As I mentioned the other day, I’m still catching up on some out of town posts…I have a Vegas post that is long overdue, but after that and this, I should be current.
Though, I am in Japan right now and that should fill the backlog for quite some time.
Obviously, it’s very important that I stay up to date on telling you what and where I ate.
In April I visited the SC coast, as I tend to do for work. There’s not much that I enjoy in Myrtle Beach, though Habibi’s is a solid option. I enjoyed the labneh, I should order that more often. It’s thicker than tzaziki – more like cream cheese.
But a friend happend to be renting a house south of Myrtle Beach, and he graciously offered to let me crash there two nights, which was a nice change from hotel living. He grilled squid and served it with olives (so simple and good!) and grilled steaks the next evening, opening up a birth year wine for me as the next day was my 32nd birthday. The Chateau Canon was a silly good Bordeaux, but was happy to chase it with a perfumey Echezeax. Spoiled.
After work the next day, a couple of friends came in to Charleston to join me for some birthday fun, such as a three-dude rickshaw ride up to The Ordinary, the new seafood restaurant from Mike Lata (FIG).
It’s clearly an impressive space.
We kept the dining warm-up light – oysters and peel and eat shrimp.
Though previously not on the agenda, we stopped in FIG for a few snacks. We had a steak tartare, the crisped pig trotter, and the nine vegetable salad, which could have been the dish of the day. Beets, radish, potatoes, beans, peas and more (four more if they were honest) with varying textures and temperatures, in a light Caesar style dressing. Just damn good vegetables. The bartenders at FIG are some of my favorite too visit with as well.
We then stopped in to Cypress and met with Chef Deihl, who somewhat agreed to talk to us back in the kitchen, though he’s probably still sore at me for losing his n’duja sausage he asked me to bring back to Atlanta and give to someone. I screwed the pooch and lost it, so my shame is deserved.
It was cool to see the setup though. The other big guy in the photo is a visiting chef from Colorado, there just to learn about charcuterie, which has become a serious and nationally recognized operation.
After a quick drink at Gin Joint, “dinner” was at McCrady’s. It was good, but not the elevated experience I had on my previous visit. A couple of the dishes were perfectly executed and delicious, but a few were just short of expectation, such as the duck, which lacked the depth I found last time. Desserts (such as the carrot further below) were intriguing on paper, but failed to finish the meal on a memorable note, unlike last time when the jasmine egg knocked it out of the park.
The pork dish below, with peas, ramps, and morels, wins the award for most seasonal Spring dish of the year.
A Chartogne-Taillet champagne off the list was quite nice, and an ’04 Arnoux Suchots Burg we brought drank well above its vintage reputuation.
Finally, I rocked a Big Nasty at Hominy Grill. Some dishes are just born winners.
See you next time, Charleston. You know I will always do my best.