In the pantheon of American restaurants that have meant stuff and things, Sean Brock’s Husk is right up there. Even since Brock’s departure, it remains a core reason why people come to Charleston and in some ways it was great to visit after his tenure to gain an insight into how the legacy/transition has worked, which isn’t something we see too often in UK restaurants.
At a basic level, some of Brock’s recipes – or more accurately some of his gramdmother’s – remain. And the commitment to showcasing the gems and forgotten favourites of the southern larder persists under chef Travis Grimes, who has worked at the restaurant since it opened in 2010.
I visited the classic southern mansion dining space on a Monday night and found the place packed out with tables turning at a slick rate.
Service throughout was a strength with well-considered recommendations and very friendly and attentive work from my main server.
The menu made me sad I’d not come with a posse as I basically wanted to eat all of it. After some advice and guidance, I settled upon the fried chicken skins to start then followed with the duck leg confit.
Before the food arrived I sampled their house Manhattan which was as good a version of the classic cocktail as I’ve ever been served. They take their drinks offering very seriously and it showed in abundance.
The chicken skins soon arrived. Topped with a pimento cheese ranch style dressing, and finely chopped scallions, it was in the realms of elegant dirty. I loved it and crunched my way through it in record time.
The main course was a well executed duck leg confit with highly enjoyable sweet potato puree. It had good texture and flavour brightness from toasted pecans, satsuma pieces and raisins. I liked it.
I rounded things out with good French press coffee and a highly interesting southern amaro. This was quite light and sweet, somewhat akin to Montenegro, with some fresh local botanicals in the herbological mix.
Husk very much lived up to expectations. I feel I must return for more visits in the future and will do my best to bring a crew to help out with menu sampling. Make sure to plan your trip soon and please invite me to come along.
Blythe scores Husk
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4.5/5 for service
4/5 for setting
giving an overall 17/20
I ate: fried chicken skins, duck leg confit
I drank: aged Manhattan, torrontes, malbec, water, Southern amaro, French press coffee
I wore: action footwear
Total bill: $111.70
Address: 76 Queen Street, Charleston SC, 29401