Kudos for cupcakes

The Charleston bakery Cupcake has been honored by TripAdvisor with the 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for its downtown location at 433 King St.

The award celebrates hospitality excellence and is given to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.com. Winners represent the upper echelon of worldwide businesses listed on the website, with only the top 10 percent receiving this award.

Cupcake, established in 2006 and owned by Kristin Kuhlke Cobb, prepares nine freshly baked flavors daily (five staples and four rotating seasonal flavors) at each of its three South Carolina locations. Find out more at www.freshcupcakes.com.

Olla, Basico

Mixson, a community that showcases sustainable living in the historic Park Circle district, continues its expansion with the opening of Basico, a modern taqueria.

The restaurant is a modern take on a traditional taco spot.

Brian Lewis is the general manager and Leila Schardt and Italo Marino are the heads of the Basico kitchen team as co-executive chefs. Both have been part of the Charleston culinary scene for multiple years and met while studying at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.

Joining their team are pastry chefs Vincent Griffith and Anistar Meffert. Griffith has a baking and pastry arts degree from the Culinary Institute and worked at iNG and Moto restaurant under chef Homaro Cantu, as well as Charlie Trotter’s restaurant. Meffert received his culinary education from Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise in Paris and recently worked for Moto restaurant and Charlie Trotter’s.

Kevin Hilton, the beverage director, has created an inventive cocktail menu, Cava tasting menu and Mezcal menu.

Basico is a full-service, 2,800-square-foot restaurant that is open to the public and sources local ingredients and utilizes its own garden created by Elizabeth Beak of Crop Up.

Basico is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday for brunch.

Basico is at 4399 McCarthy St., North Charleston. For more information, go to www.basicombrc.com.

La fete nationale

As party of Fish restaurant’s fifth annual Bastille Day celebration Sunday, a three-course, prix fixe dinner menu of traditional French fare will be offered for $40. You will be able to choose between two dishes for each course, with the option of adding French wine pairings for $50.

Dinner reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 722-3474.

Fish is at 442 King St.

Taste of summer

GrowFood Carolina is hosting a summer Happy Hour Thursday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include a warehouse tour, a meet-and-greet with the growers, live music, IceBox beverages and food from Salthouse Catering.

The event will be at the GrowFood Carolina Warehouse at 990 Morrison Drive. Call 727-0091 or go to growfoodcarolinasummer.eventbrite.com for more.

Smoking at Tristan

Food Network Magazine named Tristan’s Smoked Chocolate Parfait dessert one of the “most delicious frozen desserts in America.”

Selecting one choice from each state, it appears pastry chef Amanee Neirouz has created a winner. Read more at www.foodnetwork.com.

Tristan is at 10 Linguard St. Go to www.TristanDining.com.

Summer series

82 Queen will host the second dinner in its three-part Summer Dinner Series Thursday.

Executive chef Steven Lusby worked with brewers at Carolina Brewery to create a menu that features the brewery’s unique beers, such as Flagship IPA and Oatmeal Porter.

Tickets are $79 and only 40 will be available. To purchase, call 723-7591 or email SCharles@82Queen.com.

The final dinner in the series will take place Aug. 16 and will feature Firefly Moonshine and Palmetto Brewing Co. The dinner will be $59.

For more information about the Summer Dinner Series, go to 82Queen.com.

Beer-centric Alley cats

With a beer selection that features 14 beers on tap and 20 by the bottle, The Alley is hosting a series of beer tastings and events this summer.

With culinary partner Home Team Kitchen and chef Courtney Tomer, The Alley will host tastings and paired dinners beginning at 6:30 p.m. July 18.

Stone Brewing Co. will be the featured brewery.

Featured beers will include Levitation Ale, Ruination IPA, Smoked Porter, Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic and Arrogant Bastard. All will be paired with Tomer’s seasonally inspired menu.

The dinner will cost $65 and includes free bowling afterward from 9:30-11 p.m. Space is extremely limited and reservations are required. To reserve, email charleston@bowlthealley.com, call 818-4080 or go to www.TheAlleyCharleston.

Moonshine rising

Lowcountry Bistro is hosting a Moonshine Throw Down sponsored by Firefly Moonshine at 4 p.m. July 21.

Bartenders will get creative with Firefly Moonshine and attendees will sample the concoctions then vote for the winner.

There is a $10 admission fee; a portion of the proceeds will go to Hospitality Heroes.

Lowcountry Bistro is at 49 South Market St. Call 302-0290.

Chef offers catering

Chef Patrick Owens of Langdon’s and Opal Restaurant + Bar in Mount Pleasant is now offering catering. For details, go to owensdininggroup.com.

Now serving

Zero Cafe + Bar in the Zero George Street hotel is now offering cooking classes.

Zero George is at the corner of George and East Bay streets. For class information, email jbecker@zerogeorge.com or call 817-7900.

Partners for breakfast

Angel Oak and Legare Farms are offering a summer breakfast July 20. Two seating’s will be available, at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. The cost is $12; children 10 and under are $6.

For reservations, call 556-7525 or go to angeloak.eventbrite.com. Angel Oak Restaurant is at 3669 Savannah Highway on Johns Island.

Name change

Scratch (the former Abe’s Oyster House) is now Scratch Taco Boutique. Located at 713 Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant, a fall opening is now planned.