This experience was a hidden gem that I am still surprised I discovered so quickly during my time in Charleston. I was riding in an Uber, and as usual I was chatting the drivers ear off about food. He mentioned R Kitchen and how it can be completely booked up for months. So, I, of course, immediately began looking into how the restaurant worked. So the low down is it is a kitchen, not a restaurant. It is a 16 top facility indoors with another larger outdoor area in the back. The kitchen has a number of chefs, which I understood are on some type of rotation, and occasional guest chefs. The chef designs a five course meal, which can be altered to fit certain dietary needs, such as vegetarianism, but essentially everyone who comes sits to the same meal. An overhead price is determined, my meal was $30, and the chef cooks the meal in front of you. I found this experience to be extremely unique, the closeness in which you see the chef working allows for banter and conversation to develop among you, the chef, and the others in attendance. Our chefs, whose names I do not remember, were easily the most accoladed individuals I have ever had cook for me. The head chef was trained in sushi preparation and placed second on an episode of Chopped. Her assistant chef was a corporate chef prior to working at R kitchen. The meal I ate consisted of a Taco Taco, Gordita, Ahi Tuna Lettuce Wrap, Summerjack, and a Flourless Chocolate Tart over Strawberry Whipped Cream with Bacon Gelato. Taco Taco was a play on words of sorts that I did not completely understand. I believe “taco” or “tako” might be a name for octopus in regards to sushi. Either way it was an octopus taco on a homemade corn tortilla with an angel hair slaw, and a traditional Spanish tomato-olive sauce. The Gordita was a thicker corn tortilla, somewhat like an english muffin, that was stuffed with pulled pork, Mexican style not barbecue style, and a red cabbage slaw. Ahi Tuna has to be one of my favorite fish. This was an exceptional dish. The lettuce wrap served as the base and held the rice, persimmon, green apple, brie mixture that set the fruity light flavor for the rest of the dish. The ahi tuna wash placed atop the rice and garnished with a sweet onion reduction. Summerjack was a new fish for me to experience, and it was superb. it was served on a corn, black bean, avocado, and salsa mixture. The dessert was perfect. It was fudgy and sweet, but not sugary. The gelato was creamy and the bacon fit in surprisingly well. At the end we had what the chefs called a “Manchego Moment” and we sat around relishing a bite of the quality cheese that was used to garnish some of the dishes.
Want to visit? Here’s the link- http://www.rutledgekitchen.com