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My Charleston Bites: Sean Brock’s Husk

June 22, 2014

Sean Brock has acquired quite a cult reputation in Charleston and beyond.  In addition to the popular McCrady’s, his second restaurant Husk has also garnered accolades all around for its celebration of Southern ingredients.  Husk is located on a quiet street in a stately Southern style house with that classic front porch, both on the first floor and the second, just inviting you to come for a glass of sweet tea.  The inside is just as welcoming with bi-level dining.  We were guided into the spacious living room with soaring ceilings and comfortable chairs for our Monday night supper.

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The heat of the early summer air outside made us crave something refreshing.  A classic glass of sweet tea and lemonade with cinnamon ice cube and a single leaf of sage please.  The cinnamon flavor grew as the ice cube melted, adding a deeper note to the drink than a typical lemonade.

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We were pretty determined to not stuff ourselves with bread but how can we resist when dinner rolls arrived at the table warm straight from the oven?

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Even though the menu here is seasonal and many dishes will rotate in and out, one that has made frequent appearances on the menu is the Kentuckyaki glazed pig ear lettuce wraps.  I am not sure what makes these Kentucky but the teriyaki sauce was sweet and savory, coating the pig ear pieces elegantly.  The pig ears were cooked until they were caramelized and tender, unlike any others I have ever had before.

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A closer look at these figure friendly wraps loaded with pig ears, fermented cucumbers and peppers to balance the punch from the teriyaki sauce.

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Because we were in the middle of ramp season, this delicious vegetable made a special appearance on the Husk menu in the form of hand cut ramp pasta.  Ribbons of the tender pasta provided a nest for other spring vegetables, spring peas, fava beans and asparagus.  Crisp crumble of country ham added that salty bite and the egg yolk made a sauce that bound all the components together beautifully.

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The pasta was hard to follow but some one had to do it.  The duck confit with dumplings stuffed with herbed potatoes, sugar snap peas, baby carrots in an orange-coriander broth was a strong dish, a very strong dish.  The generous portion of duck was cooked to perfection, tender and literally fell apart as my fork glided through the leg.  The skin was crispy but not oily at all with most of the fat rendered during the cooking process.  The potato dumplings weren’t light but the sweetness was a great balance to the salty duck.

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Our second entree of the night was a lovely local South Carolina coastal group.  Simply grilled and roasted, the firm white fish was served with a medley of spring vegetables and dressed in a light embered spring onion broth.

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Even though the skillet of cornbread was so tempting, we opted for a lighter side, J. Fields grilled snap beans, to share.  Smokey tomatoes and spring onions elevated the tender beans to a satisfying dish on its own.

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My sweet tooth got the better of me at Husk and I couldn’t resist ordering the heirloom Carolina gold rice pudding.  Served with blackberries and short bread cookies, this was light and will satisfy anyone who has a penchant for rice pudding like me.

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Our meal at Husk marked the end of our dinners at Charleston and I was very happy to have enjoyed it at Husk.  It is a restaurant that truly offers a wonderful representation of some of the best ingredients that the South has to offer.  The comfortable setting and the attentive service just added to the Southern charm.

 

Husk | 76 Queen St. Charleston, SC 29401 | http://www.huskrestaurant.com/

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