Just got back from Charleston, SC. We went to McCrady's for dinner based on all the great tips found on this board. Here's what we thought of the Chef's tasting menu:
Amuse Bouche - peekie toe crab topped with a radish salad. Wasn't the most flavorful crab in the world. Good start, not great.
“Vegetables from the Garden” - fresh vegetables harvested daily from Chef Brock's garden. This was a simple salad of carrots, beets, brussel sprout leaves, and sliced squash served on a slate slab. Drops of some sort of ranch dressing were scattered around. Again, good, but not great. I mean, vegetables should be fresh, right? Cool presentation.
Hawaiian Tuna - very interesting concept. Sashimi tuna lightly seasoned were presented along with an oven-heated slab of himalayan salt. We were supposed to sear our own tuna on the salt slab. Served with a little bowl of passion fruit butter. Loved the concept and presentation. The tuna went well with the salt block, but the passion fruit butter was...well, bad. Didn't really go with the tuna, at all.
New England Cod
Leeks, Mushrooms, Cauliflower- this dish was just outstanding. The cod was cooked sous vide, and was perfectly made -- mild, silky smooth. It was served over tasty mushrooms, braised cauliflower, leeks, and cauliflower paper (going along with brock's molecular gastronomy theme). Best dish, by far.
Foie Gras “Bacon”
Sweet Potato, Chocolate Balsamic, Pain Perdue - i was looking forward to this dish the most on the tasting menu. The foie gras was brined bacon-style, and as a result, i think the texture was a little too soft. The pain perdue (french toast) was nice along with the chocolate sauce, though the chocolate sauce overpowered the foi gras. OVerall, really nice dish, but kinda unbalanced.
Cervena Venison Tenderloin
Savoy Cabbage, White Cardamom, pumpkin - The venison was really well prepared. Thats...about all i can say that's positive about this dish. the venison was served with this slimy pumpkin flan slice that was not very flavorful and a little gross when i ate it with the venison, actually.
Warm Sora Cheese
Potato Confit, Truffle Saba, Herb Salad - i enjoyed this fairly simple dish of cheese over potato surrounded by a truffle sauce. A little salty, but good. However, my wife said it reminded her of cheesy potatoes.
Butternut Squash Cake
Brown Butter Ice Cream, Whipped Maple - cant' really eat a molecular gastronomy meal without foam -- and here it was. Cream foam over the cake and really, really good ice cream. The cake was a little dry, though. Oh, and this dish had the fifth pillar of molecular gastronomy, powder.
Overall, I'd say we enjoyed our experience at McCrady's. I might be hypercritical because of all we had heard about the place. The service was outstanding, the decor was reminiscent of a german hunting lodge, and not my style. The food was good--not outstanding. Not sure we'd go back as it wasn't worth the four hour drive and the price.
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