Every Monday we bring you the SL Hot List, a round up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. Charleston’s Bay Street Biergarten. Experience Oktoberfest year-round at newest watering hole in Charleston where you’ll find 60 taps featuring local favorites like Westbrook Gose and Palmetto Espresso Porter. The space is filled with rich, caramel-colored booths and modern-day technology that allows patrons to pour beer for themselves. Don’t miss the menu rooted in Bavarian tradition but with a Southern bent: beer-boiled peanuts and shrimp & grits bacon bites, anyone?
2. Farmhand Dinner in Nashville. The tradition of breaking bread after a long day of work in the fields is going strong. Thankfully for us, the Nashville Farmers’ Market lets you get in on the action–minus the work. On Thursday, they revive the delicious tradition. The main star of the meal is a whole hog, but there will be plenty of seasonal sides and desserts prepared by chefs at some of the best Music City restaurants (Etch, Marché, the Capitol Grille).
3. Must-Read Book Release. More than a decade after her last novel, Greenwood, Mississippi-born author Donna Tartt is back with her third book, The Goldfinch. She expertly weaves together a tale about a young boy, Theo, who survives an accident that kills his mother. Haunted by his loss, Theo is drawn to a painting of a bird that reminds him of his mother and spends his adulthood unraveling the mystery deep in the art world. Want more? Donna will be on tour in Miami on Wednesday and Austin on Thursday.
4. Star-Studded Compilation Album. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Dave Matthews’ ATO Records is releasing Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War on Tuesday. The must-listen album features artists like Old Crow Medicine Show, Loretta Lynn, Vince Gill, and Shovels & Rope interpreting Civil War marching songs and ballads. Next week in Nashville, catch Lee Ann Womack, Bryan Sutton, and Stuart Duncan (who all contributed to the compilation) performing songs from the album at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
5. Fun Fun Fun Festival. Come Friday, some of the biggest names in music and comedy descend on Austin for a three-day festival. The comedy lineup is stellar and includes Sarah Silverman, former Saturday Night Live cast members Fred Armisen and Jenny Slate, and Virginia’s Patton Oswalt. And you can jam to artists like MGMT, M.I.A., Snoop Lion (or is it Snoopzilla these days?), and Dallas’ The Polyphonic Spree all weekend long.
5 1/2. Oysters in Alabama. This Saturday we’ll be spending time with our favorite mollusks, and you should too. The 6th Annual Oyster Cook-Off in Gulf Shores, Alabama, will feature oyster creations by more than 70 chefs from around the country, including many of the Gulf Coast’s finests. Held at The Hangout, the event kicks off at 11 a.m. and goes all day, with oyster tastings, live music, and an oyster shucking contest. Among restaurants represented: Alabama’s TRUE, Georgia’s The Optimist, and New Orleans’ La Petite Grocery. Entry is free and tickets for tastings are $2 each or $30 for a book of 20.