Immediately adjacent to the pier where our ship was docked for three days was Fleet Landing Restaurant and Bar. We had an excellent late luncheon there with friends after the Charleston Harbor boat tour (see our previous blog post).
The restaurant describes itself as “Charleston’s Best Waterfront Restaurant [with] a view that is a distinctive destination unto itself. Housed in a 1940s retired naval building on the east side of the Charleston peninsula, Fleet Landing Restaurant features Chef Drew Hedlund’s classic and contemporary Southern seafood fare in a setting that celebrates the area’s waterfront heritage. The restaurant’s ‘maritime chic interior’ caught the eye of Food & Wine Magazine which featured Fleet Landing in their trend spotting ‘Where to Go Next’ column.
“Encased in a hurricane proof, 6,000 square foot concrete maritime structure, Fleet Landing juts out over the marsh on a reinforced pier and boasts oversized windows that offer an unobstructed view of the Charleston harbor. Built in 1942 by the US Navy as a debarkation point for sailors, the building lay vacant after World War II until it was acquired by the South Carolina Port Authority in the 1960s and used for storage. In 1988, when a 21-year-old Tradd Newton pointed out the unique building to his mother and made the prediction ‘One day, I’m going to put something in that building,’ the structure was in disrepair. Fast forward 16 years and Newton, with the guiding vision of Charleston architect Reggie Gibson and Newton’s wife/business partner Weesie, is seeing his dream realized…”
Our lunch consisted of local favorites (and staples of Charleston seafood cuisine): She Crab Soup, Shrimp and Grits (with Andouille sausage and tasso gravy), and Crab Cakes. Everything was delicious. I’m getting hungry now, looking at these images!
[Notes: Andouille is a smoked sausage made using pork, originating in France. It was brought to Louisiana by the French immigrants and Acadian exiles that would merge to create much of Louisiana Creole culture… Tasso ham is a specialty of south Louisiana cuisine. In this case “ham” is a misnomer since tasso is not made from the hind leg of a hog, but rather the hog’s shoulder. This cut is typically fatty, and because the muscle is constantly used by the animal, has a great deal of flavor…Though tasso may be eaten on its own, it is more often used as part of a flavor base for stews or braised vegetables. It is used in dishes ranging from pasta to crab cakes to soup and gravy. Appropriate to its roots, tasso is most often found in recipes of southern or Creole origin, such as jambalaya. — Wikipedia]
Before we sailed that evening, the sunset and new moon caught my eye: