IOP/Charleston : FIG,Hucks's and...unbelievably...Water's Edge
A quick report for you:
Anyone who reads me ramble knows FIG is my favorite , and it continues to be. And THIS time, even my parents liked it. We 3 ordered each of the fish dishes on the menu, the King Salmon, the Triggerfish, and the Grouper. My Dad's triggerfish (w/ crab and field pea succotach and corn broth) was the hands-down winner, my Mom's pancetta wrapped grouper w/ eggplant was a close second. She RAVED about the eggplant. It was special. My salmon (w/ farro and rapini pesto) was very good, but the least special of the three.
I also had the heirloom tomato salad w/ ricotta salata, very good, and the Sorhgum baked red peas (side veggie) that were outstanding. My wine, as usual was great. I know it's a very random and subjective thing, but I have never had a white wine from FIG that I didn't think was just outstanding.
This was my first visit to Huck's. How amazing to walk to a restaurant down the street from your condo, have a fantastic ocean view, AND the food be great! Convenience and views don't usually accompany great food. The place was pretty full around 7 on a Tuesday night. I started w/ the fried oysters...they gave me enough to feed all 3 of us. The breading was a *teeny* bit heavier than I would prefer, but the oyster quality was fantastic.
I had the Wreckfish on lobster and bacon risotto...it was fantastic. The wreckfish was meaty and very mild, and the risotto was great. My Mom had the same thing and my Dad had the lowcountry bouillabasse. He didn't share much of it, but I got to taste one nice scallop and some of the homemade Challah bread that was soaked in the broth. yum.
Tues-Wed are 1/2 price bottle night, and I let the waiter select a wine for me. He picked a Chard, which I normally don't order, but after I looked suspicious, he brought me a taste of both it and a Pinot Grigio (which I also don't normally like.) The Chard was pretty nice, reminded me of Chards back in the 90's when toasty inexpensive Chardonnays were nice, and didn't taste like sweet wood. Even though I was happy w/ my wine, I'm going to say the wine list is a bit of a weak point. Nothing super exciting, and mostly California, where I don't think too many bargains are found. (I didn't pay much attention to the reds, but I did notice a Borsao garnacha so that's a good sign.) Very nice glassware, and they were selling tons of wine. The 1/2 price deal must be working well for them.
The list of ice creams looked fantastic, but we skipped them, alas.
And finally, when I told my Dad I had found him a nice place on Shem Creek to get a more traditional "beach" meal (the Wreck), he informed me he wanted to go to a place he and my Mom went last year that he really liked. Water's Edge. OK...I expected it would be kinda boring, but I expected a menu along the lines of the Wreck, a Myrtle-beach-type fried or broiled pick-your-seafood-combo place w/ hushpuppies and slaw. But I figured it would have solid execution.
Well... and I cringe w/ guilt to say this, because I appreciate being allowed to pick the first 2 restaurants, and I want to respect my parent's taste...but GOOD GOD it was horrendous. I sat there thinking how lucky I am that I haven't eaten at a place that bad in a good while. The menu was an attempt at being up-scale. Everything a la carte (which I though my dad hated...go figure) and attempting pretention. I had the salad w/ goat cheese, and it was mixed greens on one side of the plate, and on the other, two thickly breaded greasy disks of cheese, with a really, really bad marinara sauce on them. $10. Then i had the "crispy flounder" which may have been attempting to copy Garibaldi's long-time favorite, but failed miserably. My parents both got the only seafood combo on the menu, and let me taste. The shrimp, well I'd bet it was frozen Thai shrimp, the scallops and oysters were no better.
Everyone's plate had a mound of red rice, which was rice in tomato paste. add some greasy mixed veggies, and you have the full picture. BTW, our waiter was very professional and friendly and just couldn't have tried harder. I hope my Dad tipped him well because there were only two tables there and 2 waiters.
So let this be a warning. I doubt any of you were planning a trip there anytime soon, but just as a reminder than tourist traps can really be as bad as you remember from the last time you got sucked in.
Great write-up. The FIG meal sounds great. I had some wonderful triggerfish on special at Hominy Grill last week, so it must be plentiful this time of year. I hadn't heard of the fish before, but it was tasty, and had a great texture.
Sorry about the Water's Edge experience. Sometimes you just have to go along with the family's wishes. My in-laws hardly ever trust my husband's and my opinion on restaurants and dishes, because we like "weird food" - like guacamole, for example.
Well I guess two out of three isn't too bad! ;-) Look on the bright side, now you won't have a hard time convincing your parents to eat at FIG. Also glad to see you enjoyed Huck's, wine night is fun. Water's Edge huh? I don't think I have ever been dragged to that one, but I swear all the crappiness that is Shem Creek blends together for me.