Anyway, on a lighter note, I wanted to share an awesome dining experience I had on one of my last nights in Charleston last week. My brother and some of his friends found out about an amazing restaurant called Husk, and made us a reservation about a month before our trip. This place was declared the best new restaurant in the country in 2011 by Bon Appetit, so you know it had some standards to live up to.
We started our evening at the Husk bar, which is located in a small building next to the main restaurant.
The interior included a bar lined with pig's feet in jars, definitely suggestive of the southern setting we were in, but also had sort of a cellar vibe.
I ordered a glass of pinot grigio to start off the evening. I believe it was the 2010, Italy-Alto Adige, RiffPinot Grigio. Perfect for a Southern evening.
Our bartender checked us in at the restaurant and we proceeded over. We were sat upstairs and it was a perfect night for it as the doors to outside were open with the air flowing freely in and out.
The concept of Husk is extremely appealing- ingredient driven cuisine. Meaning, the chef, Sean Brock, chooses the menu each day based around what is fresh and available locally, utilizing local farms, fish, and ingredients. I like it.
We all decided to order appetizers to start. My pick was the fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and country ham. The tomatoes were lightly fried in crunchy cornmeal and the pimento cheese was excellent with the salty ham. Everything went perfectly together.
I traded bites with my table mates and also sampled my sister-in-law's strawberry soup with blue crap. How pretty is this??
I also got to try Greg's fried cornbread panzenella with vegetables and cheese. We actually had to Google panzenella to figure out what it was, but it was a great choice on his part- insanely delicious nuggets of buttery goodness with fresh seasonal veggies.
I also tried a bite of my brother's pork ribs, which were excellent.
As a fish eater, I'm somewhat unadventurous. I like shrimp, lobster, crab, scallops, some salmon, talapia, tuna... I kind of shied away from a lot of pieces of fish as a kid, because well, it smelled and tasted "fishy" to me, and it made it unappealing. As I've grown up, I've branched out more though, and you can say that last week was my introduction to flounder. At all the sea markets in Charleston, this was one of the freshest available picks of fish, so my mom ended up buying it twice to make for us at the beach house (baked with a breadcrumb crust), and then when our dinner at Husk rolled around, and I saw it on the menu, I was interested to taste a new preparation of my new fish find.
It was swimming in a delicious buttery sauce with ramps, turnip, and asparagus. The fish was cooked perfectly and I enjoyed every bite.
Greg ordered the other choice I was thinking about, the Wagyu sirloin. I had a bite and his was excellent too.
We also got an order of bacon cornbread and cheese grits for the table. Both were excellent, but I surprisingly liked the cheesy grits best! Grits are growing on this Yankee ;)
I didn't think I could eat another bite once we finished our entrees, but we agreed to get two desserts for the table to share- strawberry shortcake and buttermilk pie with black berries. In my mind, you always make strawberry shortcake with BISCUIT if you are doing it right, and they definitely made it the right way at Husk.
Also, of note, the restaurant had it's own Sommelier, who helped us choose some great wines for the table. I thought the dining experience at this restaurant lived up to the hype. The service was impeccable and the food was creative and delicious Southern cuisine. We all had a wonderful experience. I will say that I think we have a lot of great Charlotte restaurants that give Husk a run for it's money though. Bon Appitit needs to come check out the Charlotte restaurant scene!