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Nov 11, 2010 06:57 AM

Husk Review - Charleston

I went to Husk last night with 3 other people, and we were all blown away by the food and service. Despite visiting the restaurant on its 3rd day of business, things couldn't have been running smoother. The service was so good and spot on, if you didn't know Husk had only been open for 3 days you would have been very surprised.

The chef changes the menu just about everyday, as the server told us if it's not from the South it's not on the menu. The wine list is varied, but not overwhelmingly big, and they also have a good selection of bourbon.

I really have to start off the food descriptions by saying if you don't like pork and pork products then you should find somewhere else to eat, seriously we had pork with every course, but I'm not complaining. We started with a ham medley, 4 different kinds of ham; bacon, lardo, country and soppressata, served with house made pickled vegetables and beer mustard with toasted baguette slices. I think the country ham from VA was my favorite, the house made beer mustard had a nice kick and the pickled veggies almost stole the show. The bread came next, they were a slightly sweet roll, light and had a healthy dose of course salt on top. The rolls were served with pork butter, what I think is butter mixed with bacon grease, it was salty and smokey and a good compliment to the rolls.

For the main course I had grouper with local shrimp on top of lima and rattlesnake beans with a nice broth, then topped with lardo. The grouper was cooked perfectly, as were the beans, the broth was light and my dish was seasoned perfectly. My husband had the duck, which came with a granola sprinkled over the cut breast, he was served pumpkin and cabbage on the side. From the taste I had the duck was wonderful, and according to him it is the best duck he's had in town, he will order duck if it's on the menu. My Mother had pork served with broccoli and another side, again the pork was cooked perfectly, and it was delicious. The portion was more than generous, and she has plenty for lunch today. Lastly my Dad had the country fried leg of lamb with gravy over vegetables and mashed potatoes. The lamb dish was served in a Le Crueset pot, and it was outstanding. Despite the menu calling the lamb "Country Fried" it was really roasted, and the "gravy" was not heavy like one might expect from the menu description.

For dessert, my Mother and I split the upside down warm apple cider cake topped with bourbon ice cream. The cake was light and full of flavor, and the bourbon ice cream was the one thing that sent the dish over the top, but in a good way. The apples were firm, but cooked, and the nuts gave the cake a nice bite or crunch. It also had a nice cider sauce on the side, if given the opportunity I would definitely order this cake again. Both my husband and my Father had the benne beignets with a warm smoked lard caramel sauce. The beignets were fine, but not spectacular, however, the real star was the smoked lard caramel sauce. It was so good we kept it on the table long after the beignets were gone. The smokiness and saltiness of the pork mixed with the sweet caramel was almost too good to be true, and it made me wonder why someone didn't think of it sooner. This is something that may just be served at my house on Thanksgiving, I cannot wait to see if I can recreate this sauce. Also of note, we were served our coffee in individual french presses. It was a nice touch, and the coffee was very good.

All in all, I would have to tell people to run not walk there, but if I had to make one complaint I would say the dining room gets very noisy. I don't think they have enough soft surfaces to absorb the sound. However, I can't wait to go back and see what else they have on the menu, and I can't wait to try and make that sauce.

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  1. lizzy, what a great review. I am so glad Husk lived up to your expectations. I'm in Greensboro right now, but I'll go get me some BACON as soon as I return. Pork products and grouper? And bourbon?! Count me in.

    1. thanks lizzy. just made a res for dec 9th!! (picked a day my vegetarian friends won't be eating w/ the group...holy cow, that's pig-centric!)

      "smoked lard caramel sauce" i'm speachless. Generally i try to limit my lard intake ;-) i'll make an exception.

      While I have your ear, any new italian (or other pasta) places we might want to try pre-Kiawah race if the girls are getting weary of Al Di La? (seems impossible, I know) On recent attemps to branch out, Trattoria Lucca was good but didn't wow us, and Il Cortile had gone WAY tourist trap levels.


      Al Di La
      25 Magnolia Rd, Charleston, SC 29407

      Trattoria Lucca
      41 Bogard St, Charleston, SC 29403

      2 Replies
      1. re: danna

        Hey danna,

        I like Sette in Mt P. I have recently been to Il Cortile and enjoyed it-it was my 3rd recent trip and didn't seem touristy. I like Pane e Vino too, but I've only been for brunch. You might like its coziness.

        We really should do a M&G!

        1. re: danna

          Hey, Danna, I remember you were a fan of Sermet's Corner downtown, so I thought I'd mention that Sermet opened up a sister restaurant on Daniel Island called Sermet's Courtyard. We ate there last weekend (first one they were open) and were pretty impressed.

