Esquire Magazine's Food&Drink Editor, Jeff Gordinier, has included two of Charleston's most renowned restaurants on his 40 Most Important Restaurants of the Decade list: Husk and Little Jack's Tavern. These two hot spots represent the Charleston food scene most eloquently, shining light on two ends of the Charleston restaurant spectrum: a staple of the southern culinary community situated in the heart of Historic Downtown Charleston, and a trendy yet elegant burger joint that has held residency in one of Charleston's most up-and-coming downtown neighborhoods, and perfected the burger.
Decades have signature styles and moments. Some great hand of American culture does seem to hit reset every ten years. So what will we someday see as the emblematic flourishes of the past 10 years, when we think about going out to eat? “What the hell WAS the past decade in restaurants all about?” my friend Pete Wells, the restaurant critic ofThe New York Times, tweeted earlier this month, apparently ricocheting off an earlier tweet of my own. (After all, eating out over the past decade has come down totalking about eating out, whether on Twitter or Instagram or Foursquare or Yelp.) Here is what I tweeted back off the top of my head:
new voices.@nomacph. natural wine. fast casual. long-overdue rise of African American chefs. reckoning & realignment. redefining "luxury." vegetables.hummus. tacos. uni. things in bowls. Instagram. golden age of pasta. "Chef's Table." fusion (but don't call it fusion).
I have been covering the world of food for most of this decade, but even I’m hard-pressed, upon first glance, to figure out what that banchan spread of words adds up to. Nevertheless, it’s pretty obvious that the past decade brought about the fulfillment of a revolution that got started in the decade that preceded it.
Little Jack's Tavern
A perfect little burger. A wooden bar. Green checkered tablecloths and a crisp martini. Brooks Reitz's neighborhood spot is proof that a throwback formula can be a sublime thing when perfectly executed.
Spiced pecans and pimento cheese, country ham and cornbread—with the first Husk, Sean Brock single-handedly supercharged Southern cuisine.
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