Today I am going to share my second and last out post from Charleston. And it’s a doozy.
Weeks before the vacation, we made arrangements for babysitters so that we could make reservations at Husk. Husk is a huge deal. It was named Bon Appétit Magazine’s best new restaurant in 2011 after only being opened for eleven months, and it is arguably the most important restaurant when it comes to southern cooking. In fact, owner and executive chef Sean Brock is known for saying “if it ain’t southern, it ain’t coming in the door.”
Now I think “southern cooking” often gets a bad wrap. At least for me, I immediately think fried and cream and gravy and greens, and all that bad-yet-comfort stuff. That is not what you are going to find at Husk. You are going to have as high end of an experience as you would at any other culinary powerhouse (folks in Cincinnati, we’re talking Boca in comparison). And while Kenny and I actually first dined there in 2012, I was once again completely blown away. It really lives up to the hype.
Let’s now make our way through the order.
Surprise surprise, we started with oysters. There were two options that evening and we sprung for both. The first, which were described as light, were Caper’s Blades on the half shell, with green tomato salsa verde and cold pressed benne oil. Exactly as described, these were light little treats that tasted like summer – cool, fresh, and satisfying.
The second ones were actually my favorite, even though given the descriptions, I thought I’d like the first. These, which were described as bold, were fire roasted Virginia Salts, with fried chicken fat and fermented pepper mash. They were killer. I have never had hot oysters before but my mouth literally just watered at the thought. The thing about both of these oysters is that they were not like the good old fashioned oysters you’d get on the half shell and dress up with horseradish and saltines. These were true appetizers that happened to be about oysters. But they were awesome nonetheless.
My main course was the catfish. For one ugly looking beast, that is one tasty piece of fish. It was cornmeal dusted, with Carolina gold rice purloo, Louisiana shrimp, okra, sweet corn, and charred tomato. The fish was flakey, the rice was sticky, and the veggies were crunchy, which all made for quite the trifecta of bites.
Now I can’t really speak to the next two because I only had a quick bite of each and the enjoyment is now a little lost in the whole evening, but I know Kenny ordered the Tennessee flat iron steak, with new potatoes, mustard greens, oyster mushrooms, charred onion, and bourbon barrel worcestershire. It was a good one as his plate was left clean.
There were also some things I must mention even though the pictures didn’t turn out. One was the American Spot Heritage pork. I took a bite of my brother-in-law’s and was seriously blown away by the flavor. I remember thinking it was definitely my favorite behind my catfish.
And then, if all of that wasn’t enough, we sprung for two desserts. The first was the apple crisp and the second was the cookies and cream cake. The cake was sinfully rich and quite frankly, amazing. The apple crisp was just as good and something that I desperately love – cold, crunchy, and sweet.
So if you have plans to head to Charleston (which you should because it is the best) and you enjoy an awesome dining experience, make a reservation at Husk no matter what time you can get in. You won’t regret it.