Fat Hen

One of our all time favorite restaurants in the Charleston area is Fat Hen. No matter how many new restaurants there that we try, Fat Hen is one that we must dine at on each trip to the Low Country!

Fat Hen

Steve and I enjoying our appetizers at Fat Hen

Fat Hen

Fat Hens at Fat Hen
Photo Credit: Steve Axelrod

Fat Hen

Owner/Chef Fred Neuville of Fat Hen
Photo Credit: Website

The Fat Hen is owned and operated by nationally acclaimed Chef Fred Neuville and his wife Joan with an assist from their daughter Nicole in the kitchen. Fat Hen is located in the heart of Johns Island,  just minutes from downtown Charleston, South Carolina and offers innovative French Lowcountry cuisine using the freshest ingredients provided by their friends and neighbors in the farming community.

Within a month Steve and I paid two visits to this fabulous restaurant. The first was in late October and the second was this past Saturday night. In October we had the best server ever, Tenia, so when we returned last week we made sure to ask for her. Tenia not only recognized us and gave us a warm welcome but she even remembered everything we had ordered! The entire staff, including Nicole, made us feel like old friends visiting their home for dinner.

Fat Hen

Crab Soup at Fat Hen
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

And speaking of dinner – WOW – the food is sooooo good. Some of the dishes are so amazing that we have to order them each time, like their Fried Green Tomatoes with pimento goat cheese, pepper relish, tomato jam and the Oyster Stew with Benton’s country ham, wild mushrooms and grilled bread. On our last visit Steve had the French Onion Soup which was fabulous and quite cheesy. This time we shared a cup of the Crab Soup that was rich and creamy with lots of sweet crab and a hint of Sherry. We honestly could have stopped there and just had dessert but gluttons that we are we ordered entrées.

Fat Hen

Fat Hen Fried Green Tomatoes
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Fat Hen

Oyster Stew at Fat Hen
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

What I love about the menu at Fat Hen is that it is not only varied and seasonal but there are many entrées available in half portions which is perfect for us after all of our appetizers and their fantastic artisan bread served with fresh creamery butter. Steve had the Shrimp and Pasta which was loaded with sweet shrimp, house made pasta, caramelized onions, spinach, champagne, House Pernod, tomatoes, capers, artichoke, pistou & liaison. It was the same dish he enjoyed in October. In October I had the Crab Cake with bacon blue cheese coleslaw and pommes frites. But this time I decided to order a dish that I don’t get to enjoy too often because Steve is not a fan of duck. The Seared Duck Confit with demi-glace, smoked apricot chutney, garlic spinach and roasted lemon sweet potatoes was succulent, moist and tender with the crispiest skin ever. The leg and thigh meat was cooked to perfection with all of the fat rendered which left just meat and skin. Maybe if I made duck as good as this I could get Steve to eat it.

Fat Hen

Half Order of Shrimp and Pasta at Fat Hen
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Fat Hen

Half Order Crab Cake at Fat Hen
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

Fat Hen

Half Order of Duck Confit at Fat Hen
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

By the time we finished all of our wonderful savory dishes we were quite satiated but somehow we found room for one of those desserts that cannot be resisted. The Fat Hen’s Pluff Mudd Pie is a secret recipe darn it. It is a play on pluff (also spelled “plough”) mud. This Carolina Lowcountry term represents a Lowcountry entity — the slippery, shiny brown-gray, sucky mud, with a distinctive smell like none other, of the tidal flats and spartina grass salt marshes. I know the description of fluff mud sounds pretty yucky but, trust me, this dessert is anything but. It is a regal pie with an Oreo cookie crust (of course they make their own cookies) filled with a luscious Chocolate Silk Mousse and garnished with a quenelle of softly whipped cream and a swoosh of Raspberry Caramel. We practically licked our plate clean. It was the perfect finish to another outstanding meal at Fat Hen!!!

Fat Hen

Pluff Mud Pie at Fat Hen
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

The Fat Hen cookbook was released last year. I can’t wait to get a copy so I can try to recreate some of their outstanding dishes. Of course without the local Low Country ingredients it may not be possible to make them as good as at the restaurant, but I will certainly try my best.

