[image-8]Tonight McCrady’s restaurant held its final dinner service. On Aug. 11 the space will reopen as McCrady’s Tavern, while the former Minero (and for those of us who have been in Charleston for more than a decade, the former McCrady’s wine bar) becomes what I’m calling McCrady’s 2.0, but more on that in a minute. [image-3]
As you can imagine, tonight’s meal was lovely. Brock, who was on hand bringing out dishes himself, served a menu of his greatest hits circa 2006. The menu included items like forest mushroom and pine nut stew, brown butter scallops, and charred beef short ribs — which I can only describe as a brown cube of nirvana.
The service was attentive while the mood felt decidedly chill — Johnny Cash could be heard over the speakers as servers delivered Kevin Costner cocktails (in a tin cup, of course) and popped bottles of champagne. I’d assumed the crowd would be predominately longtime fans eager to get a last look of the historic restaurant, but that wasn’t the case with every guest. The table next to us was a couple who had never been to McCrady’s before and had no clue who Brock was — though they did part by saying it was the best meal they’d had in Charleston to date.
[image-2]In between bites of snapper and pork plated on Anson Mill Grits, I caught some of what may be the future of McCrady’s. According to my eavesdropping on a waiter at the next table over, McCrady’s 2.0 will be a ticketed restaurant with a tasting menu only — something akin to Los Gatos’ Manresa ($175 per person) or Nashville’s Catbird Seat ($115 per person). The current McCrady’s had a longtime four-course tasting menu for $65, then changed the menu in 2015 to a la carte with an optional $115 tasting menu. The price of McCrady’s 2.0 remains to be seen, but we do gather that guests will secure their spots online.
[image-5]McCrady’s Tavern, on the other hand, will, according to General Manager Tommy Marcinko, serve everything from a burger to caviar. Brock told us he’d just finalized the new menu hours before.
As for our final McCrady’s-as-we-know-it meal, we finished with what our server called a blueberry bubblebath — blue corn cake peeking out from under a purple mound of foam. The blueberries, which had been soaked in champagne vinaigrette, were just tart enough to tamp down the sweetness and the display just ridiculous enough to make my friend Anna Claire Hodge say it looked like “an expensive beauty product I want to put on my face.” She’s right, though I ate it too fast to try.
So what did we learn eating a retro Brock meal days before he reopens his award winning restaurant as two entirely new entities? The guy was way ahead of the curve in 2006. I see no reason to believe he won’t be again 10 years later.
McCrady’s Tavern will open for dinner on Aug. 11 and for lunch, a new feature, beginning Aug. 25.