  Pescatarian?  Full-on carnivore?  Basil is happy to accommodate!  All of their dishes can be tailored to suit your needs and tastes.  Even the “heat” can be adjusted.  While it was confirmed to us that “Thai spicy” here in the states doesn’t really hold a candle to the heat you might get in Bangkok, they can tone it down for even the wimpiest of wimps when it comes to spice tolerance.  Have it your way!

The Basil Lime Martini

Sleek, sophisticated, simple and sexy defines this beauty of a martini. If you are a martini connoisseur, then you’ve just discovered your holy grail…and it will rest deliciously in the winner’s circle every time. A mix of fresh basil, vodka and hand-pressed lime juice, this concoction is shaken at least twenty times to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and, of course, just the right amount of chill. #shook

Mix your metals…The Gold Rush and The Angry Mule

We belles are not afraid to mix our metals…in fashion or in our fortified drinks.  The Gold Rush (of course, one San Francisco native belle loves this one) is a wickedly delightful combination of Bulleit Rye, Domaine de Canton (a ginger liqueur), and fresh lemon juice that will warm you all the way to your tootsies. And not to be outdone, The Angry Mule in its copper mug is the perfect order for those of us who might not be winter weather lovers. Let your winter grumbling dissolve as you sip and savor the saucy and spirited nature of this power-packed cocktail.  Careful though…this donkey with an attitude just might kick your ass!

Image by Nathan Gray

Photo by Nathan Gray

Pineapple…for that much-needed dose of Vitamin C…

Pineapple-infused Bacardi Limon Rum, fresh mint and lemongrass syrup become one of the best mojitos that we belles have ever tasted.  This house specialty has been a Mojito Challenge winner several times over.  And what a perfect way to start off the new year!  The pineapple is a great antioxidant and reduces inflammation, the generous pour of vodka will kill any lingering germs, and of course…the mint will keep you feelin’ fresh.  This drink falls in perfect line with all your healthy resolutions!

While brothers Henry and Chai Eang have hit it big in several cities with their “refined Thai cuisine” (with locations in Charlotte, Charleston, Columbia, Mt. Pleasant, and Ballantyne), each place has its own identity.  You can’t miss the hundreds of elephants adorning the Greenville locale.   And the “floating” lotus garden above the bar sets the tone for a truly impressive Thai experience.  They are open for lunch Monday through Friday and for dinner every evening…and the happy hour specials are not to be missed!  But they don’t take reservations, so just head on in…and tell ‘em the belles sent ya!

Basil .  9 North Laurens Street . (864)609-4120 . eatatbasil.com

Angi Einstein and Alex Ryan – www.therarebelle.com

what’s ringin’ our belle…round 135

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New year, new cleaning hacks

Via Refinery 29

Great cookbook tips…

Via Cupcakes and Cashmere

We love rice crispie treats….with this recipe we are obsessed…

Via Food 52

Maybe this will help us be on time

Via Williams Sonoma

Drooling over these

Via Nordstrom

a&a