When chef Sean Brock and Neighborhood Dining Group president David Howard opened a second Husk restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, the critics came out to see how it stacked up to the original in Charleston. Unfortunately for the Lowcountry, the Music City outpost regularly won out, and with Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison declaring, “if I could only dine once more forever and ever at one Husk (and I pray that will never be the case), I would have to head to Tennessee.”
Now, the time has come to size up the two newest additions to the Husk family: Savannah and Greenville. Post and Courier critic Hanna Raskin went on the road to try out the latest Neighborhood Dining Group restaurants.
Since opening chef de cuisine Tyler Williams has already departed from Husk Savannah, Raskin writes that she isn’t going to dwell on the restaurant much, before launching into a list of its downfalls. “... the restaurant is a two-story monstrosity, done up in garishly patterned wallpaper and oversized televisions,” she starts. On to the food, she states, “My meal in Savannah was riddled with technical fouls that ran the gamut from scorched scrapple to an arid riff on pommes Anna, layered atop a piece of whiting that deserved better coverage.” She ends with, “You should be eating at The Grey anyway.” Eater agrees.
Husk Greenville is another story however. “There is apparently a mantle of magic surrounding Jon Buck’s kitchen, since every dish seems to be saturated with it,” she begins on the food. Magic plates seems to be a good start, and then she goes on to two paragraphs on the catfish alone:
Yet the one dish that I suspect I will always remember is the catfish, a preparation that reads like prose. There is a whole short story in this cornmeal-crusted catfish, sidled up against a salad of African runner peanuts and citrus, wrapped in a collard leaf as big as a man’s hand. The bundling is reminiscent of tamales, a connection underscored by the sprinkling of fermented pepper mash that echoes Tapatio (although it’s a thousand times more complicated, involving koji mold spores and a dehydrator.)
For good measure, the fish is aswim in a potlikker made from fermented country ham, peanut butter, pepper vinegar, sorghum and collard stem stock. Here, you can taste a narrative about a Latino laborer who slathers his gas station lunch with hot sauce. Or perhaps it’s the tale of an African-American laborer who takes a fishing pole to the creek after work. It’s exceptional.
This is all to say, book a reservation at Husk Greenville, but not so much at Husk Savannah.
• A Tale of Two Husks: How Sean Brock’s Sister Spots Stack Up [EN]
• Husk Isn’t a Chain — But It’s Definitely Growing [EN]
• A Tale of Two Husk Restaurants — Greenville Hits a Sweet Spot, Savannah Falls Short [P&C]
• Chef Tyler Williams Is Out at Sean Brock’s Husk Savannah [EATL]
• The Triumph of the Grey [EN]