Hours: D, daily
When Tristan announced that it would close at the end of April, we considered leaving it off of our Top 50 list, but then we reconsidered because as long as Executive Chef Nate Whiting is in the kitchen, his food is worth your attention. Whiting consistently wows diners with his playful application of innovative modernist techniques to fresh local ingredients. His tasting menus take diners on a delicious romp through modern cuisine, complete with adept wine pairings. The superbly rich Lowcountry “carbonara” — Carolina quail, bacon crème fraîche, and an “impasta” of braised Wadmalaw onions posing as spaghetti — has become one of Whiting’s signature dishes. Flavors are layered upon each other in delectable combinations, like the free range chicken breast with Peekytoe crab, popcorn polenta, corn, and mushrooms, or the Scottish salmon with ember-cooked carrots, roasted shallot, and enlightened carrot and coriander jus. The small touches, like the smoked chocolate parfait and cooling sorbet trio, are consistently sparkling and clever, and pastry chef Amanee Neirouz’s desserts are as beautiful as they are indulgent. Now that Whiting is leaving behind Tristan’s swanky, space-age dining room for a new space from the same owners at 492 King St., we expect him to really get into the mix and show us what he’s got. —Robert Moss Dish (Winter 2014)
Chef Nathan Whiting's menu keeps in line with the postmodern setting, but postmodern in the best sense of the word: playful and inventive, with a strong sense of irony and wit. And the food's delicious, too.
• $3 well liquors, $2 big name domestics, $3 big name imports $2 off all glass pour wine, Chef's amuse trio with wine pairing for $7. Live music.