Southern star Sean Brock’s latest gets raves from James Beard Award–winning journalist Matt Goulding, a chief editor of the influential Roads & Kingdoms and the author of Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain’s Food Culture. The new revamp of Brock’s legendary Charleston institution, set in a 1778 Georgian town house, includes a high-end tasting-menu restaurant upstairs and a “more relaxed but no-less-astounding tavern below,” he says. “You’ll find Brock’s obsession with historical cooking filtered through a mixture of familiar flavors and innovative technique—tater tots with sour cream and caviar, Thomas Jefferson’s macaroni (given an umami lift from kombu), bone marrow stuffed with escargot. The new McCrady’s reaffirms Brock’s status as one of the most talented and soulful chefs cooking in the U.S.”
After making his name with whiskey and country ham, chef Sean Brock turned his focus to a different kind of Americana: the heady, over-the-top flavors of the Gold Rush, the Gilded Age, and the Roaring Twenties. At McCrady’s Tavern, you can scoop caviar with a mother-of-pearl spoon, slurp nineteenth-century calf’s head soup, and slice into a plate-sized slab of veal blanquette dressed with peas and ham. Brock is leading the pack once again, with help from chef de cuisine Justin Cherry and pastry chef Katy Keefe, whose black walnut–perfumed Lady Baltimore cake is a fitting end to an extravagant all-American meal.
DINNER: McCrady’s Tavern
It’s not a Charleston trip if you don’t brush up against a Sean Brock restaurant. And they don’t come more fun or accomplished than the Tavern, a merry revival of Gilded Age dishes plucked from Brock’s cookbook collection and wedged into a modern context. The caviar is served with tater tots, and escargot arrives in a marrow bone.