Sunday, February 15, 2015

Charleson Chew-ing Part 2

On Valentine's Day, we went to Magnolia's, a veritable institution in the Charleston culinary circles. However, we had heard so much about this newer restaurant called Husk, a modern locavore restaurant from James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock, located at 76 Queen Street, Charleston, SC.

Located in historic downtown Charleston, Husk was just a 5 minute walk from our hotel, we made a 5:30PM reservation. This time, however, the restaurant was completely empty when we walked into the converted Victorian mansion.

If you don't know much about Husk, the basic premise is that everything is regionally sourced. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says Brock, who has even stricken olive oil from the kitchen. In fact, they post a big blackboard up by the front entrance with every single ingredient and where it was procured from.

We were seated in the downstairs dining room, which was very convenient since I had passed out in my stroller when we entered. The decor was modern (very Crate & Barrel) with dark green and brown accents sprinkled throughout.

Having scouted out the menu online (from February 15, since the menu changes daily) prior to our arrival, we had a good sense of what we wanted to eat. In typical fashion, we wanted just about every single appetizer listed. My mother forced my father to limit himself to just two items, so we picked the "to die for" pimento cheese and the pigs ears lettuce wraps.

TN Cheddar Pimento Cheese on House Made Benne Crackers
with Crispy Country Ham and Pickled WV Ramps
Buffalo Style Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps,
BBQ Cabbage “Slaw,” Roasted Red Peppers, Spiced Peanuts
The first round of food was just amazing. It was so unlike anything we've had before, we fell for the novelty of the crispy pigs ears and flavorful pimento cheese. In fact, we preferred these dishes to the ones we had the prior night at Magnolia's. Plus given the younger clientele that eventually filled up the dining room, we knew Husk was a better fit for our family.

My mother was just happy that I was sleeping behaving so that we could enjoy a proper dinner without having to pick up crayons and clean up the spilled salt shakers.

Soon thereafter, the server came by to ask if we were finished with our starters. While my father wanted to eat everything on the unique wooden serving plate, he knew better than to fill up before the main course arrived. After all, he had a delicious pork chop cooked medium rare coming.

As we found out, the pigs come from a very well regarded farm that allowed the chef to intentionally undercook the pork to optimize the flavor without letting the meat dry out. It was simply amazing to be able to taste a well prepared pork chop. The sides of sweet potato weren't my father's favorite, but they say it's always good to pair pork with something sweet.

VA Heritage Pork Chop, Charred Sweet Potato and Mustard Greens
with VA Apple Cider Jus, Toasted Pecans
My mother learned her lesson from the previous night where she over-ordered. So this time, she ordered another starter as her entree. Unfortunately, her plan didn't work out so well, because the sheer volume of food in the Wood Fired Clams and Chicken Skins was fit for a good ol' southern country boy. But it was so unique, we loved how the clams paired with the yellow sauce.

Wood Fired Clams, Roasted Pepper and Potato “Chowder,”
Hot Sauce with Chicken Fat, Mustard Greens, Crispy Chicken Skins
For a side, we went with the roasted cauliflower (instead of the grits - which we had enough of that weekend). They were pretty tasty though, not that memorable compared to the other items we sampled.

Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Onion, Tangerine, Ricotta
And while my mother was over-stuffed, my father simply couldn't leave Husk without sampling at least one dessert. We went with the Meyer Lemon Chess Pie, having heard about chess pie once before. It intrigued us. It was pretty tasty, but definitely not what we expected. It was much more sweet than tart (i.e. key lime pie).

Meyer Lemon Chess Pie with Bruléed Kumquats, Preserved Lemon
Here were our dessert choices:
  • Meyer Lemon Chess Pie (with Bruléed Kumquats, Preserved Lemon)
  • Gingerbread Cake (with Toffee Sauce, Egg Nog Ice Cream, Spiced Shortbread)
  • Sweet Vanilla Doughnut Holes (with Roasted Orange Marmalade, Citrus Anglaise)
  • Bourbon Glazed Apple Cake (with Charred Apple, Brown Butter Ice Cream)
  • Pecan Tart (with Whiskey Caramel and Bourbon-Vanilla Ice Cream)
  • Olive & Sinclair Spiced Chocolate Panna Cotta (with Toasted Marshmallow, Graham Cracker, Salted Peanuts)
What would you have chosen for dessert?

No comments:

Post a Comment