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Just a few more reasons to head South.
When I hear about a terrific restaurant opening in a place that's not New York City, my home, I get jealous. And so right now, I'm feeling jealous of Greenville, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.
That's because Sean Brock has just announced that he and business partner David Howard are opening their third Husk restaurant in Greenville this fall, and then the fourth in Savannah in early 2017. Why are those two cities so lucky? It turns out that every time Brock walks in the dining room of Husk in Charleston or Nashville, people beg him to open one in their city. Apparently, Greenville and Savannah have the loudest contingents. Even more importantly, they represent cities whose southern traditions and foodways Brock is interested in exploring. "When we opened the first Husk, we wanted it to be a snapshot, not just of the South but specifically Charleston," says Brock. "What it feels like to sit down and eat in Charleston on that particular day."
In Greenville, Brock and Howard are opening Husk in a charming, 4,500-square-foot building on Main Street, decorated with a 100-year-old mural for Ballard flour. The Savannah location is even more atmospheric: Located on Fourth Avenue, it's said to be one the most haunted buildings in the city.
Now, Brock gets to start what for him is the funnest part of the restaurant process: Recipe research. "I've already purchased all the cookbooks that have ever been published about southern food. Now I'll start to collect Greenville's old spiral-bound church and community cookbooks. And hire locals who can teach me about the food." He did promise to serve locally appropriate versions of his signature dish, shrimp and grits, as well as a Husk burger and fried chicken.
And in the end, Brock did leave me with a sense of hope that there might, one day, be a Husk New York City: "If you think about it, every city could have a Husk," he said, kindly.