Monday, April 27, 2015

The Charleston Grill at The Belmond Place Hotel

Unique southern cuisine with world-class jazz nightly, the Charleston Grill shines as a bright star amid the southern elegance and refinement of Charleston itself. 
Quite simply, this restaurant provides what many regard as the city's highest gastronomic experience. Chef Michelle Weaver creates the groundbreaking New South cuisine, while sommelier Rick Rubel stocks 1,300 wines in his cellar, with many served by the glass. The dining room is a soothing backdrop, highlighted by pale wood floors, flowing drapes, and elegant Queen Anne chairs. A jazz ensemble adds a hip, yet unobtrusive, element. The menu continues to be divided into four quadrants: Simple, Lush, Cosmopolitan, and Southern. A nightly tasting menu offers a way to sample it all. With exemplary service and superb cuisine, it's understandable why the Charleston Grill is one of the top tables in Charleston.

The entrance to the Charleston Grill at the Belmond Charleston Hotel

Jazz Trio at The Charleston Grill

Flowers on the front desk upon entering the Charleston Grill

The dinner menu

A glass of Moët & Chandon, Impérial Brut to begin the evening

An amuse-bouche of coconut soup with chopped mint

East Coast Oysters with Pickled Okra and Jalapeño-Tomato Mignonette

Roasted Beets and Labneh, Za’atar, Pistachios in Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Le Clos L'Oiseliniere, Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine, 2002

Sea Scallops with Chili-Chorizo Vinaigrette, Morcilla Blood Sausage and Pea Purée

Pan Seared Branzino with Romesco Sauce, Parsley-Garlic Purée and Grilled Scallions topped with baby corn shoots

Complimentary house made sweets by Executive Pastry Chef, Emily Cookson
Chef Michelle Weaver

Charleston Grill Crab Cakes
Makes 8-10
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Michelle Weaver

Crab Cakes:
1 lb crab meat
1 large egg white
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp minced chives
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp bread crumbs made from crustless white bread in food processor
Salt and fresh ground white pepper
Fresh dill, for garnish

Mix together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, egg white, zest, juice, chives and thyme, then fold in the crab meat. Form into patties, dust with bread crumbs, and sear cakes in butter or oil until nicely browned on both sides. Serve with sauce and garnish with fresh dill.

Crab Cake Sauce:
6 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into julienne strips
10 red pear tomatoes
10 yellow pear tomatoes
Juice of 2 limes
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Heat the shallots in oil, then add the shrimp and cook. Add the remaining ingredients and heat through. Serve warm over the crab cakes and garnish with fresh dill.

Shrimp & Grits
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Michelle Weaver

2 cups uncooked white coarse-ground grits
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter

Shrimp sauce:
1 lb medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
4 thick hickory-smoked bacon slices, diced
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
1/2 poblano pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Madeira
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Green onion, chopped

Bring 7 cups water to a boil in a 4 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the grits, reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or until tender. Fold in the cheese and 1/4 cup butter.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings in the skillet.

Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in the hot drippings in skillet. Reduce the heat and add the onion, poblano pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring often for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and white and red pepper; toss to coat.

Sprinkle flour over shrimp mixture and toss. Add broth, Madeira and lemon juice and cook just until the shrimp turn pink, stirring to loosen particles from skillet. Stir in the bacon and parsley, and serve over grits with a garnish of green onion.