On April 17, one of Chicago’s hottest up-and-coming chefs, Mark Steuer of Carriage House, took over the dining room at chef Sarah Simmons’ City Grit, a "culinary salon" located in New York’s Nolita neighborhood, and prepared a meal that featured his interpretations of classics from his native South Carolina’s Low Country.
The meal began with a fried oyster, served with tomato jam, buttermilk aioli, crispy house-made guanciale, and fried leeks. The next course was a creamy she-crab soup poured over sherry marmalade and a crab mousse cannelloni filled with crab salad. Next came some down-home shrimp and grits with nuggets of house-smoked Tasso ham and hunter gravy that was worth licking the plate for, and that was followed up by a crispy-skinned quail (pictured) stuffed with a black pepper dumpling with smoked chanterelle mushrooms, atop a Vidalia onion soubise and — why not — a slice of thick-cut pork belly. To finish, strawberry pie with buttermilk ice cream was served.
If Steuer had a restaurant in New York, we have a good feeling that we’d be regulars. If you’re lucky enough to live in Chicago, make it a point to stop into Carriage House for a real taste of the Low Country up north.