Missed Husk’s Fried Chicken on Friday? Too Bad.

huskadAs first reported by Eater Charleston, Husk last Friday night fried up a test batch of chicken. Unfortunately for fans of the dish who weren’t tuned into the right Twitter feed, there’s no telling when the chicken will appear again.

“The fried chicken may make some surprise appearances on the Bar at Husk menu, but it will not be a scripted or weekly occurrence as it is in Nashville,” says Husk’s general manager Dan Latimer. “In Charleston, if we have it again, the production will be limited, not on a specific day, and will most likely be in the same vein as Friday, where we hit social media and see what happens.”

At Husk Nashville, fried chicken is the centerpiece of Tuesday’s $12 plate lunch. The restaurant this month debuted a rotating menu of meat-and-twos, available on weekdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. In addition to chicken, Husk Nashville is serving roast beef, meatloaf, catfish and pork chops. Continue reading

Chef Bill Smith Demystifies Gravy at Southern Season This Monday

bill_photoPumpkin pie may polarize, and oyster dressing may excite, but there’s no Thanksgiving food which terrorizes so reliably as gravy.

“People are always calling me up at this time of the year, sounding as if they are standing at the stove with whisk in hand, and asking for instructions on making it,” reports chef Bill Smith of Chapel Hill’s Crook’s Corner.

Smith (whose status as the son of a renowned Jerusalem artichoke pickle maker earned him a spot in my seasonal pickle story this week) is now bringing his gravy expertise to Southern Season ‘s cooking school. He’s teaching a course this Monday at 6 p.m. For $50, participants receive instruction in three different gravy-making methods. Continue reading

Sunrise Bistro Takes Over Tiny Cafe on Spring Street

sunriseA four-year old Johns Island restaurant is picking up where Austin’s Food & Drink left off, returning breakfast and lunch to the pint-sized nook at 116 Spring St.

“I don’t think she had the concept of what people wanted,” Sunrise Bistro co-owner Jessica Welenteichick says of the café which this fall failed after a few short months. Welenteichick and her partners acquired the 14-seat restaurant in a turnkey deal, with plans to open Sunrise Bistro Express by early 2014.

“That lady, she was like an interior decorator wanting to go into restaurants,” Welenteichick continues. “We’ve built ourselves a reputation.” Continue reading

Sherry Gets Chance to Shine at Brooks Reitz’s New Cafe

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Sherry has lately enjoyed a very minor resurgence in big city bars – the New York Times a few months ago noted “a renewed interest” – but the craze hasn’t yet overtaken Charleston. On a recent visit to Barsa, a bartender told me the Spanish-themed restaurant didn’t have the single sherry on its by-the-glass list.

In a 2012 New York Times column, wine critic Eric Asimov conceded that sherry is “often consigned in the public imagination to the stuffy, dusty sitting room, or to the after-dinner drinks selection.” But that perception hasn’t slowed the growth of sherry bars in London, where drinkers have taken up the continental tradition of sipping sherry with Marcona almonds and Spanish ham.

Brooks Reitz, former manager of The Ordinary, thinks sherry is equally suited to a culture seeped in boiled peanuts and barbecue. He’s devising a “decent selection” of sherries for St. Alban, the European-style café he’s hoping to open at 710 King Street before year’s end. Continue reading

Good Food Awards Honors Charleston Products

Two Charleston products this week received recognition from the Good Food Awards, an annual competition for artisan edibles.

Cypress’ culatello (salumi made the from the rear portion of a pig’s hind leg) and Christophe Artisan Chocolatier’s Dark Chocolate Espresso were both named finalists in the contest, along with another 198 items divided into categories such as beer, cheese, coffees, preserves and pickles. The list will be whittled down to 100 winners at a San Francisco gala in January.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, this year’s competition received a record 1450 entries.

Restaurants Overwhelmingly Opt to Open on Thanksgiving

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timstackton

Thanksgiving is increasingly becoming just another day in the restaurant business, as the list of Greater Charleston Restaurant Association members keeping holiday hours makes clear.

Although many of them are adjusting menus and hours for Thanksgiving, 41 restaurants are planning to open. By contrast, the group’s spokeswoman was only aware of five member restaurants shutting down for the day.

“It’s just been a tradition for us to let employees have a family day,” says Steven Jones, manager of the West Ashley Crab Shack, one of the five closed restaurants. Continue reading

OpenTable and Saveur Bestow Awards on Charleston Restaurants

FIG interiorOpenTable today released its list of U.S. restaurants specializing in American cuisine which over the last year received the highest diner scores; of the top 100 finishers, four are located in Charleston.

Charleston Grill, FIG, Peninsula Grill and Tristan were named Diners’ Choice award winners. The ratings were culled from five million reviews of 15,000 restaurants nationwide.

“We’re proud to know diners thoroughly enjoyed their experience here at Tristan,” executive chef Nate Whiting was quoted as saying in a release from the restaurant. Continue reading

Rue de Jean Launches Lunch Deal

MainEblastImage_NovDowntown diners concerned about the impending demise of Fish’s daily lunch deal may want to transfer their noontime routines to 39 Rue de Jean, which this week started offering an $11.99 lunch special.

During the week, the restaurant will serve a choice of featured soup, salad or entrée for the promo price. Coffee or iced tea is included, but a glass of house wine costs an extra $4.

The special runs from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and the week’s menu will be posted on Rue de Jean’s social media outlets. This week, customers have their pick of the day’s soup; a mesclun salad with tomatoes and cucumbers and grilled pork tenderloin with orange marmalade and braised kale (which sounds like the surest way to get your money’s worth.)

Home Team BBQ Hosts Beef, Goat and Oyster Party Next Weekend

Garden & Gun’s Jubilee festivities next weekend don’t include a Friday dinner option, but nearby Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ is hoping to lure event-goers with a collaborative smoking session.

Pitmasters from Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island are joining the Home Team crew to prepare beef barbacoa, goat tacos, goat sausage and oysters, along with a sides spread including Brussels sprouts, cornbread, lima beans and corn.

Spokeswoman Angel Postell describes the two sets of pitmasters, who first met when they partenered on the 2012 Charleston Wine + Food Festival finale, as representing “the ‘new school’ of younger pitmasters offering a fresh, creative approach to all things barbecue.” Home Team’s Aaron Siegel recently won a StarChefs.com “concept” award, which recognizes a “creative, successful chef-driven concept that could be successfully expanded.”

The Backyard BBQ, which includes music from Shrimp City Slim and cocktails from High Wire Distilling Co., runs from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6. Tickets are $30, and can be purchased by e-mailing info@hometeambbq.com or by calling 345-9563.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Rides Into North Charleston

Family_PackDickey’s Barbecue Pit opens Thursday in North Charleston, offering an array of promotions. But will the restaurant serve up true Texas barbecue?

Depends who you ask. Franchise owner Vedit Patel, who discovered Dickey’s as a University of Arizona student, has said he’s “excited about opening a Texas barbecue restaurant.” And the chain has so many fans in the Lone Star state that its exclusion from Texas Monthly’s list of top 50 BBQ joints provoked a spate of angry e-mails from outraged Dickey’s fans.

“We assume this is satire,” barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn wrote in his official response to the complaint. Introducing an earlier iteration of the list, the magazine’s food editor, Patricia Sharpe, dismissed Dickey’s output as “mediocre.” Continue reading