Hello! August was a busy month for our family, and blogging — well, it just fell off my radar. For example, see my kiddos with their adorable cousins. How could I do anything else except squish those faces?
We went back to the U.S. for a few weeks to visit with family and friends. It was a whirlwind. We flew to Seattle first, which is actually “only” an eight and a half hour flight from London because you fly over the North Pole. The kids are unhappy to report that they didn’t see Santa. After Seattle, we headed back East — I took a detour to meet my new nephew in New Haven, Connecticut, while the rest of the family went south to Charleston. After Charleston, we hit south Florida, then ended in Washington, DC.
Phew — I’m tired just retyping our crazy trip! Of all the places we went and food (oh, the food) we ate, one particular meal stands out for me in particular — a hot summer lunch at The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island in Charleston.
The Obstinate Daughter, a casual seafood/Lowcountry/pasta/pizza joint, has been open for a few years and on my list of “must-try” places for just as long. It’s a perfect cap to a morning at one of the beaches on Sullivan’s Island, which are generally less crowded than on neighboring Isle of Palms or Folly Beach in West Ashley/Jame’s Island. The town of Sullivan’s Island is sleepy, rustic and feels just like a good ol’ Southern beach town.
Most respectable Charleston restaurants have at least a few oysters on the menu. If there are oysters, it’s pretty much mandatory that you order at least a half-dozen. After all, food doesn’t count towards your calorie count if it’s mandatory, right?
Other Southern-inspired small plates at The Obstinate Daughter are not to be missed. Don’t miss the Geechie frites, logs of compacted grits fried crispy on the outside but still creamy on the inside. In fact, if you’re in a group of more than four, you’d be well served to order two helpings.
Another must-try is the Frogmore Chowder, a wonderful fusion of creamy Northeastern seafood chowder peppered with Lowcountry staples, including corn, sausage and hearty crab chunks.
Main courses didn’t disappoint us, either. The seasonal menu at The Obstinate Daughter has already changed since we visited, but on the day we went, a hearty sausage ragu with bright, zesty tomatoes covered freshly-made penne. The tangy sweetness of the tomatoes mixed well with the peppery sausage. Pizzas are also solid. We had The Moultrie, a genius concoction of tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, Mempkin Abbey shiitake mushrooms and showered with parmesan cheese. The shiitakes were bursting with earthy freshness and elevated the pizza.
The Obstinate Daughter was perfect for our little ones and sandy, beach-weary parents, but I could easily see how its rustic decor and extensive bar also make it an ideal date-night spot. I can’t imagine anything nicer than sharing a good bottle of wine, followed by some perfectly al dente plates of pasta and a nice, long walk along the beach, the wind whipping through my salty hair and the waves kissing my feet.
Not that WE had that experience, of course. Ours was more shoveling food at little ones as fast as they could chirp at us and having intermittent conversation whenever our kids weren’t demanding our attention. Yeah, that’s totally the same.