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Critic Leaves McCrady’s With ‘Unprecedented Craving’ for French Fries

How does Sean Brock’s newest venture stack up?

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Erin Perkins
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

With only 36 patrons served nightly at the new McCrady’s, the world hasn’t heard much feedback on how Sean Brock’s latest venture fares. Other than one reviewer who was cranky about receiving heirloom seeds as a parting gift after her meal, the ratings are all five stars on Yelp (there are three other reviews).

No-holds-barred-critic Hanna Raskin visited the 18-seat restaurant just once for her review (the $274.05 price tag was prohibitive in dining her normal three times), so there is not a star rating. She praises the menu stating, “... the food is very impressive indeed: Brock has an uncanny knack for intuiting what makes a newfound ingredient special, and knitting it into a dish as though he’d been working with it for years.” For all the compliments on the dishes, she leaves a comment on the perceived hospitality and lack of women in the kitchen:

But what’s missing from McCrady’s is any sense of spontaneity. In some regards, that’s understandable: When a restaurant requires each guest to ante up $274.05 just to secure a seat and beverages, everyone on the receiving end of that fee is bound to feel compelled to show his work (and McCrady’s is largely an all-his affair: There wasn’t a single woman among the 10 cooks and servers working the night I ate there.) Yet doing the same things the same way every time isn’t a breeding plan for the kind of responsiveness and warmth that many diners associate with hospitality.

She then goes back to admiring the food and, later, the wine pairings:

For engagement and surprise, though, nothing beats the spectacular set of wine pairings. Sommelier Cappie Peete Chapman’s inspired selections stretch and twist the flavor canvas at McCrady’s in all kinds of electrifying ways ...

Raskin spends 1,392 words describing her experience, yet her condensed version is “I left McCrady’s with an intense and unprecedented craving for French fries at Halls Chophouse.” It seems if you are into tasting menus, you’ll enjoy your time at Brock’s latest restaurant.


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