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Sep 9, 2006 01:36 PM

braised lamb shank? short rib?

I've been reading Bill Buford's wonderful memoir, Heat, about his year as a line cook at Mario Batali's NYC restaurant, Babbo. Buford's detailed and loving descriptions of Batali's braised lamb shank and short rib preparations have me salivating to try something similar...

Question: Where in the South might one find authenthic Tuscan versions of these dishes? (I can easily drive to Asheville, Greenville, Charlotte, Atlanta, and/or Charleston from my home.)

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  1. most restaurants in the south aren't going to start doing dishes like that until later in the fall, when that type of food won't be overly rich for the average diner and 100 degree heat. in charleston, i know that FIG does a short rib dish (i haven't had it, but talked to the chef about it when i was there a few weeks ago). as far as definite "tuscan" preparation, i'm a little less sure, but brown food will start popping up all over restaurants over the next 5-6 weeks or so, i'd wager. keep your eye on websites for restaurants in your area (which sounds as though it's wide!).

    1. Stoney Knob in Weaverville does a great lamb shank and so does....golly who is it...28806 maybe? no, that's not right....I'll think of it and get back to youl

      1. Thanks to both of you. Leah, how do I get to Stoney Knob from Asheville?

        1. Keep an eye out for Mercato, also in Charleston. It just opened this summer, and I have neither been nor seen the menu, but it features Tuscan cuisine and the chef just recently returned from working at a couple of Batali's restaurants in NYC.

          Here's a link to an article in the local indy:

          3 Replies
          1. re: Low Country Jon

            I used to live in Summerville, so I know Charleston well. Where is Mercato?

            1. re: Jeff C.

              Next to Peninsula Grill on the Market apparently. I haven't scoped it out myself.

              1. re: Low Country Jon

                Thanks for the heads up. Will definitely check it out next time I'm down there.

          2. Jeff C - Stoney Knob is right on Merrimon Ave (Weaverville Hwy). JUst head north on Merrimon and about 3-4 miles after you pass Beaverdam Lake(on your left) you'll pass an Ingles (on right) in Woodfin and then shortly after that you'll see Stoney Knob on your left. Alternatively you can take 19/23 out of town and take the New Stock Road exit. Make a right off the exit then an immediate left at light (Merrimon Ave) and it will be less than one mile on your left.

            3 Replies
            1. re: leahinsc

              I've been out that way a time or two. Guess I just haven't noticed it. Thanks, Leah.

              1. re: leahinsc

                Hi Leah -

                We have vowed to try something new when we come for dinner next week (because the Rib Tips are playing Jack of the Woods on the 22nd).

                Knowing my tastes as you probably do by now, should we try Stoney Knob, 28806, or Stone House? I'm a little concerned that the 28806 chef was at Savoy. How long ago? I have not been thrilled w/ that place, but that could be management I suppose. Thank you.

                As to lamb shank, seems that lots of places have that as a special rather than a regular menu item. I had a really good one at Stone Soup in LAndrum, and a really Mutton-y (but not terrible) one at Sunny Point.

                1. re: danna

                  Danna, gee that's tough but I think you should try 28806 this trip. It's close to downtown and aren't you a bread person? You'll love the bread. He was the chef at Savoy when it was good (and relatively inexpensive) before the got into their "I wannabe a New York city restaurant" phase. He's had 28806 for at least 3 years now. Anyway, try the fried green tomato appetizer - that's one of my favorites.