Fat Hen
3140 Maybank Highway
Johns Island, SC 29455
843.559.9090

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

First I want to wish all of my reader, friends and family a very happy and delicious Thanksgiving. Steve and I will be spending the entire week with our son and daughter in law and I am most thankful for that. Though I will be on vacation for a week I want to leave you with this very delightful post that an old friend from high school, and former student of my mother in law’s, wrote on my Facebook Page:

Happy Thanksgiving

Our Turkey is Ready for Its Close-up!
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

FOR THE LOVE OF A SPATULA
I was mourning the loss of my beloved spatula that I accidently killed while using it as a fly swatter. It was a very old spatula and had served me well for nearly 4 decades. Then, it was gone and it was my fault.
After a proper grieving period and a few meetings at S.U. (Spatulas Unanimous) I began living the life of a “spatula-less” person. My closest friends noticed that something was troubling me but I was not forthcoming. I was too ashamed to admit I killed my pancake, omelet and burger flipper.
In truth I did have one other spatula but it was metal and I dared not use it on my coated pans for fear of scratching their delicate surfaces. After a few spatula free days I decided to bite the bullet and procure a new spatula.
I could have gone to the dollar store and gotten a cheapie but that would be an insult to my dearly departed spatula of yesteryear. I decided to get a new spatula that I could be proud of so I went to the market and marveled at the vast assortment of spatulas dangling from the rack before me. I was hard pressed to find that “special” spatula as there were so many choices.
Suddenly I heard the siren’s call from a true beauty of a spatula with metal handle gracefully molded to fit in my hand as if it was made just for me. With a flexible hard rubber business end that would gently “kiss” the surface of my coated pans while sliding under the food I wished to flip.
I believe it is sturdy enough to withstand the fly swatter test but I will not subject this marvelous implement to abuse because I love it so dearly.
I am at a loss at finding a suitable name for my new spatula. I have already used up: Mark, David, Tommy, Sylvia, Rachel, Harry and Robert on pots, pans and other implements so for now I am just calling it “Count Spatula”
It’s so difficult to imagine life without a decent spatula at hand.

Thank you Preston for always making me smile with your posts!

The Obstinate Daughter

Steve and I recently visited one of our favorite cities Charleston a couple of weeks ago and virtually ate our way through it! We started our feeding frenzy upon arrival by having a quick dinner at Sesame Burger. Which is always fabulous. On that Monday evening we decided to try The Obstinate Daughter on nearby Sullivan’s Island.

The Obstinate Daughter

The Obstinate Daughter

The view from the dining room at The Obstinate Daughter
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

The Obstinate Daughter is owned by the same people who own Wild Olive an Italian restaurant that we adore. It only opened about two and a half years ago and we have been wanting to try it ever since. The atmosphere is inviting, cozy and casual with a tropical vibe. It is, after all, on an island! The main dining room and bar are upstairs; with outdoor seating and a dessert shop on the ground level. Steve and I sat upstairs at the bar and enjoyed the camaraderie of the bartender/servers and the guests was delightful. But the highlight was certainly the food.

We had a drink while waiting for our seats and someone at the bar was served a gorgeous slice of Tarte Tatin with a nice big scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. We decided right then and there that we would skip an appetizer to make sure we had room for dessert. So Steve ordered the Ricotta Gnocchi and I got the Seared Swordfish “Paella”. Both were great options. The gnocchi were light little pillows that were enriched with a fantastic short rib ragu with horseradish and pine nut gremolata. I kept sneaking little tastes. Shhhh! Don’t tell Steve. My fish was perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor in every bite of the swordfish, saffron rice, chorizo, mussels, scallops and shrimp. And then there was that dessert. OMG. Was that ever delicious. 

The Obstinate Daughter

Ricotta Gnocchi with Short Rib Ragu at The Obstinate Daughter
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

The Obstinate Daughter

Seared Swordfish Paella at
The Obstinate Daughter
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

The name, The Obstinate Daughter, has an interesting history. It is an homage to the rich Revolutionary War history of Sullivan’s Island. On June 28, 1776, under the command of Colonel William Moultrie, the defenders of Fort Sullivan foiled the British fleet’s attempt to capture the city of Charleston in the Battle of Sullivan’s Island. This first American Patriots victory inspired a London political cartoon of the defiant defenders of Charleston: “Miss Carolina Sulivan, one of the obstinate daughters of America, 1776”. To us, The Obstinate Daughter is a beautiful reminder that the stubborn refusal to change one’s course of action can change the course of history.

The Obstinate Daughter

An official member of the clean plate club.
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

The Obstinate Daughter

I made all gone – now I can have dessert!
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

With their varied assortment of plates, pasta and pizza and those glorious desserts I know we will return on our next visit to the Low Country.

The Obstinate Daughter

Tarte Tatin at The Obstinate Daughter
Photo Credit: Sandy Axelrod

The Obstinate Daughter

2063 Middle Street

Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482

843-416-5020