Charleston: McCrady's & Gin Joint

There are several cities on my travel bucket list, one of which is Charleston, SC. I was fortunate enough to have a reason to go a few months ago for a summit, and I ended up rooming with my friend Beth who is a fantastic travel companion and food buddy.

I'd never been to Charleston before so I left 98% of the restaurant planning to her and she didn't let me down. But I got to pick the restaurant we went to our first evening there - McCrady's.

Being the professional eaters we are, we each ordered different dishes for our 4-course tasting that we both would enjoy so we could share and taste it all. The buddy system works, yall. Try it.

We loved the beef tartare - it had a very earthy flavor to it, most likely from the hay-roasted beets. By the way, it's super red in the picture not because of my editing but because of the beet. The ribeye I ordered for my entree had a pistachio and lime puree that I wish I could replicate - it was like a sexy, buttery umami that went so well with the beef. I think it's safe to say that McCrady's Chef de Cuisine, Daniel Heinze is a genius.

Best part of the meal was Beth's dessert - the Frozen Parfait of Grits, Geranium and Preserved Dewberry that, when it arrived, had an odd and vinegary scent to it but once she cracked into the crisp layer over the grit ice cream, something happened and suddenly it was like we were rolling around in a fragrant, floral garden. It was SO good! If "pretty" had a flavor, that dessert would be it.

After dinner, we headed over to the Gin Join for one more round of dessert and drinks (water for me) with the lovely ladies from Hester & Cook. Beth ordered the peanut butter chocolate bar for us to share. Don't let the innocent name fool you, that chocolate bar was decadent and fun to eat because it had sea salt, dulce de leche, pretzels and pop rocks!

All-in-all, a great start to Charleston.

Pardon the grainy pictures - McCrady's is a pretty swanky place so we had to be really quick/stealthy with pictures and there was no time for composition and I refuse to use the flash. For the rest of our meals and the trip to Charleston, visit Beth's recap here.