Becky and I finally got to go down to one of Charleston’s newest restaurants, Husk, located on Queen Street in the heart of downtown. They opened almost a month ago, and the concept is a celebration of the ingredients of the South.
I wish I could say we loved it and the food was great. I grew up eating Southern food so when we arrived I was certainly hoping for the best.
The building — probably originally constructed in the 1800’s and at one time used as an art school — has a warm feeling and is thoughtfully renovated to showcase beautiful hardwood floors and high ceilings.
We were seated upstairs and served complimentary fried chicken skins and Wadamalaw Island honey. The skins were tough and a bit tasteless, but the honey was good.
Becky started with the clams. They sounded tasty on the menu but came to the table bland. If you want the best clams in Charleston, I highly recommend Red Drum in Mt. Pleasant. I had a salad with marinated tomatoes, and fresh buttermilk dressing. Again, despite the delicious-sounding combination of ingredients, the salad lacked flavor. Sorry Husk.
Our entrees arrived. I had a snapper dish — the first dish of the night with truly good flavor. Unfortunately, the tail cut of the fish was full of bones. When you drop $30 on a dish you would like the chef to do a better job of de-boning the fish. Becky had the duck, which she said was overly smokey and tough. We opted out of desert and headed to another local favorite, the Peninsula Grill, to satisfy our sweet-tooth.
Not to be too hard on Husk, I think they are trying. The restaurant is headed by two extremely talented chefs who are working on an idealistic concept of daily menu changes designed around the availability of the freshest Southern ingredients. But changing the menu daily is a big task, and relying on ingredients alone to carry your dishes is a gamble. In my opinion, doing away with the rotating menu would allow the chefs to focus on getting the details of the dishes right.
I should mention that I was a sous chef in college and Becky owned a restaurant in her past life. We eat out a lot.
We are both pulling for Husk and think they will get better as they serve more food. Hopefully we can revisit.
Stop by Husk if you like, but also check out Anson’s Restaurant for a true take on fresh, local and Southern.