On Friday, October 21, the seductive dining room of modern French bistro Scoundrel (18 North Main Street, Greenville) will welcome visitors to check out chef Joe Cash’s luxuriant cuisine and take in the sleek charm of the Main Street space. Cash, a Greenville native, says he returned home to create a place unlike any restaurant currently open in the small mountain town.
“I think what drove this restaurant is that Jocelyn [Cash’s wife] and I love being here in Greenville,” says Cash, “but when we’re here, there’s nowhere to eat that’s on a level similar to where we would go in New York or in LA or in Paris.” He wanted to combine his fondness for great French bistros and modern chef’s counters with a dash of super classic plates from the 1970s — and the result is Scoundrel.
In the kitchen, Cash pulls from his experiences in New York at famed tasting-menu restaurant Per Se and with Major Food Group’s former Torrisi Italian Specialties and the Pool. On the Scoundrel menu, diners will find a massive deviled blue crab served on top of crushed ice, escargot with “too much butter,” a double-stacked burger with crispy duck fat fries, grass-fed beef tartare, and, of course, caviar service.
And while fancy French fare may be intimidating to some, Cash says he wants customers to feel comfortable with the menu. “The half chicken is essentially a barbecued chicken. We marinate it overnight and slowly grill the skin until it gets crispy. It’s a familiar flavor,” he says, “The fish for two is basically a Calabash-style flounder with tartar sauce and tons of fine herbs.” He sought to mix the experiences of eating in the Carolinas with classic French techniques.
“I really took a lot of effort building a menu so that it is approachable to people who are foodies, but also, to their spouses, or maybe their friends, who aren’t. Everyone should feel at home here — it’s nice and sexy, but it’s also called Scoundrel, so we’re going to be a little rough around the edges, and so can you. Our services are a little fun, and it’s friendly. The last thing I want us to be is stuffy.”
Cash points to Petit Trois in L.A. as one of his inspirations for the interior design at Scoundrel. He added large semi-circle booths to the dining because that’s his favorite spot to sit in restaurants and watch the service. Smaller tables are saved for walk-ins, while there’s also a bar and lounge area for a bite and a cocktail. “I wanted a gritty, stripped-down bistro that was also elegant,” he says, “It’s just really sexy, but a little different and fun.”
Scoundrel opens for dinner at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 21. Watch the website for reservations to go live.