Monday, July 28, 2008

Edisto: First Impressions

Posted By on Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 5:00 AM

Earlier this week the Stepford Wife and I took Mr. Pink to the newly opened Edisto to celebrate his birthday. It was hot, so instead of bellying up to the smoker on the back patio, we sat in the dining room and ordered from Edisto's menu of South Carolina-style cuisine.

The former Patrick's has been recast with dark wood ceiling fans and rouille-colored walls, and with the jazz wafting through the room it makes a peaceful retreat for toasting a birthday with tall glasses of watermelon iced tea, Sun Drop and RC Cola.

Anyone who knows Mr. Pink knows he's a slut for elotes—Mexican-style grilled corn sprinkled with salty cheesy dust—so we ordered an appetizer of Edisto's grilled corn lollipops. Three cross-sections of corn—skewered, grilled and sprinkled with cotija (grainy white cheese similar to feta)—were succulent, smoky and delicious.

The birthday boy enjoyed a catfish BLT with blackened buttery fish on a French roll with garlic herb tartar, though we all agreed the bacon was a little anemic and soggy. I ordered crab cake salad on a fluffy bed of field greens, which were marginally overdressed with a light vinaigrette. The two sweet crab cakes had a texture that was more stringy than lumpy and a nicely pan-seared crust.

The Stepford Wife took a risk ordering a pimento cheese sandwich, which came with a matching pale-orange side of sweet potato salad. We were all put off by the odd tags of pale meat layered on the cheese, which our very friendly server identified as a tasso ham. We all applauded the unpretentious choice of Sun Beam white bread.

For dessert, we shared a fried turtle pie, which looked like a giant fried oyster, but whose deep-fried coating burst with gooey chocolate and nuts. Drizzled with richly burnt caramel, it made for a nice birthday-cake proxy.

Before leaving, we swung around to Sweetgrass Smokerie on the back patio, where a Vivaldi concerto was circling the umbrella-covered tables like a mellifluous musical smoke. Mr. Pink ordered a sandwich. When it was ready, he opened the cardboard to-go box to find a generous mound of freshly pulled pork on a bun, along with small containers of barbecue sauce and hot boiled peanuts. Happy birthday, Mr. Pink.

Located at 1711 Division St., Edisto serves lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and brunch on Sunday.

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