When a restaurant is so venerable that it lands a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and Landmarks, you probably expect a classic menu that doesn’t rock the boat. But McCrady’s is anything but traditional, with an innovative menu that changes daily. It’s helmed by The Daily Meal’s 2014 American Chef of the Year Sean Brock: a risk-taker, a proponent of Southern tradition, and an advocate for modern technique. Brock represents American culinary pioneering in one of its hottest, oldest, and proudest culinary traditions, making McCrady’s and his two Husk locations (Nashville and Charleston; see No. 16) three of this country’s must-visit culinary destinations. The chef weaves touches of modernity into his definitely Southern-based cuisine (“If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” he has stated); take, for example, dishes like Benton’s Surry ham plate with Jimmy red corn crackers and popcorn mayonnaise; salad of sweet potato, smoked trout, fennel, dill, and buttermilk curd; and roasted snapper, brassica, red onion purée, and pickled clams.
— Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Restaurants, April 1, 2015