When Halls Management Group acquired Maverick Southern Kitchens in April 2015, many wondered how or if the restaurants would change. This week, critic Hanna Raskin takes on the task of dining at the former Maverick Southern Kitchens restaurants Slightly North of Broad (SNOB), High Cotton, and Old Village Post House — and only one comes out with high praise in the end. Raskin explains, “... the essential question is whether Halls has upheld Maverick’s reputation for quality and consistency at the properties it took over.”
Mount Pleasant eatery Old Village Post House starts out on a chilly note for Raskin — literally, it’s too cold in the dining room for her. The food doesn’t go far in warming her to the Post House: “There are bits of shell in the broiled oysters, way too much salt on the chopped salad and unrendered fat on undercooked lamb chops, mysteriously served in a bowl.”
Next, Raskin hits up Southern staple High Cotton. She enjoys the music and the service, but the food doesn’t thrill her. For those who must eat at High Cotton, she recommends the tuna:
Perhaps opt instead for the seared tuna, which looks as if it was constructed for a culinary school final exam. The column of miso-soaked farro with mushrooms and carrots is saucy and salty, but works just the same. And while the splotch of emulsified pineapple beneath the fish is a bit much, the crushed peanuts atop it make sense for texture’s sake.
East Bay classic SNOB saves the group with a satisfactory lunch experience and a killer duck special.
Care emanates unmistakably from SNOB’s kitchen, which only sends out perfectly matched slices of rosy red duck breast with an airy hoecake, smeared with sweet potato and crowned with a nest of cooked red cabbage. Henceforth, I always want to eat duck this way.
Raskin concludes, “SNOB remains a gem.”