This past week, B and I spent some vacation time in Charleston. Among the places we got to eat (Hominy Grill, The Tattooed Moose), we finally got a chance to try Sean Brock’s famed Husk. Though we were hoping to go for dinner, we had no idea that they’d be completely booked for dinners through early September. Lunch it was.
We started with two appetizers, one for each of us, though there was plenty of sharing going on. For B, the choice was simple: Wood Fired NC Chicken Wings with Sea Island Benne Seeds. These start out by being brined in sweet tea (a fast-growing favorite of ours. Try the sweet-tea rice and brined chicken from Southern Living for good at-home recipes). After brining, the wings are smoked, which is the real kicker. They’re nothing like the fried bones you’re used to getting at your local wing joints. After all this, they’re sauced in an Asian-y syrup and thrown on the grill to char. Sesame seeds top them off, and they’re served in a cast-iron bowl. Oh, oh, oh. I kinda want another bowl right now.
The second app we got was Fried Green Tomatoes served with pimiento cheese and Benton’s country ham.
I’m not huge on fried green tomatoes (I got sick off them once years ago), but I decided to give these a try. They were served piping hot with a cornmeal crust, and I was curious how they’d pair with the cheese. Within seconds of hitting that fried exterior, the cheese had melted and spread over the tomato. I cut into it with my fork and took a quick bite. Hot, hot! This didn’t stop me. In fact, I didn’t even slow down. I took a sip of the cocktail we’d ordered and forged on.
The cocktail: Charleston’s Light Dragoon Punch made with California brandy, Jamaican rum, peach brandy, Black tea, lemon juice, and raw sugar. This was divine. Light and pungent and dangerously subtle.
After we finished off the appetizers, it was time for the main course. B got the wagyu beef served with confit potatoes and other veggies. B declared that these are his favorite potatoes ever. (The jus is on the side because it had onions in it. They thoughtfully strained it and put it to the side for B’s allergy.)
I ordered the pork tenderloin, which was served with a succotash of okra, corn, and field peas. Even though I’d just finished eating wings and fried tomatoes, this dish was light and very fresh. The pork was served medium with a great level of sear on the outside. I’m still thinking about this dish and wanting to recreate it at home. I’m worried I’ll disappoint myself.
Dessert was a tough choice. B ended up going with the Chilled Peanut Butter Bar:
This was really nice for a summer day. I can’t say much else about it because, though I had a bite, I was completely absorbed in this number:
Fried Peach Pie with bourbon-vanilla bean ice cream, toasted hazelnuts, and salted caramel drizzle. I should first note that I am not a warm fruit kind of person. I don’t like mushy fruit, much less mushy fruit that’s hot and stringy. But this was excellent. The pastry was exceptional: flaky and light with just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon on top. The ice cream had a faint hint of bourbon, just enough for you to know it was there but not overpower your palette. Needless to say, we cleaned our plates.
76 Queen St. | Charleston, SC 29401