          My Husk reservation is for this Saturday. I've been looking forward to it for awhile. If you follow their Facebook page, you know it's unreal how much national press the restaurant received before it even opened. So glad they didn't go with the original name of Sazerac!

          Sermet's Corner
          276 King St, Charleston, SC 29401

        2. Danna & Sue,

          I think I fulfilled my lard intake for the year in just one sitting. ;-) Seriously though, I hope you both enjoy Husk as much as we did.

          Danna, it has been awhile since we've done Italian, but I have heard good things about Wild Olive on John's Island. I have also been to Pane e Vino for dinner, and it might fit the bill. I didn't think it was as good as Al di La, but I was still impressed. Reservations are a must, the place only has a few tables, and it might be possible to eat outside.

          Sue, count me in on a meet & greet!

          Wild Olive
          2867 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455

          7 Replies
          1. re: lizzy

            Should we wait til you are ready for your next lard intake or go somewhere else? :D

            1. re: Sue in Mt P

              I'd love to meet you guys. There are 8 of us going to the race, but on Thursday I might be with a more manageable group if y'all wanted to meet for a glass of wine before dinner or something.

              I checked the Wild Olive looks pretty good, and a super convenient location to Kiawah. Thanks. It's surprising how vegetarian - unfriendly so many charleston restaurants are. So many dishes that would be perfect veg fare have some pancetta or sausage slipped in. I wonder if chefs routinely make things veg if you ask? God knows I can't understand it, but apparently vegetarians aren't all THAT uncommon. Of my 8 girl group, I have 2 who eat no meat at all and 2 pescatarians.

              Wild Olive
              2867 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455

              1. re: danna


                I have a vegan friend. All the nice places downtown will accommodate her and make her special plates. Just tell your server when you first get to the table so they have time to start something. Call WIld Olive and see what they say.

                1. re: danna

                  I could meet you for a glass of wine before dinner. Where are you going on Thursday?

                  1. re: lizzy

                    Thursday 9th is Husk, unless my best friend doesn't like the looks of the menu. To keep this conversation helpful to others, maybe you can fill us in on what good wine (or otherwise)bars might be near Husk? The bar at Penninsula Grill came to mind, but I guess that's several blocks north.

                    1. re: danna

                      There is a wine and cheese bar on King just North of Queen St called Bin 152. I've never been, but it's just around the corner from Husk. Their website isn't very informative, but here it is anyway.

                      Off the top of my head, the next closest option is the Mills House Hotel. I could name others if you're interested, but they are going to be the same distance away as Penninsula Grill.

                      Bin 152
                      152 King St, Charleston, SC 29401

                      1. re: lizzy

                        Sue are you going to join us? danna, just in case you see this first I finally answered your email.

            2. "I really have to start off the food descriptions by saying if you don't like pork and pork products then you should find somewhere else to eat" I'm in. I'll be trying this place in feb when I'm down in Feb for Brewvival!

              1. I finally went for Restaurant Week-3 courses for $30. I had sweet potato soup with bacon, pork and greens, and a Krispy Kreme donut with espresso ice cream on top. My arteries were tightening up as i sat there.

                We sat upstairs. It was full but not overly noisy.

                Krispy Kreme
                2706 Watson Blvd Ste A, Warner Robins, GA 31093

                10 Replies
                1. re: Sue in Mt P

                  And the third course? And was it wonderful?

                  1. re: birgator

                    My interpretation of the 3 courses is:

                    Course 1. Sweet Potato soup with bacon
                    Course 2. Pork and greens
                    Course 3. Crispy Kreme doughnut with espresso ice cream

                    1. re: birgator

                      Oh sorry to be unclear-those are the three 1) soup 2) pork and greens 30 dessert.

                      1. re: Sue in Mt P

                        Oh, sorry to be dense .. NOW I see. And was it wonderful?

                        1. re: birgator

                          Yes indeed, it was all wonderful. Do go. I'm going to have a few salads then go back :D

                          1. re: Sue in Mt P

                            I shouldn't have any problems walking in on a Tuesday night and getting a table for one or two, should I? I'm from out of town and I have no clue how busy this place gets.

                            1. re: JKidd

                              You may have trouble-it's the in place right now. Make a reservation.

                                  1. re: Sue in Mt P

                                    Whoa - Husk gets it. I enjoyed dinner there last night: clams as a starter, and a rabbit terrine for my main course. The clams were really great, but I was blown away by the terrine. I wish I could remember how the server described the prep, but the one part of the rabbit was used for the crispy outside, and another part was used for the soft loaf. The sweet pea "risotto" underneath was just a bonus. I wanted dessert, but there wasn't room, as I made it back to my hotel and promptly crashed onto the bed. I'm headed back to Charleston in a month or so, and will undoubtedly be visiting again.