Originally published on Food and Fond Memories on May 1, 2014 by sandyaxelrod Leave a Comment (Edit)
I mentioned that it was both my birthday and our son’s birthday in my last post. Our plan was to go out to dinner on each of our birthdays to celebrate. But two things happened to change that. First our dinner at Wild Olive was so amazing and Brian feared his steak would be difficult to beat. And second he gave himself a new Weber gas grill and the plumber was coming on Friday to hook it up to natural gas. He was just too anxious to use it and decided we should have Steak Night at home for his birthday. It also gave Steve and I some extra money to go out for a couple of romantic dinners, just the two of us. This was excellent because there were two restaurants that I was jonesing to try – Sean Brock’s Husk and Mike Lata’s The Ordinary.
Friends of ours recently visited Charleston and could not stop raving about the food at Sean Brock’s restaurant Husk. It was the Pigs Ears in particular that tickled their fancy. Steve’s response was that he would eat pigs ears when pigs fly. Well right after that we saw a commercial with a pig buckling his seat belt on an airplane, so I guess that explained why it was so easy to get Steve to try the Kentuckyaki Glazed Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps with Cabbage Kimchi, Cilantro and Lime on our visit to Husk a couple of weeks ago. We had tried to make a reservation to dine there before we left Florida but there was nothing available until the end of April, long after we would be gone. What we found out from some locals is that in good weather Husk has nine tables outside on the upper porch that are first come, first served.
We arrived at the restaurant at around 7 pm which is early for us, but we figured we would have a long wait. We gave our name to the hostess who told us to expect about an hour before we would be seated and invited us to go to their bar next door for drinks where they would let us know when our table was ready. The Husk Bar is in a very small and narrow two story building with a very crowded and lively bar downstairs. However upstairs they have a quiet lounge with small tables, comfortable chairs and a couple of sofas. It was really charming with exposed lots of worn wood and brick walls. We sat in a cozy area in the back that was empty and order a couple of Ketel One Martinis. While sipping our drinks the entire upstairs filled with people and lively conversation was had amongst us all. In what seemed like five minutes our table was ready (it really was exactly an hour).
The evening was perfect for al fresco dining and the view was gorgeous. There was a humongous Magnolia tree that seemed to reach the sky. It was in full bloom and the bright white flowers contrasted dramatically against the dark shiny leaves. Our server was delightful and guided us in ordering our meal and a scrumptious bottle of red wine. We started off with the Kentuckyaki Glazed Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps with Cabbage Kimchi, Cilantro and Lime; the Bibb Lettuces with Cornmeal Fried Oysters, Shaved Baby Carrots and Radishes, Boiled Egg and Derby Cheddar with Cucumber Ranch Dressing; and the Wood Fired Clams, Beer Broth with Spring Onion, Garlic and Roasted Shiitakes, Wilted Arugula and Grilled Ciabatta. First, the Glazed Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps were AMAZING! To me the pig’s ears tasted like very crispy pancetta and everything else just enhanced the flavor into a pretty cohesive package. The Fried Oysters, our second appetizer, were quite crisp and very delicious with the uber fresh vegetables and accompaniments. But Steve and I both felt that the Wood Fired Clams in Beer Broth stole the show. We just about drank the broth! On a very cool note, as you can see in the photos they use olive wood serving plates and bowls. Our server told us they are made by local artisans and purchased at the Open Air Market nearby. They also make all of their own condiments in house including pickles that are proudly on display in the restaurant like a work of art.
We followed our small plates with one large plate. We shared the TN Flat Iron Steak with Black Pepper Glaze, Smashed New Potatoes with AL Chevre, Ember Roasted SC Mushrooms and Spinach. Sharing this dish was perfect because they divided it for us in the kitchen so there was no arguing over who had more. The steak was tender and full of flavor, the potatoes were creamy and tangy with the goat cheese and the mushrooms and spinach were smoky and rich tasting. The other reason sharing an entree was perfect was that it left us room for dessert.
We shared two scrumptious desserts. The first I remember because my picture is very clear, the second is as fuzzy as my picture. The first was an Apple Cobbler with Nutmeg Ice Cream and it was amazing, for sure. I think the second was fried bananas with salted caramel ice cream, but I can’t be certain. What I am sure about is that both desserts ended our evening at Husk on a very sweet and perfect note.
76 Queen Street