Eat

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sean Brock gets dazzling treatment in New York Times

Martha Lou, Giddy Goat, and Mark Marhefka get some attention too

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 7:10 AM

Back in January, New York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton tweeted "In the land of sunnies and signet rings, history and ducks unlimited," which immediately alerted us to the fact that he might just be in Charleston.

We knew he had Charleston on his mind because our Eat blog had just made his reading list on the NYT Diners Journal blog.

Sure enough, today a beauty of a story in the NYT food section features none other than Sean Brock and the hype surrounding Husk. (The first link in the story is to Robert Moss's own take on the hype surrounding Husk.)

I don't think Brock's PR team at Wagstaff could have written a better story themselves.

The money quotes:
• "I discovered a good, young restaurant with a zeal for its location and a passion for selling it hard."

• "I ate at McCrady’s, too. And that restaurant is one of only a few outside the first tier of American cities that could compete in any of them. It is marvelous, well worth a two-hour drive from Columbia, the state capital, or the flight from New York."

• "Even better, and perhaps more fun to consume, was Mr. Brock’s take on Chinese beef and broccoli, made with beef rib and belly meat and served with kimchi, broccoli and a stir-fry of farro that tasted exactly like the best and crunchiest bits of the fried rice served at a takeout shop with bulletproof windows." (I got to eat this same dish around the same time — and it was frikkin' amazing.)

• "Clint Sloan, the restaurant’s sage and elegant sommelier, said at the start of the meal, pouring a Duvel Golden ale he thought (correctly!) would go well with the country ham, "There are no rules at McCrady's.'" (What an apt description of Clint Sloan.)

• Giddy Goat gets a shout out and so does Mark Marhefka, who's no stranger to NYT stories.

• He ends with a trip to Martha Lou's: "A bowl of Martha Lou’s okra stew is as red and as vibrant as the sun slashing low over the Ashley River downtown, near the battery where Confederate guns fired on Fort Sumter 150 years ago this spring."

There are a couple of sidebars to the main piece, including a history of Brock's farming experiments and a couple recipes. I wonder if anyone will dare attempt his beef with farro.

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