Getting Hot in the Kitchen at LeeLee’s

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A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of dining at Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen, one of the few authentic sit down Chinese restaurants in downtown Charleston.  Missing my weekend excursions to Chinatown when I lived in New York I was excited to try Lee Lee’s when it opened up two years ago.  Nestled in a residential neighborhood, you know your in for a real treat when you enter the grand red door.  The bright red walls covered in huge vintage posters makes the environment lively and inviting whether your sharing a table with a big group or dining alone at the bar.

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The proprietors Lily Lei and Karalee Nielsen Fallert are longtime restaurant veterans and friends who wanted to bring something that was missing in downtown dining here in Charleston. The menu is based on Lily Lei’s family recipes which includes seasonal ingredients from Executive Chef Jeff Cali.

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I’m not a huge drinker but I had to try the Hibiscus Mimosa which was the perfect mix of citrus and bubbly.

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For starters I tried the Scallion Pancakes and the Chicken Lettuce Wraps. The Scallion pancakes were fried to golden perfection and I stuffed my yummy Lettuce Wraps with the minced chicken and vegetable filling. I had to try the Singapore Rice Noodles and replaced the pork and shrimp with tofu which was the perfect substitute.  What I love is that the portions are generous, so it’s perfect if you want to share with friends.

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The Chinese New Year is right around the corner on February 8th, and Lee Lee’s is throwing their annual celebration.  I heard they’ll be serving a special menu combined with their signature dishes,  and a dancing lion will be there to help ring in the new year.

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Red lace dress by Adelyn Rae $118 from 7 Gypsy PH: 843-388-2464 // Buddha lapis earrings $275, Vermeil Deco green agate ring by Freida Rothman $115, Vermeil multi-plated stack ring by Freida Rothman $215, Lewitt white sapphire ring $85, compass rose white topaz bracelet $350, teal faceted pyramid cuff by Alexis Bittar $115 from Croghan’s Jewel Box  PH: 843-723-3594 // Katie envelope clutch in black python by Taxidermy $995 from Noddy PH: 843-872-6094 // Anya pump by Corso Cormo $148.95 from Nordstrom

Beauty:  Full Exposure Palette eyeshadow $52 from Beauty.com // Laqa & Co. Cheeky Lip in Mixtape $22 and  LAQA & Co. Nail Polish in Plonk $13 from Birchbox

Photography by Clifford PateHair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova Charleston, on location at LeeLee’s Hot Kitchen 

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The Spectator

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When I heard of the new boutique hotel, The Spectator was finally open in Charleston I jumped at the chance to shoot there.  The beautiful hotel which was inspired by the decadent decade of the 20’s stands out in so many ways.  The luxurious modern meets retro interiors in the lobby were designed by local designer Jenny Keenan.  With personalized service and a very accommodating staff, the experience was the best I ever had.  I’ll be releasing all the fun pictures of the beautiful lobby and rooms on my blog over the next few weeks and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Made for Making Moves Dress $48 from Vestique // Portico Statement Necklace by Lulu Frost $425, Vermeil Crystal Leaf Bangle $325 Vermeil Star Raindrop Wide Bangle $585 and Set of 3 Vermeil Turquoise Harlequin Rings $235 by Freida Rothman, Monroe Enamel Ring by Elizabeth & James $150, and clutch all from Croghan’s Jewel Box PH: 843-723-3594 // Heels by Rebecca Minkoff $245 from Shoes on King  PH: 843-718-2190

Beauty: Run-Through Detangling Primer and Superfine Hair Spray by Oribe and Smith and Cult nail color in Bang the Dream from Stella Nova

Photography by Clifford Pate, Makeup & Hair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova West Ashley, Style Assistant – Jonatan Guerrero, On location at The Spectator Hotel

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Botany Beauty

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Exploring the beauty of Botany Bay takes you back to a raw natural setting of what South Carolina beaches use to look like.  The nature preserve was the ideal setting to snap some pictures in this flowy cover up by Blue Rod Beattie, a company known for it’s versatile swimwear that fits all body types.  The handmade African cowry shell necklace from IBU has been one of my all time favorite accessories and the store can’t keep it in stock, but don’t fret, they’re taking pre-orders for this wildly popular item.

