Thursday, October 10, 2013

Indaco, Charlestion, SC

Indigo Road Ads Another Jewel To Their Crown On King Street.

Rounding out "Indigo Road's" pentagram of culinary experiences here in the Low Country (Oak Steakhouse, Cocktail Club, The Macintosh, O-ku) is Indaco, the newest player in the thriving restaurant scene on Upper King Street.  We recently visited Indaco early on a bustling Saturday night.  If you haven't been, it's a long, shotgun restaurant with wood burning oven scents that welcomes you as soon as you enter. 

Indaco's wood and stainless lighting elements are simple enough for you to clearly see that the "food is the star". Quickly escorted to our table upon arrival, we began to peruse the 'Rustic' Italian menu. Our server quickly approached to take our beverage order and explain the menu.  As she did so, a gentleman also stopped by.  He said that he was the manager and he pointed out the wine list to us.  He said he was part of the team that helped to put the list together and if we had any questions he would be happy to help. Nice touch.

The menu offers affordable prices and although easy to read (5 sections - Piatti, large plates, Antipasti, Pizza, Pasta and Contorni, sides), the selections seemed so interesting that it was hard to decide what to order.  

We started with the Castelvetrano Olives, a must try for olive fans and 24-month aged American Iberico Prosciutto, which, in the end could have been fought over had we not ordered two. We also tried the Wood-Roasted Squid Salad.  This was my selection and it was served with arugula, pickled peppers, potatoes, olives, capers aioli, chickpeas and radicchio. It was exceptional!  
Castelvetrano Olives

24-month aged American Iberico Prosciutto
Wood-Roasted Squid Salad
The last in the line of appetizers were the Pumpkin Blossoms.  For those of you (like myself), who may not be familiar with what a pumpkin blossom is, it's a delicacy made with the flowers of a pumpkin plant.  These were delicately wrapped and served with baccala (salt cod, by-the-by), pickled peppers, lemon and aioli. 
Pumpkin Blossoms
Here's a bit of a fun fact regarding Indaco's Pumpkin Blossoms. This was Indaco's James Beard Foundation Local Dish Challenge Entree.  If you take a picture and upload it to Instagram with #charlestonSC and #jbftasteamerica it may help Charleston win $10,000 for Feed the Need.

The entrees we ordered were as delicious as the appetizers.  My husband and I ordered the two specials of the evening.   Their ingredients demonstrate the creative offerings that Chef Robert Berry can come up with.

Special #1 was Porchetta - Pork shoulder slow roasted for three hours and served medium with tomato braised runner beans, topped with Castlovetrano olives and calaibrian chilies.  The pork was fork tender and won wave reviews.  
Special #2 was The Casonce - pasta filled with mousolini (sic) of quail, foegras, chanterel mushrooms then sauteed with parmesan and butter topped with chanterels.  Butter soft pasta pillows graced my bowl.  The flavor was out of this world.  Although I downplayed them a bit so I wouldn't have to share them, a few still got away from me.  If this dish is an option during your visit, I’d highly recommend you indulge yourself and order this treat.
The Casonce
At first glance, the "pasta" section of the menu seems simple enough, but each dish is an exquisite assembly of ingredients.  The Camera D'Aria - Shrimp, scallop, blue crab and green onion were rolled and resembled sushi. The Eggplant Lasagnette was served with a quick tomato sauce, capers, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. Both were as beautiful as they were tasty.
 Camera D'Aria 

Eggplant Lasagnette
Our friends ordered 2 of the pizza choices.  I remember our friends said, "If it's too much, we can take it home to the kids." Enter the Cerigonola Olives Pizza - with mozzarella, Calabrian chili (#hot) and basil; and the Pork Sausage Pizza - with braised mustard greens, farm egg and pecorino. The thin, crispy crust with just enough toppings was a fan favorite.  
Cerigonola Olives Pizza

Pork Sausage Pizza
Taking "them home to the kids"….. not so much.  As the server was picking up the last of the dishes our friend was not going to give up the few slices left...

Indaco is one of those restaurants that you hate to say too many good things about for fear that it will become to difficult to get a reservation in the future.  Never the less, you should add this to your list of Charleston restaurants to try.

Indaco on Urbanspoon


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