McCrady’s Restaurant, Charleston, 3/8/17

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building

McCrady’s Restaurant is a tasting menu only, not to be confused with McCrady’s Tavern which operates in the former McCrady’s dining room space.  The tasting menu option opened late summer of 2016 and offers one seating for a couple dozen people.  Doors open just 5 minutes before the meal begins.  Reservations are pre-paid but wine pairings as well as a fair sized wine list of bottles are purchased when you arrive.  There are 2 rooms, the entry room has a couple tables where a larger group could be accommodated and the second room with a U shaped reclaimed walnut counter which ends in an open kitchen.  Below the counter are shelves for glasses, plates and drawers for linens and flatware.  Service moves quickly to change out needs and get everyone served in a similar time frame.  

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Waiting to get in
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first room as seen from the counter
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counter area
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Open kitchen
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Frankie studied the aluminium solder in the middle of the reclaimed walnut bar

 

One ding I had on this system was the variation in explanations given with the dishes by the servers.  I found myself ease-dropping on another’s service when ours was less then adequate so I could note what was involved with the dishes.  They do send you home with a printed menu and some seeds and spice.  When we sat down the first item, eggplant jerky was already waiting for us.  It was a little spicy with a good chew.

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eggplant jerky
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white wine

 

Next was turnip tea, made in-house, with a pickled turnip piece in the bottom.  It was amazingly flavorful and accented with bits of chive.

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Turnip Tea
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interesting light fixture and painted ceiling

 

The carrot tart also contained aged persimmon and something creamy in the bottom.  It was nice.

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Carrot tart

 

Beet leather, seasoned with cocoa and lime,  was served with Red Wattle Pork that had been aged 2 years and seasoned with Wild Bay aged sorghum.

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Red watttle pork, wild red bay, sorghum
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Beet leather
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red wattle pork

 

Caviar was next, adorning apple, sunflower foam and brown butter. A sunchoke purée bound it all together.

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caviar
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splitting into the dishes
Caviar, sunflower, brown butter, apple
Caviar, sunflower, brown butter, apple
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closer
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Frankie wondered about the rocks in the bathroom sink

 

The Virginia oyster was paired with slow roasted cabbage, trout roe, coriander, sorghum and huarache.  It was a wonderful flavor.

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Virginia oyster
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closer

 

Cobia served 3 ways was next – grilled, roasted and poached mixed with abalone mushrooms, peanuts and a sauce of lovage.  I found the sauce too fishy and forgot to take a photo but have used one from the McCrady website.

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Cobia, Abalone Mushroom, Green Peanut

 

Charleston Ice Cream was Carolina Gold Rice, California style- topped with herbs and flowers. The rice is cooked with butter and becomes very creamy but the various herbs also give a slight tart taste.  The leaves explode with flavor in your mouth.  A successful combination here.

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Carolina Gold Rice, California style
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Frankie found the cookbook with bathroom supplies
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red wine

 

Black Perigord truffles are an accent as well as in the sauce for the aged ribeye beef.  The truffles mix great in the well reduced sauce. The beef is tender and nicely rare.  The plate also has a round of sweet potato, with a baby food texture, that is quite nice.  Some of the beef as tartar is also presented in a shiso leaf and that is tremendous.  Also served is some Carolina rice bread that has a very nice crust and good chew.

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Aged beef, sweet potato, black truffle
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sweet potato
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beef closer
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Beef tartar in Shiso leaf
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inside
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Carolina rice bread
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Frankie found more supplies

 

Next a little show while chocolate ganache is poured into a chocolate shell, then left on the counter to set up.   Meanwhile you get the uni ice cream that is a frozen bit of fun.  The staff is then back to mix up brazilnuts, smoked bananas and whipped cream mixed with red tea to put on top of the chocolate tart.  The tart has a thin very crisp crust and the textural contrast of the nuts is good.  It’s not too sweet but fairly rich.

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start
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pour in chocolate
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more
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till full
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sets while topping is mixed
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topping for chocolate
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final: Chocolate, rooibos, banana
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closer
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from the top
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Uni & Pumpkin
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Frankie wondered where it went

 

The sea island milk is ice cream on top of blood orange snow and tonka bean something.   It is quite cold with a lot of flavors and textures including marshmallow whip and passion fruit.

Sea Island milk, citrus, tonka bean
Sea Island milk, citrus, tonka bean
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closer

 

The “Foiechamacallit” is a Carolina rice candy with a foie gras inside and a dark chocolate coating served on real Carolina Gold rice pods. It had a bit of crunchy something in it and was very good.

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“Foiechamacallit”: Carolina rice candy with foie gras
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closer
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Frankie eyed the rice stalks
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inside
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Frankie found a spot to settle down

 

The meal finished with a kiss-shaped breath freshener.

breath freshener
breath freshener
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All cleaned up
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Michael Hennnesy and Frankie

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