Former City Paper food critic Robert Moss comes out of retirement to review chef Sean Brock’s newest version of McCrady’s. The article begins with Moss in his fifth course of the Brock experience — a single Virginia oyster served over sea kelp while steam swirls around the shell. Moss writes, “That [the oyster] encapsulates in a single bite the overall experience of the new McCrady's — high in concept, meticulous in execution, playing broadly to multiple senses but in a carefully orchestrated and internally consistent way.”
The critic goes on to describe the two-hour McCrady’s visit, course by course. Recalling the dishes, the sentences are filled with praise like “... exquisitely delicate ...” and “... a splendid contrast ...” He explains, “The dishes strike familiar Southern notes — even uniquely Charleston ones — but at the same time they're blended with completely novel and unexpected flavors.”
What Moss appreciates more than the dishes is the return to a formality of dining in Charleston. The writer says he tried to review a few of the newer spots in town, but couldn’t find the want to actually pen a critique.
.. I signed up to review a couple of those new spots, with less than stellar experiences, and sampled a few others for which I couldn't summon up sufficient passion to write a formal review. But I closed out 2016 with dinner at the new McCrady's, and that was enough to salvage the entire year.
The experience won over the admiration of the long-time critic and made him believe a bit of that old Charleston spirit wasn’t dead — the out-of-town chains and fast-casual haven’t won yet.