Your Guide To a Progressive Dinner at FestivFALL's Taste-of-ALL

By Candace Nelson - 4:36 PM


Like many events in 2020, FestivALL has been reimagined. The typical 15-day event in June turns Charleston into a work of art with festivities, art, theater, dance and more. FestivFALL is an extension of that event, which takes place each October. And my favorite part of the festival is Taste-of-ALL.

More than 20 local and regional restaurants participate, sharing their best bites with the community. This year, rather than a large one-day event where all the restaurants gather in one place, patrons are invited to dine in or order out at the respective restaurants, who will each be serving a fall special for the event. This way, you can support your favorite local eateries safely.

The Progressive Dinner

A progressive dinner is a dinner party with successive courses at different spots. So, an appetizer one place. And entree at another. Dessert at yet another. This makes it so fun because you can have the best of all your favorite restaurants - one dish at a time.

This year, there are 26 restaurants participating, so I thought I would share two options you could try if you want a 13-course dinner. This is just an example of many, many different combinations you could try - and a very ambitious one at that. I'm using examples of courses from here. 

1. Hors d'oeuvres.
Since this course is typically served during a cocktail hour or as guests are arriving, hors d’oeuvres are usually finger-foods that can be held in the hand.

ICHIBAN | 230 Capitol St. 
Pumpkin Roll (Maki) Cream Cheese, avocado and kanpyo (sweet cooked gourd), topped with seared salmon, pumpkin miso, and black tobiko

SAM'S UPTOWN CAFE| 28 Capitol St. 
Crispy Pork Tacos with corn dip and pineapple habanero slaw

2. Amuse-bouche.
This can be translated from French to mean “amuse the mouth” or more generally, to please guests’ palates with a small flavorful taste. Frequently, this might serve to stimulate the appetite or simply hint at flavors to come in the next meal course(s). In restaurants, this is normally a complementary item specifically chosen by the chef.

RED CARPET LOUNGE | 308 Elizabeth St. 
Fried Green Tomato BLT with pimento cheese spread and jalapeno rubbed bacon

SUPER WEENIE | 805 Quarrier St. 
Two "adventurous" dogs & Free drink Choose from the Tex-Mess, Chicago style, B.S.T., Old World, Hillbilly Fusion, Tahini Weenie, PBJ... WTF, or The Question Mark.

3. Drinks.
This doesn't necessarily need to be its own course, but it can be enjoy during the duration of the meal.

CAFE CREMA | 2317 Fairlawn Ave, | Dunbar 
Pennywise Frappe cotton candy cream frappe with chocolate "blood" drizzle, orange whipped cream & a cherry "balloon" on top Pumpkin Pie Sauce made-in-house Pumpkin Pie sauce for lattes

MEA CUPPA | 715 Bigley Ave. & 800 Smith St. 
WV Salt+Maple Latte JQ Dickinson Salt 

4. Soup.
As with all of your courses, a classic idea is to relate your soup course to the season. It's always smart to avoid soups that are too hearty so guests don’t fill up for the rest of the meal.

STARLING'S COFFEE & PROVISIONS |  1599 Washington St. E 
Soups: Organic/Vegan Cuban Black Bean, Vegan Fire-roasted Tomato, Organic Split Pea & Ham Sandwiches *House-made spreads & breadsBenedictine with arugula on buckwheat sourdough, Japanese Egg Salad with dill, lettuce, wasabi mayo on milk bread, Grilled Munster with pesto on an english muffin

BOOKS & BREWS| 222 W. Washington St. 
Homemade Spicy Veggie & Rice Soup with or without cheese and sausage, served with a side of jalapeno cornbread Rotisserie Chicken & Waffles with house made gravy, shredded Parmigiano - Reggiano cheese, bacon, strawberries, and maple syrup Mint Chocolate Brownie topped with Andes Mints, served with a side of vanilla ice cream  

5. Appetizer.
In many parts of Europe, this course is referred to as the "entree" because it introduces the main courses in the meal. It is usually served on serving trays or small appetizer plates and features small cuts of meat, seasonal vegetables, starches, and sauces.

