If your New Year's Eve resolution is to treat yourself to the most delicious, decadent dishes in Charleston on a weekly basis, well, we've got you covered. Despite the annual post-holiday slowdown, area chefs are not going to let you waste away on tasteless diet food. They're plating up some rich treats for those of you willing to brave the cold and break out of the malaise.
Chef Sean Brock has some white truffles from Italy and black perigord truffles from France. He's keeping it simple tonight at McCrady's, scrambling up some super soft and creamy farm fresh eggs from Celeste Albers. You can choose to have either the white ($50) or the black fungi ($30) shaved atop them tableside by Brock. Side note: you may think scrambled eggs are a ridiculous thing to get at a fine dining restaurant, but I'd have to disagree with that. Eggs are such a ubiquitous ingredient. They get overcooked and abused on a regular basis. For them to get the chef treatment is a beautiful thing, particularly if you've never had a pile of perfectly cooked light, fluffy, creamy eggs before. Take those and shave some musky, intoxicating truffles on top and you've got yourself a sublime little plate of food.
Over at Cypress, Craig Deihl will start you off with a light simple crudo with scallops, tomatoes, grapefruit, and a drizzling of olive oil ($12) before dunking you into the decadence pool with a plate of shellfish glazed truffle grits in a sauce that is the epitome of rich ($30). He mixes up one-third lobster veloute, one-third heavy cream, and one-third hollandaise and then brulées the whole thing. If you'd rather dive in head first with a big fist of red meat, Deihl's got a 40-day dry-aged ribeye served with bacon and blue cheese gnocchi ($42) that should do you up right.
Hitting similar flavor notes over at Oak Steakhouse, Chef Jeremiah Bacon will have a special steak dish on the menu tonight. Unlike the restaurant's alacarte steak choices, this NY Strip will come composed with arugula purée, braised cippolini onions, and melted Roquefort cheese ($35). For an appetizer, he's got steak tartare — a classic mix of capers, mustard, shallots, egg, aioli, et al — that comes topped with a celeriac remoulade. "The coolness of the celeriac gets hit with a little heat from fresh horseradish," says Bacon. The tartare is served alongside an onion gastrique and traditional toast points for $12. Of course, you can find lots of decadence elsewhere on the steakhouse menu with the fried lobster and the massive slice of chocolate cake I wrote about earlier in the week.
It's likely to be a quiet out in the dining rooms of Charleston this weekend, so make plans to get out there and patronize our local restaurants. Your waistline might be sorry, but your tastebuds sure won't.