“The art of dining well is no slight art, the pleasure no slight pleasure.” – Michel Eyquem De Montaigne b.1533Food, oh my goodness. Charleston is food heaven, fresh and local, and this really is a huge subject, but every week or so, I simply must touch on food as the Lowcountry does it, all wrapped up in history and ambiance. Like the blend of cultures that was Charleston from the beginning, it is a creole of a place, with a rich, European feeling. The green covered Charleston “Receipts’ is a the classic cookbook that began to catalog the traditional recipes, and was printed as a fundraiser, by a group of women, in 1950, to help raise money for children who couldn’t read. Today it is the oldest Junior League cookbook still in print and is a delight, with recipes for she-crab soup, benne seed crackers, and a Huguenot torte. Cousin, Pinkney Mikell, whose family has deep lowcountry roots on Edisto, writes a wonderful, original food series at Foodsville. He is a colorful writer, who has a well seasoned take on the old and the new.
Two of my favorites today, close to the French Quarter, include the little French place, opened by two artists, and named Gaulart & Maliclet, or Fast and French, at 98 Broad Street, nicknamed, in ‘American’. It is Frenchy and casual and walkable from the French Quarter, and obviously well loved by the locals. And McCrady’s at 2 Unity Alley, (walk in from the romantic alley!) is a restaurant that has soothed the thirsty, hungry pilgrim since 1778 when Edward McCrady opened the first tavern there. Today, Chef Sean Brock blends the old and the new, and is so committed to local food that he is raising his own pigs on nearby Wadamalaw Island. It is the best blend of the ‘creole’ that is Charleston, and a sensual experience on every front. Bon appetit!
I love this. This would be a great resource for travelers to Charleston. I can imagine bookmarking it, and going to a list of restaurants you have reviewed, like this. Can you make a list of Charleston restuarants?
I visited McCrady’s and fell in love with the place during my recent trip to Charleston. I was really intrigued to hear about Chef Brock’s farm on Wadmalaw and how the McCrady’s employees double as farmers to get the freshest ingredients possible. The food is DELICIOUS and, if I couldn’t find anything else to draw me back to Charleston (Ha! Not likely to happen.) McCrady’s alone would be worth a trip back!
Amanda! Artistic Amanda at that, I love it. Thank you so much for this quick confirmation about a place I love. Cheers! Charlotte
Charlotte’s mention of McCrady’s brought to mind an afternoon there that was both casual and elegant, laced with the best hors d’oeuvres and the most enticing wines.The bartender whose name was Patrick was entertaining in the most intelligent way.He talked with us about Painting and Poetry and his consummate skill at bartending did not miss a beat as he attended to us and his other patrons.That most memorable afternoon McCrady’s was not a saloon but a salon.