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‘Heady Stuff’ at Feathertop; ‘Crab Cake of Your Dreams’ at Butter Tapas

What the critics are saying this week

Leslie McKellar

It’s not all good news, but critics for Post and Courier and City Paper found some worthy bites in the latest reviews for Ann Street newcomer Feathertop and North Charleston establishment Butter Tapas.

Reviewer Hanna Raskin looks at chef Damon Wise’s second Charleston concept Feathertop and rewards 3.5 stars for the food. She spends much of the critique a bit confused by the concept, which she explains:

It’s too bad about the oddities and misdirections, because they threaten to obscure impressively accomplished cooking. Feathertop may not make a whole lot of sense as a restaurant or coffee shop, but it’s capable of producing very good food. There’s a certain maturity in dish construction here that’s evident even from the enigmatic butter, adorned with whey, Georgia olive oil, salt and chives in exactly the right proportion.

Really, readers can almost stop there. Feathertop can produce some “very good food,” but there are missteps. Among the list: too much salt in the chicken, not enough salt in the bread, dry mackerel, and “vegan geeky” dishes. The good? Steak tartare, cuscino, “smartly cooked pasta,” and a “lovely salad of tomatoes and peaches.” She calls it “ heady stuff” and suggest not trying to classify the establishment.

City Paper writer Vanessa Wolf heads to Butter Tapas and finds a superhero in the restaurant. To explain, Wolf discovers that her waitress is also chef April Robinson and is amazed that the business owner could deftly handle both roles during service. Wolf writes, “You read that right. The chef is also running front-of-house. Solo. Don't try to fathom how this is possible. It isn't. Unless you are in fact Wonder Woman.”

Beyond her magical skills on the floor, how’s Robinson’s food? Wolf recommends the “Tomato Tomahto” salad, “panko-crusted zucchini chips” with buttermilk dressing, the “crab cake of your dreams,” duck wings, and brussels sprouts. The grilled watermelon and the lobster corn dog didn’t impress Wolf, but she was too busy admiring Robinson’s ability to run both front- and back- of- house.

  • Despite Puzzling Personality, Feathertop Produces Accomplished Food [P&C]
  • Chef April Robinson Uses Her Powers For Good at Butter Tapas [CP]

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