A peek at Pancito & Lefty's fire shrimp

Brine dining

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Pancito & Lefty's isn't open yet, but chef Robert Berry is hard at work on the menu - JESSIE HAZARD
  • Jessie Hazard
  • Pancito & Lefty's isn't open yet, but chef Robert Berry is hard at work on the menu
Tomorrow in our Cuisine section, writer Jessie Hazard takes readers on a 29 restaurant journey to try some of the city's best citrus dishes, part of Limehouse Produce's Citrus Celebration. From Burwell's to Zero George, she taste-tested Cara Cara oranges, Pummelos, Meyer lemons, and more plated in all kinds of different ways. And nearly all the dishes you'll see in tomorrow's issue are available to locals through the end of the month. But one was a taste of what's to come. Chef Robert Berry revealed a dish that may end up on forthcoming Pancito & Lefty's (708 King St.) menu. Here's the scoop from Hazard:

Robert Berry's drink and dish — Shrimp Aguachile and Cara Cara Orange Margarita — deserve to be described together, as they complement each other so well. Berry, along with a motley but immensely talented crew behind one of Charleston’s more anticipated restaurants, Pancito & Lefty — set to open later this year in the space previously occupied by Zappo’s Pizza — had to be crafty to give me a culinary preview. We met pop-up style at The Daily, where we confiscated a long wooden table for our own purposes, jealous onlookers be damned.

Berry went to Mexico City over the summer to learn more about the cultural cuisine and liquors, intending to authenticate their upcoming menu. Every afternoon, Berry had a refreshing dish of shrimp aguachile (literally, “fire shrimp”), and he fell in love with them.

The shrimp are presented ceviche-style, cooked by brine only, and tossed in a spicy serrano-pepper sauce, bedded on a plate of cucumbers and onions, crowned with cilantro. In addition, they mixed up a hell of a margarita, resplendent with fresh juice and a homemade orange liqueur. The group wants to focus on a menu where the bar and food are symbiotic with one another, and it shows in the way they’ve paired the citruses without being redundant about it — they sing to each other. Sadly, with the restaurant not open yet, you can’t try this one.

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