Husk. Location: Charleston, SC. Scene: Low Key. Grey Coloring. Drapes. Food: Seasonal. Crispy Chicken Skin. Veal Marrow. Chicken Breast. Cornmeal Dusted Catfish. NY Strip. Porch Chop. Cornbread. Grits.
- Arugula Salad: with Roasted Beets, Summer Berries and Pickled Blueberry Vinaigrette (2nd pic)
- Royal Red Shrimp with Clams and Crawfish “Bisque,” Summer Courgettes, Corn, Okra, Gold Rice (4th pic)
- Whole Black Bass: Charred Pole Beans, Baby Scallions, Shitakes, Benne Roasted Peanuts, Mushroom “Tea” (5th pic)
- Chocolate Brownie with Honey Ice Cream, Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crumble, Honey Roasted Peanut Cluster (6th pic)
Husk is what put Charleston, South Carolina, on the radar for me. I read about it in Bon Appetit magazine a couple years ago when it was named Best New Restaurant in the U.S. by Andrew Knowlton. Whatever it was, I knew I had to go. James Beard Award winning chef Sean Brock is the master behind this place. What is the most outrageous and admiring thing is that he changes the menu every single day. Coming up with new recipes everyday, buying new ingredients and training the staff all in a day’s work is quite incredible when running a restaurant. The restaurant is in a big house built in 1893 with a large porch just like the restaurant next door Poogan’s Porch. The history about these places are also really cool as it’s such an old city and the restaurant even used to be a school. One thing I will say I’ve noticed, is that the restaurants here are so calm, leisurely and there is no music. People dine out to relax and enjoy each other’s company here without looking to be entertained or people watching.
All of the carbs in Charleston are stellar. The salted brioche bread here comes with pork fat butter. I really wish our server left that detail out, but yes, it was worth it. The beet and arugula salad was standard, and the Spicy Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps (3rd pic) were something I’d never seen. Very crunchy, bacon-like and an interesting take on a dish. The best thing I ate all weekend was definitely the Ruby Red Shrimp and Crawfish “Bisque.” It was a lighter version of a gumbo soup without the harsh flavoring and not creamy or bisque-like. The broth was a light brown with all kinds of fresh vegetables and seafood floating throughout. The squash, zucchini, shrimp, clams, you name it was delicious. Brock really does seafood well here. The Bass served whole head and tail on was tender and light as well with peanuts and bamboo shoots that both added a crunch to the dish. As if I couldn’t love everything anymore, out comes the brownie with honey ice cream and of course, laying on a bed of peanuts. This chocolate brownie concoction was warm, soft and perfect. I can tell you I definitely left Husk with a smile of accomplishment on my face. If you sit in the middle of the restaurant you can see through to the kitchen and how hard the chefs are working to plate each dish.
The Bar at Husk next door is pretty fun for a pre-dinner drink. All of the syrups are made there and the cocktail list has everything to choose from. This cocktail lounge was the only thing that reminded me of New York. Also, Husk just opened in Nashville earlier this summer if you are headed there.