We sent calendar girl and aspiring foodie Erica Jackson out to Seabrook Island last night for the media dinner at the newly reopened Red Sky. Here’s her account of the evening:

Red Sky on Seabrook Island reopens today (Oct. 1), after several months of renovations. We were invited to a preview dinner at the old Seabrook stalwart last night, and we’d like to report that the reinvented restaurant is certainly worth the drive.

We never made it out to the restaurant pre-renovation, but we have seen Chef Matt Bolus’ (formerly of the Ocean Room at Kiawah) blog (thymeforfood.wordpress.com), and it’s evident that a lot of work went into it. They used the old floors on the walls in one of the dining rooms/bar area, and replaced them with a beautiful combination of light and dark woods. The space is well-lit, simply furnished, and decorated with colorful sunset-hued paintings — overall a casual yet refined feel.

[image-1]Before the meal, Bolus came out in his apron and trucker hat (the kitchen staff’s uniform) and welcomed us to Red Sky. The five-course tasting menu was characterized by bad-for-you but delicious food, and the staff was friendly and helpful, suggesting wine pairings for each course.

The leisurely meal kicked off with fat, juicy scallops topped with small slices of leeks, radish, and pear. The burst of flavors helped this dish turn out to be the favorite of most the people at my table. The second course was pork belly on a cucumber and dill sauce (tasty) with Pimm’s #1. The pork was crisp on the outside with soft, fatty layers on the inside — good if you like fat. Third course was a refreshing, classic Caesar salad — small, buttery lettuce leaves topped with fresh parmesan, crostini, and bocarones. Pretty much the perfect Caesar salad. Next up was a flat iron steak on a bed of “fried” risotto, with red pepper jus, topped with a sprig of brocollini. I loved it, but can’t comment on the complexity of flavors beyond that, because at this point the wine was really kicking in. Dessert was a home-made doughnut topped with a dollop of espresso ice cream and wisps of (candied?) lemon — a nice, refreshing touch. After our food settled, we were sent on our way with sweet cigars from Coastal Cigars, which we went and smoked on the beach. It was overall the most satisfying meal I’ve had in some time.

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Taking over Red Sky was a big step for Bolus, but he seems to be handling the responsibility just fine. It’s sure to be a popular spot with Seabrook residents and visitors, but we hope that Charleston folks will make the effort to drive out (it only took about a half hour from downtown) for a refreshing change of pace — you won’t regret it. Check it out at www.redskydining.com or call (843) 768-0183.