Friday, September 9, 2011
The best new restaurant in America is in Charleston
Bon Appetit recently announced "The Best New Restaurants in America in 2011," and its no. 1 choice is Husk, on Queen Street in Charleston.
Of course, such best-of lists are highly subjective and easily contradicted. Even so, I invite you to sit down, take a deep breath, and digest Bon Appetit's description of dining at Husk: "A meal at Husk begins with buttermilk dinner rolls sprinkled with benne seeds (a.k.a. sesame seeds). You know how people tell you not to fill up on bread? When you're at Husk, you can ignore them. After that it's on to wood-fired clams with Benton's sausage, crispy pig's-ear lettuce wraps, and country ham-flecked pimiento cheese on heirloom-wheat crackers. And do not leave without trying the smoky fried chicken skins served with hot sauce and honey."
Honey, you had me at "buttermilk rolls sprinkled with benne seeds." And the country ham-flecked pimiento cheese on heirloom-wheat crackers sounds no less addictive than tobacco itself. So on my next trip to Charleston, I'm going to have to squeeze in a trip to Husk, along with Jestine's Kitchen (and the Coca-Cola cake), 82 Queen (still love their she-crab soup and fried green tomatoes), and all the other restaurants I love in one of my favorite cities in the world.
While I'm on the subject of country ham, Nick and I had Sunday brunch at 2223 in San Francisco not long ago. We've been going there for years, mostly for dinner; it's one of our favorite SF restaurants. On the brunch menu was an egg dish that came with a home-made biscuit and what their chef had the impudence to call "country ham."
No. 1: The biscuit had never been properly introduced to butter and was, as a result, as dry as a 40-year-old crouton.
No. 2: As for the ham, well, if you don't long to gulp down a pitcher of water (or sweetened tea) almost immediately after eating it, it ain't country ham. I went the rest of the afternoon with barely a thought given to liquid refreshment. Perhaps 2223 should call their version "city ham"?
Labels: Southern Comfort Food and Drink