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A Culinary Tour of Charleston – Part 2

June 7, 2012

Despite our amazing meals at Husk and McCrady’s, we still had lots of other eating to do in Charleston. Between miles of walking and a historic carriage tour, all we pretty much did was eat or drink our way around town. Below are a few more of our delicious meals, not particularly in date order, but in order of our typical day on the town.

BRUNCH: TRISTAN 
10 Linguard Street  Charleston, SC 29401

Set in the lobby of the French Quarter Inn, Tristan is probably the most upscale brunch I have every been to. It is very clear that they take their service seriously, as every movement of the wait staff is perfectly timed and executed. For brunch it seemed a little over the top, but I can imagine it would make for a great atmosphere for an upscale dinner.

Both of our dishes were complex, unique and delicious. I would definitely like to go back and sample the rest of their menu.

Crab Carbonara w/ Artisinal Pasta, Pork Belly, Poached Egg & English Peas

2 1/2 Egg Omlette w/ Soft Shell Crab, Moretti Polenta, Broccoli Puree and Hollandaise

LUNCH: CRU CAFE
18 Pinckney Street  Charleston, SC 29401

After all the fancy-pants meals we had indulged in, it was nice to have lunch at somewhere that felt just like the neighborhood lunch spot. But although the vibe was laid back and relaxing, the food was nothing short of amazing. Fresh mussels, fried oyster wraps and an impressive duck confit salad – this menu could satisfy anyone, and the prices are incredibly reasonable. A whole bowl of fresh mussels for less than $10? yes please!

White Wine Truffled Mussels with Tomato & Peppers

Duck Confit Arugula Salad w/ Caramelized Pecans, Tomato, Fried Onion and Port Wine Vinaigrette 

Coconut Fried Oyster Wrap filled with lots of delicious other bits that I don’t remember…

AFTERNOON PIT STOP: PEARLZ OYSTER BAR
153 East Bay Street Charleston, SC

Pearlz was our afternoon pit stop on Sunday, in an attempt to escape the heat of the day and the winds from Tropical Storm Beryl (no rain, just wind thank goodness). First of all the vibe was perfect for an afternoon pit stop, and although I’ve heard they can have quite the wait at night, we walked right in to 2 seats at the oyster bar. And to our surprise the icing on the cake was $1 Miller Highlife cans all day on Sundays, who can say no?!

Neither of us are oyster connoisseurs. We are most definitely still trying to figure them out and decide if they are our forte, and I have to say this experience definitely swayed me into the “hey I think I can like these things” category. We opted for the sampler platter and it was a great little taste test with oysters ranging from the Gulf to RI, BC and beyond. If you like oysters, just want to try liking oysters, or just want a cool place to hang out on a hot day, I definitely recommend a stop in Pearlz.

Oyster Sampler 

DINNER: FIG
232 Meeting Street  Charleston, SC 29401

From the moment we started planning this trip, FIG was very high on the list of “Must Visits”. FIG stands for Food Is Good – so I’m sure you have no idea why I felt so fondly about this place 🙂 Like our other dinners, they source everything locally and the menu changes daily depending on what they can secure that day, right up my alley. Our plans put us here on Saturday night, between our adventures at Husk & McCrady’s and I’m not sure I could have possibly been more impressed and overly satisfied with all aspects of a restaurant more than I was with FIG that night. Before we even ordered we bonded instantly with our server, chatting about Nashville, City House and Tandy Wilson. Apparently Tandy took his whole staff up to eat at FIG just recently. Too bad we couldn’t have been there that night!

After overstuffing ourselves at Husk the previous night, we opted to go for 2 appetizers and 1 entrée, and see how we felt after that. Per our servers suggestion, we had to order the Ricotta Gnocchi, and having passed the restaurant earlier in the day and gotten a glimpse at the menu, I knew I had to have the Coddled Farm Egg. Both of these starters were amazing. The gnocchi like little pillows of flavor that just melted away in your mouth. The Coddled Sea Island Farm Egg was by far the most exquisite bite of food I experienced on this trip. Nestled in an extremely flavorful broth, it was perfectly cooked and the fresh crab and farm veggies added an amazing touch. For our entrée we went all out and ordered the Confit of Suckling Pig. Not at all plated like the whole tiny pig I (sort of) imagined, it was formed into a loaf which was seared until crispy on one side. A heavy entrée to say the least, but delightful.

If you only get one 1 dinner in Charleston, I highly recommend you make FIG that meal.

Ricotta Gnocchi and Border Springs Farm Lamb Bolognese

Coddled Sea Island Farm Egg w/ lump crab, zucchini, sweet corn, spring onion soubise

Caw Caw Creek Suckling Pig Confit w/ yukon gold puree, garden vegetables & natural jus

As has been for some time, and will continue to be, my mantra:

I hope you enjoyed our adventures in Charleston! I strongly encourage all of you to take a trip and check out some of these amazing places, and all the other amazing food and history the city has to offer. And if you need some company, we are more than willing to join you! Cheers!

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