I love cooking. I enjoy coming up with menus and shopping for ingredients and also seeing what I can create with what I have on hand (kind of like a home kitchen episode of Chopped). I enjoy it all -whether cooking for just the two of us or for a crowd – but I also enjoy getting a break from the kitchen. My culinary skills do not translate into a desire to only eat what I have made. Quite the contrary. I also love eating out, something I really missed during the months of the pandemic when everything was really shut down. David and I still do not eat inside a restaurant (just strikes me as unnecessarily risky) but we have cautiously started enjoying outside dining. It is nice to be served and to enjoy a meal that someone else makes.
During our week on Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina, where we enjoyed an incredibly relaxing week of teleworking punctuated with many walks on the beach and dips in the ocean, we had several memorable meals. I cooked up a storm when Eliza visited us with a few friends (more on that in an upcoming blog), but when we were on our own we took advantage of the lovely weather and the fresh seafood to enjoy al fresco dining at its finest.
Our favorite meal by far was on our final night, when we walked a few blocks down to The Obstinate Daughter. The name is meant to represent the “spirit, sass and determination” of Sullivan’s Island’s rich history (it is where Fort Moultrie is located) and it describes itself as “a Southern restaurant that is influenced by French, Itlalian and Spanish cuisine with a wood fired oven, plancha and island kitchen range.” If that weren’t enough to lure me, the list of the dozen or so local farms and fishmongers from which It procures its local produce and seafood let me know I would be in good hands. We ordered three things to share (David is a good sport and pretty much lets me pick – he says it is because I order well) and we had a hard time deciding which was our favorite. They were all absolutely delicious and made for a scrumptious and memorable meal.
From the small plates, we picked the Local Lettuce (croutons, parmesan, green garlic, radish, buttermilk and egg all piled on beautiful and varied leaves of lettuce) and the Octopus Spiedini. I order octopus pretty much whenever it is on the menu and I have rarely met an octopus dish I haven’t liked (pretty safe bet that a restaurant willing to serve it knows a thing or two beyond chicken fingers and burgers) but this one, oh my! It was so interesting and spectacularly tasty – every element on it was so thoughtfully added to the dish and was delicious on its own or when taken as a big bite altogether. A large tentacle is grilled and served atop a peanut puree drizzled with a Calabrian chile pesto and crispy potatoes (that have soaked up some of that pesto) complete the dish. We also shared a pizza called Old Danger, which consists of pancetta, mozzarella, white sauce, farm egg, scallion, black pepper and parmesan. I love white pizza and this is easily the best white pizza I have ever had. Crust that is both crispy and chewy, quality ingredients that were not fighting with each other, and the perfect accompaniment to our other delicious fare.
And when you have spent the day in the sun, frolicking in the waves and further built up an appetite with a pre-dinner walk, it all just tastes better.