Dress by Bleu Rod Beattie $69 from Zappos // Cowry shell radiant necklace $160 from IBU PH: 843-327-8304

Beauty – Laura Mercier foundation primer, Guerlain sheer makeup in Baby Glow, Sisley Paris Phyto-Eye Twist #5, and Clinique high impact mascara all from Cos Bar Charleston // PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray $24 from Birchbox

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The Hidden Garden

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Having the opportunity to shoot at the della Porta’s house was dream come true.  The well manicured gardens of their historical house downtown was the perfect setting for a photo shoot.  Donatella and Giulio della Porta are the owners of The Hidden Countship, a boutique filled with handcrafted Italian goods tucked away on Burns Lane.  Just steps away from the hustle and bustle of King Street the della Porta’s really know how to transport you into the tranquil setting of Italy in Charleston.

Dress, jewelry, and clutch from The Hidden Countship // Shoes by Vince $425 from Shoes on King  PH: 843-718-2190

Beauty: Run-Through Detangling Primer and Superfine Hair Spray by Oribe and Smith and Cult nail color in Tenderoni from Stella Nova

Photography by Clifford Pate, Makeup by Elina Mille at Bellelina Skincare and Makeup Studio, Hair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova West Ashley

Monday Blues

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Blouse $72 and shorts $72 by The Fifth Label from Sapphire Boutique PH: 843-779-0880 // Sunglasses by Lunettes Kollektion $389 from Ombra Moderno PH: 843-901-1447 // Coco sandals by Corso Como $111.30 from Macy’s // Clutch by Bam Forever $72 from  Simply J Boutique PH: 843-641-0224 // Signet ring necklace by Lulu Frost $475 and 14k moonstone “Capri” ring $920 from Croghan’s Jewel Box PH: 843-723-3594 // Bangle $345 and eternity stacking ring $69 by Julie Voss from Shirtini PH: 843-259-5243 // 14k gold rope ring $150 and $300 each from  Gold Creations PH: 843-577-4862

Beauty: Run-Through Detangling Primer and Superfine Hair Spray by Oribe and Smith and Cult nail color in Tenderoni from Stella Nova

Photography by Clifford Pate, Makeup by Elina Mille at Bellelina Skincare and Makeup Studio, Hair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova West Ashley

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Charleston Charm

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Nightgown/cover-up by Celestine $203 and swimsuit by Eres $506 from Bits of Lace PH: 843- 577-0999 //  14K Gold charms $295-$1,350 each, 14K gold triple link charm bracelet $3,650, 14k gold Griffon ring $925, 14k gold twisted rope band $350, 14k gold rope ring $150 and $300, 14k Charleston Gates pendant necklaces $295-$690 each from  Gold Creations PH: 843-577-4862 // Sandals by Ivy Kirzhner from Shoes on King  PH: 843-718-2190

Beauty: Run-Through Detangling Primer and Superfine Hair Spray by Oribe and Smith and Cult nail color in Tenderoni from Stella Nova

Photography by Clifford Pate, Makeup by Elina Mille at Bellelina Skincare and Makeup Studio, Hair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova West Ashley

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Peach Perfection

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Off the shoulder grid blouse by Dear Creatures $85 and Bellini skirt by Dear Creatures $98 from Dandy Boutique PH: 843-475-3927 // Earrings by La Vie Parisienne by Catherine Popesco $92 from Lily Charleston PH: 843-577-7633  // Gold 3 tier ring $89 by Melanie Auld from Shirtini PH: 843-259-5243 // 14K gold pineapple necklace $2,700 from Gold Creations PH: 843-577-4862 // Blue topaz ring from Croghan’s Jewel Box PH: 843-723-3594 // Custom diamond rings by Ash Hoffman //  Destra Wedge Sandals by Franco Sarto buy here at Nordstrom

Beauty: Run-Through Detangling Primer and Superfine Hair Spray by Oribe and Smith and Cult nail color in Tenderoni from Stella Nova

Photography by Clifford Pate, Makeup by Elina Mille at Bellelina Skincare and Makeup Studio, Hair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova West Ashley

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About Charleston Shop Curator

Charleston Shop Curator serves as a fashion blog and shopping guide to showcase the incredible diversity of style in Charleston, South Carolina. We continually strive to expose local creative talents from designers to stores. Here you can find all of the treasures Charleston has to offer, and more.

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