Wild Common promises “bold and inventive cuisine” in several dining spaces. We chose the Chef’s Counter but there is also the indoor dining room or private courtyard. The space is large and also accommodates a couple of event spaces, neither of which were in use nor was Chef Orlando Pagán in the kitchen. You enter the plain building and go down a long hall, thinking you’ve entered the wrong space. When you find the dining area there is also a marble bar that looks into the kitchen and a large changing digital painting that dominates the dining room. Opening in the spring of 2019, you’ll find high ceilings and music in the background. They offer a tasting menu (with supplements) only and have optional wine pairings. The pricing of the menu and supplements was off in that each supplement was as much or more than the whole menu – seemed odd. We chose our own bottle and a cocktail from the bar to go with our tasting menu as printed. The menu had good portioning and very fast pacing. Staff were all friendly and helpful.
The menu started immediately with no amuse bouche. First up was a steamed bun stuffed with Maine lobster and yuzu koshu and topped with scallion. It was excellent. The bun was wonderful with a lovely texture and was great with the sweet and nicely dressed lobster pieces.
“KFC” was actually Korean fried chicken topped with sorghum, relish and some crunchy bits that looked like small popcorn. The chicken was more barbecued than fried but a fun take on an American standard. This bite had tons of flavor and a little spiciness. It was yummy.
Duck raviolo also contained chestnut, miso and blueberry. A caramelized twill was on top of the pasta and that added some crunch to the otherwise soft textures. The blueberries added a bit of sweetness to the fairly thick pasta. This one was very nice but not as ‘wowie-zowie’ as the first 2 bites.
There was a little break before the next one as those that ordered the supplemental eggs benedict were served. At $95 it seemed a pricey bit of caviar and hollandaise but the girl next to me said it was good. The seared Diver scallop was topped with a slice of lardo and surrounded by a vanilla sunchoke foam sauce sitting on crab, with parsnip and pecan on the side. The very slightly cooked scallop was tender and the sunchoke foam was really tasty. The foam was nicely accented by the nut mix. This one was good but didn’t feel like it covered any new territory.
Unicorn grits pain de mie was served with yeasted cultured butter. The bread was topped with some coarse sea salt which added to the grit supplied by the cornmeal. The butter was exceptionally soft and a little whippy. The bread was fine but not as doughy as it looked like it would be.
Dry aged beef strip loin was plated with beetroot, potato puff and mornay sauce. You could upgrade the beef to a “w.black wagyu” for $85 but I would suggest that they consider upping the price of the tasting and just offering a better grade of beef. This was cooked medium rare and pretty dry and cardboard-like with little overall flavor. The addition of pumpkin seeds on the beets was a nice addition, adding texture and taste. The potato puff was a fried bit that had a nice soft interior and crispy exterior but salty. This was a really disappointing plate and most of mine went back to the kitchen indicating just that.
Dessert was “super food” made with honey, turmeric and ginger. The lighter portion was a caramelized tamarind mousse topped with a turmeric disk and on the side was pineapple and basil espuma. The pineapple added some sweetness to the cheesecake-like middle cylinder but overall this would just merit an okay.
6 thoughts on “Wild Common, Charleston, 2/8/23”
If only you could just order the first two a la carte.
Too bad about the steak, but I think I’d have loved that scallop and crab dish.
It was done well which is always good but I wanted it to have a little something different if that makes sense. It seems like the place wanted to be more cutting-edge but didn’t quite have the stuff.
Korean Fried Chicken, whilst influenced by American chicken, is its own thing and an Asian standard. In Asia KFC is widely understood to be Korean Fried Chicken.
Thanks for the information and your comment!