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Tomato Tasting Menu at McCrady's in Charleston

menuinprogress Jun 16, 2008 07:43 AM

My wife and I went to McCrady's last night. They recently started doing a shorter tasting menu. Currently it features tomatoes from their garden - $50 for four courses.

Amuse - Tomato Crab Salad with an Avocado Purée
Served nicely chilled. Good tomato and crab flavor.

Salad of Summer Berries and Tomatoes
Attractive dish. The single tomato slice was very good, as were the berries. I didn't feel that they complemented each other particularly well, though, and would rather have had another slice of tomato instead of the berries. That is probably mostly just personal preference, though.

Tomato Braised Halibut with Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Jam
Described as the chef's take on a BLT, this was the best dish of the evening. The Halibut was perfectly cooked and the "jam" (more of a sauce, really) had great flavor. The fish was sitting on a bed of cooked down lettuce that was a really nice addition. The bacon came in two places - the addition of a foam (it's not molecular gastronomy until someone adds some bacon foam...) and a sliver of crispy toast that had been infused with smoky bacon fat.

Caw Caw Creek Pork with Tomato Confit, Celeriac and Tomato Bordelaise
The pork was small loin slices that were perfectly cooked (sous-vide, maybe?). It had the flavor of loin, but a nice soft texture more like tenderloin. It was topped with celeriac "noodles" that I didn't think worked at all. They took away visually from the pork and tasted more like paste than celeriac. The tomato confit was very good, and was sitting on top of some more celeriac purée - this time with great celeriac flavor.

Tomato Custard with Chocolate Ice Cream and Tomato Caramel
Tasty dessert, but not really any tomato flavor that I could discern. The tomato custard was just sweet and the tomato caramel tasted mostly like caramel. There was a dusting of tomato/chocolate "dirt" that was interesting, but still mostly just tasted like chocolate.

Overall, a fairly enjoyable, if not outstanding, meal. Less experimental than I was expecting given reviews I had read. Service was fine, but fairly perfunctory and expressed no real interest in the food. This was only the second day they had been offering the new tasting menu, so perhaps it will improve with time.

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