I’ve been back from Charleston since Monday and I’m still thinking about this strawberry layer cake from Five Loaves. What the owners call a gourmet eatery, this small restaurant has a focus on sandwiches and creative daily soups.
Pictured is the chicken breast sandwich with basil pesto, raspberry vinegar marinated tomatoes, and multigrain bread. Their soups ranged from a tomato, feta cheese, and rosemary blend to a Mexican tortilla soup. I ordered the tomato soup with crab.
For dinner, we headed to Slightly North of Broad. It’s an upscale restaurant with white table cloths and dark wood decorating the dining room. They have an open kitchen with a dining bar facing the chefs. Above, the caramelized pear salad with pistachios, blue cheese, dried cranberries, and a light white vinaigrette. The pear’s crispy and sweet coating paired well with the sharp blue cheese.
It wouldn’t be a trip to the South without an order of shrimp and grits. Creamy yellow grits were under sliced spicy sausage, strips of hams and onion, and Cajun spices.
My meal, the grilled hanger steak with broccoli, portobello mushrooms, and a caramelized onion cream sauce. While the meat was cooked perfectly at medium rare, my only complaint was that the food could have been much warmer.
For dessert, I cleansed my palate (ate more sugar) with a sour cherry sorbet.
Finish your night off in Charleston at The Gin Joint. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat, take time to sort through the 11+ pages of drinks. Inspired bu prohibition-style drinks, the owners are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America. If you’re looking for more than drinks, they also have a small assortment of upscale appetizers.
For anyone who is interested in expanding their wine and spirits knowledge, owner Joseph Raya offers wine and spirits classes. I ordered a raspberry fizz with blackberries, Goslings Dark (no, not Ryan), lemon, Demerara, and sparkling wine.
The following night, we dined at what Bon Appetit crowned The Best New Restaurant in America. Husk is home to James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock.
Set inside an historic house, beautiful and simple decorations line the warmly painted walls.
There is a quote that Brock applies to his restaurant: “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.” According to the website, he has even stricken olive oil from the kitchen.
Local farms are promoted in the front hallway, showing diners just where their food is coming from.
While there, it was restaurant week and therefore made the menu limited.
Imagine my relief when fried chicken skins was still an appetizer. Paired with a hot sauce and served on a cutting board, Husk is not shy with portions.
For my main course, I went with pork so tender I could cut it with my fork, farro, fire-roasted sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts, and a bourbon jus.
I finished the delicious dinner off with an oatmeal pie with a cookie crust, a brown sugar custard, fudge sauce, and salted caramel ice cream. As I scooped up my last bite, it’s not hard to see why Husk earned its 2011 best new restaurant award.
Charleston never disappoints when it comes to the culinary scene. Til next time.
Looking for more places in Charleston?
Glazed Doughnuts – Closed Mondays