Fusion Bowls choice of steak, chicken, pork, served on veggies and rice Gyoza choice of meat or veggie Bubble Tea 12+ flavors

GONZOBURGER| 207 W. Washington St. 
Savory Pretzel duo one loaded and one salted Bavarian pretzel with craft beer cheese and Dijon Candied Bacon & Bourbon Cheddar Sliders three sliders with candied applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and a sweet tangy bourbon BBQ glaze Sweet Pretzel Duo two Bavarian pretzels dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with warm apple butter dipping sauce

6. Salad.
This course is usually an assortment of raw vegetables with a flavorful dressing. In some parts of Europe, salad is served after the main course, but it is also common to serve salad before.

COCO'S KITCHEN + CAFE| 233 Hale St. 
Zucchini & Sweet Corn Cakes served with rice with sautéed spinach, black bean salad and roasted garlic sauce

MELANGE CAFE | 700 Virginia St. 
Spicy Tofu or Turkey Yammys a combination of sweet & spicy that can be served as a taco combo or on rice as a burrito bowl. Topped with homemade yum yum sauce, cilantro, & sriracha

7. Fish.
This dish is a flavorful light protein before the main courses.

TRICKY FISH | 1611 Washington St. E 
WV Surf & Turf cornmeal crusted catfish, BBQ brisket, grilled milk toast, & stewed kale

THE BLOCK | 201 Capitol St. 
Skillet Blue Crab Dip served with fried pita triangles 12oz Angus Top Sirloin served over sautéed onions and green peppers, with chimichurri sauce and roasted red potatoes basted in butter, garlic and rosemary Grilled Swordfish Steak served with lemon basil risotto and beurre blanc sauce, and roasted parmesan brussel sprouts Pearl Sugar Waffle with vanilla ice cream and bourbon caramel sauce

8. First Main Course.
The first main dish is often a white meat, such as chicken, duck, or turkey.

BARKADAS | 100 Cantley Dr. | Charleston 
Family Dinner 4 or 6 servings of either Chicken Adobo Bowl, Beef Bistek Bowl, or Ahi Tuna Bowl. Each dinner comes with their famous house made wonton chips and sambal ranch!

Slow smoked chili mirin BBQ Ribs half or full rack of ribs, garnished with pickled Fresno chilis and green onions. Served with braised kale and their fan favorite, chipotle sweet potato salad

9. Palate Cleanser.
This is like a reset for your taste buds. Its purpose is to remove residual tastes from the mouth before the next course.

ZEGANZ SMOOTHIE SHOP| 1588 Washington St. E 
Smoothies 11 smoothie options with over a dozen add-ons

CAFFE ROMEO | 1026 Bridge Rd. 
Pumpkin Spice Gelato 

10. Second Main Course.
Typically, the second main course is a red meat, such as premium beef, lamb, or venison.

DEM 2 BROTHERS & A GRILL| 423 Virginia St. W 
Brisket sandwich choice of 2 sides

MI COCINA DE AMOR| 711 Bigley Ave. 
Tacos Dorandos con pollo 3 fried chicken tacos topped with shredded lettuce, strawberry jalapeno pico de gallo, crema Mexicana, and cotija and served with frijoles de olla and Spanish rice. Apple Cinnamon tacos with vanilla ice cream

11. Cheese Course.
Create a platter of different cheeses along with items to accompany them.

ADELPHIA | 230 Capitol St. 
Fried Feta garnished with diced tomato, cucumber, onion, kalamata olives and Yia Yia dressing

1010 BRIDGE | 1010 Bridge Rd. 
White Cheddar Pimento Cheese with jalapeno pepper jelly, candied pecan, spiced saltine crackers Short Rib Bolognese Bucatini pasta, san marzano tomato, crispy pancetta gremolata, baby arugula

12. Dessert.
Usually accompanied by a glass of dessert wine or coffee and tea, this is a sweet and decadent course.

APPALACHIAN TEA | 613 Ohio Ave. 
Ginger Chocolate Chili Cake a moist chocolate cake with a hint of cayenne, soaked in ginger syrup

Pumpkin Ice Cream Sundae

13. Mignardise.
At the end of the meal, you can serve a mignardise, which is a tiny, bite-sized dessert or pastry served with tea, coffee, port, brandy, or scotch.

MIA'S VEGAN COOKIES| at Zeganz Smoothies & Mea Cuppa 
Stuffed Pumpkin S’mores Cookie

Pumpkin Pie (standard) also the option of mini pumpkin & pumpkin chocolate chip pies Pumpkin Roll; Pumpkin filled King Cakes

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