Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Leftovers: When it comes to AMS' tuna niçoise, there's no chicken of the sea here

Greater Tuna

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 2:54 PM

click to enlarge AMS oil cures 2+ graded tuna from Cypress for its Tuna Nicoise - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • AMS oil cures 2+ graded tuna from Cypress for its Tuna Nicoise
It's no joke that Artisan Meat Share’s Italian Sub can be put up against any sandwich in the city. Did I say the Italian? I meant the breakfast sandwich, err, the roast beef. Yeah, that sandwich is one of the best in the city.

The minds behind AMS know their way around the butcher block, meat slicer, whole hog, and bovine. Craig Deihl has been the charcuterie torchbearer for Charleston at Cypress, the parent restaurant to the Artisan Meat Share. Bob Cook, long time Chef de Cuisine to Deihl, captains the ship at the 23-seat luncheonette.

Many folks visit AMS to taste the craftsmanship that goes into properly cured meats. Take the pastrami, Cook and his crew cure strip loin 21 days just for one sandwich. From porchetta, pate, to pickles, almost everything is made in-house.

Now, I love a good hearty sandwich as much as the next guy, but being constantly on the go, I lean toward eating light. With AMS’ closing time at 7 p.m. their business is lunch, and I have no time for a siesta. Because of my perpetual movement, I look for light portable lunches on the go. Insert Meat Shares’ tuna niçoise sandwich here. This isn’t your grandmother’s tuna salad. No mayo, no celery, and no relish. There's nothing about this masterpiece that resembles anything that comes from the can or might be deemed chicken of the sea.

AMS takes the trimmings from 2+ graded tuna from Cypress and oil cures it. Then garlic aioli, flat leaf parsley, tarragon, chives, chervil, oil cured black olives, chopped egg, tomato, arugula, and a red wine vinaigrette get sandwiched between a fresh ciabatta from Normandy Farms. I love this this sandwich. It packs enough protein to keep your gas tank full, without weighing you down.

As with most eating establishments, it's all about what your order. Sure, some places you can’t go wrong with the majority of the menu, (ahem...cough….AMS), but sometimes if we look past the obvious, we can be pleasantly surprised. In some cases, it's those lesser known items where the creativity of a place shines.

While Webster defines meat as animal tissue considered especially as food: flesh of a mammal as opposed to fowl or fish, one can’t argue that AMS’s tuna niçoise isn’t meaty. And this sandwich is certainly one that the men behind the menu want to share with all of the people of Charleston.

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