Does anyone else feel like slapping Gail whatever from Top Chef? No.....I do not in any sense of the word advocate violence towards women, dogs, cats, orangutanes, holy hand grenades, jaguar's earlobes, etc. Just checking to see if you were actually reading this and maybe a little wishful thinking.
Last weekend our plans to lay by a pool for 3 days fell through. What an unbelievable blessing in disguise. Becca and I in no better words, dropped in on Chris and Kristen up in Charleston. I found my new favorite hole in the wall bar, ate a truly great meal @ Chris' restaurant, slept/planted on a couch almost a whole day in recovery/doing nothing, and finished out our time wandering downtown with Kristen in search of great food and drink.
Charleston has a great vibe. It felt very focused on local, sustainable, farm to table, twisted up southern cooking. It made a lot of sense. It was refreshing.
I'm not one to blow too much smoke but I was truly proud to eat at Chris' place. We have been friends a long time. Since humble....who am I kidding....ridiculously cocky line cooks. We've always had each other's backs, pushed each other, and it was awesome to see and taste all of Chris' talent and diligence in the dishes he sent out. Potato croquette w/ crisp prosciutto and gorgonzola, seared scallop and gnudi, this wildly complex salad of chocolate tomato, marinated red onion, peaches, and hazelnut powder, a wreckfish meatball and risotto, yes I said wreckfish meatball, it was fantastic really and truly, compressed braised pork w/ foccacia, pickled cuc. and garden peppers, veal marsala w/ ravioli, a dessert assortment not pictured including a great hazelnut gelato, and house made lemoncello. It was very well thought out. Cook on Chris....
Lastly was Glen's or Beck's or something in the "G"ish word. A great bar a hop, skip, or jump from their apartment. Free shuffleboard, pool, darts, like 100 plus beers, and board games. We ate, we drank PBR on tap for her and Labatt bottles for me, and played Connect 4 for and hour and a half. Great trip!
While I'm here and still in the writing mood, I'd like to suggest any and all to watch Bourdains No Reservations on Paris. The new one. He touches on some very intriguing and important subjects. Things are changing in food everywhere. A famous Paris chef boasting of coming to the states, to NYC early in his career to train at Gramercy Tavern. A concept laughable 20 plus years ago. A huge movement away from Michelin. The stuffy, 3 1/2 hour, formal, starchy 30 piece suit, chair for your purse, 8 staff per table, noses scraping the ceiling feel for casual. What a stupid word. Casual. Formal. Relax, at ease. Best behavior, mind your manners, sit up straight. I get both. Both have their place. But what about the best food without any regard for if the flower on the table matches the pattern on the wall matches the trim on the waiters trousers matches the mink/fox feet broach on the woman's blouse at table two....go change your pants you fool. Bottom line, watch Robouchon talk. Watch Ripert literally squirm at a barrage of new comers challenging things. It's not good or bad. I love all that the french are. I love tradition and reverence for such. But I also love chaos and change and pushing the limit of acceptance.
What do you think?
Till next time.............