Yoyo's Velvet Butterfly featured in Charleston City Paper.

The Velvet Butterfly

• 2 ounces butterfly pea flowers infused with Del Maguey Vida mezcal (see instructions below)

• ½ ounce Lillet Blanc

• ¼ ounce Pierre Ferrand dry orange Curaçao

• ¾ ounce pineapple gum syrup

• ¾ ounce fresh lime juice

• lime wedge

For infused mezcal

Add a handful of dried butterfly pea flowers into a 750ml bottle of mezcal, steep for 45 minutes and strain. You now have purple mezcal to get you through the pandemic.

For Garnish

Dehydrated candied orange and chili salt for the rim.

Rub the lime wedge along the upper half inch of the rocks glass, halfway around the circumference, then roll the wet portion in the chili salt. Add all of the ingredients to your cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled rocks glass with a big ice cube and garnish with the candied orange.

“I enjoy a good margarita from time to time. I find using mezcal instead of tequila gives a lot more depth to the cocktail. I love the texture of this cocktail, hence the name, The Velvet Butterfly. The ingredients all swirl together to create something otherworldly.”

Chubby Fish reopening on April 14 after 13-month pandemic closure

Chubby Fish will reopen its popular Coming Street dining room on April 14, nearly 13 months to the day after its pandemic-prompted temporary closure on March 17, 2020. According to Chubby Fish executive chef James London and general manager Yoanna “Yoyo” Tang, all of the downtown restaurants’ employees will be fully vaccinated in time for Chubby Fish’s reopening.

“We have 12 employees who all worked for us before, which is pretty amazing,” London said. “It’ll be the exact same format where we have our raw items, small plates, entrees, whole fish and our Life Raft Treats. And it’ll just change everyday like the menu did before.”

Chubby Fish switched to takeout-only in spring 2020, but London and Tang eventually elected to suspend the service and offer a private dining option for groups of 8-18 instead.  Chubby Fish will continue to offer the private dinners — at the restaurant on Sundays and Mondays when it’s closed, and off-site on other nights.

“Down the road, we’ll be looking at a private dining space, just because they were too good and too fun for us to not do them,” London said.

After week one, Chubby Fish will be open Tuesday-Friday from 5-10 p.m. and Saturday from 5-11 p.m. Customers can expect dishes like London’s chili garlic shrimp and fish curry to be on the menu on April 14, along with at least one plate utilizing soft shell crabs.  

“Aside from that, the menu is totally determined by whatever we have coming in that day,” London said. “We’re just going to have so much diversity when it comes to (seafood) species, and that will just determine what goes on the menu that day.”

“It’s going to be totally different than what we’ve been doing,” he continued. “It’s just been so long since we had open doors, so I’m trying to remember what it feels like.”  

In order to reopen, the small restaurant has made some changes. The host stand is now located outside — patrons will be asked to put their name in, order a drink and wait on benches outside or at one of 5-6 seats inside at its bar. Multiple tables have also been moved outdoors to create more indoor space and accommodate those who feel more comfortable dining al fresco.

Chubby Fish will reopen at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14. For more information, visit chubbyfishcharleston.com.