Neighborhood Dining Group’s third Husk opened in Greenville with a grower-centric spin on the Appalachian influenced by Sean Brock’s interest in the native peoples of the Western Carolinas (yes, order the Cherokee Fry Bread).
Chef Jon Buck moved to Greenville from Charleston to be chef de cuisine and lead the seven-person open kitchen. It’s the only Husk kitchen designed with a brick hearth — including when Husk Savannah opens later this month — so it’s worth reserving a table close to the kitchen to watch it in action. Three quarters of the management team was promoted from within NDG for Husk Greenville including general manager Andrea Ciavardini and like the Charleston and Nashville restaurants there’s an attention to detail worth talking about. Here’s Eater’s take on what to know now about Husk Greenville.
1. Husk Greenville is three buildings.
722 and 724 South Main St. are historic commercial structures (one dating from 1904) but the kitchen, restrooms, storeroom and elevator are housed in a new 2,400 square foot anterior addition. Nearly all of the interior dining room walls — upstairs and down — were once the exteriors of adjacent buildings. Greenville is the first Husk never to have been a private residence.
2. Sean Brock prefers a winter opening.
The chef believes fewer varietals creates a menu big on tapestried flavors and challenges the Husk kitchen to be better cooks. He calls it “far easier” than launching a menu during the overwhelming bounty of summer. The Greenville opening spawned a new ethos for the executive chef: touch produce as little as possible. His manifesto states touch it no more than three times, four only if you absolutely have to. “My theory is for every minute that we touch it with our hands the quality drops.”
3. The older the veggie the better.
Upstate farmers are partnering with Husk not only to plant select species of produce for future menus but also on harvest maturation. A vegetable’s life cycle is critical says Brock, “The most flavor and nutrients are present before produce goes to seed. We want to capture the scientifically delicious sugar and starch that occurs late in life.” The vegetable entree is a tour de force, especially when the warm mushroom salad over grits is included.
4. The bar has no cocktail tables.
The long narrow bar at Husk Greenville was worked into the dimensions of the dual buildings without room for cocktail tables. NDG President David Howard says he “always envisioned a long whiskey bar here with great low lighting.” Regan Cannon was recruited from Asheville (known for his time at both Buxton Hall and Imperial Life) to manage the bar and its extensive beverage program. Husk Greenville launched with eight signature cocktails including a notable pine rosin-infused gin and sumac cordial named “In the Pines”.
5. A 50/25 set up.
Director of Hospitality Kenny Lyons designed the bar’s whiskey program to include 50 bourbons and 25 American whiskeys with the likes of Elmer T. Lee as well as local distiller Six & Twenty. The bar is also home to Greenville’s first Kold Draft ice machine churning out inch and a quarter perfectly square cubes of dense, crystal clear ice. King says its slow melt point is ideal for whiskey and “equally great at getting stirred drinks — from aperitifs to more textured boozy cocktails — really, really cold.”
Husk Greenville is currently taking dinner reservations into January though apps can be ordered when seated at the bar. Lunch and Brunch will begin mid to late January.