The Obstinate Daughter: sips and vittles; Chef de Cuisine Will Fincher
Late Spring, The Obstinate Daughter (2063 Middle Street) opened on Sullivan’s Island, SC. I was invited to come try out the menu during my tasting tour of Charleston, and made reservations to get back there as soon as I hit the island again. The nautical themed restaurant is an absolute must for foodies and my new favorite place to eat on the island. You’re not going to find a fried seafood platter on this menu. Instead you’ll find fresh flavors of the land and sea, creatively orchestrated so they dance on your palate and make your taste buds sing.
Start out with a drink. I recommend the Sargent Jasper’s Margarita made with Avion tequilla, keylime juice and South Carolina peach puree or the Palmetto Log Colada made with local Striped Pig rum, coconut milk and Ambrose Farms strawberries. I have tried most of the specialty drinks on the menu and you simply can’t go wrong with anything! I think there’s as much talent behind the bar as there is in the kitchen. Sip on that for a minute…
What’s the deal with the name?
The restaurant’s name dates back to the Revolutionary War era. 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. It was a great victory for the American Patriots and inspired a London political cartoon depicting the defiant defenders of Charleston: Mrs. Carolina Sullivan, one of the obstinate daughters of America, 1776. “The Obstinate Daughter is a beautiful reminder that the stubborn refusal to change one’s course of action can change the course of history,” reads the menu. This is a place my stubborn self feels right at home…
And the fare might also have a little something to do with that. On my first visit, we tried the Scallop Crudo with radish and jalapeno, and a savory dish of Ravioli stuffed with ricotta and Swiss chard, Mepkin Abbey Mushrooms and speck. And then they delivered a pizza straight from the wood fired oven and so heavenly, I will forever remember that first bite. The Old Danger is topped with pancetta, mozzerella, white sauce, scallion, black pepper and parmesan. A fried egg sits on top and when you cut into the pizza, the yolk spreads over each piece, creating an incredible richness to the pizza. The egg amps it up to a whole new depth of flavor. It’s truly exquisite.
I returned to The Obstinate Daughter with my husband. I could not wait to sink my teeth into that pizza again and wanted to explore a bit more of the menu. We started with the Mepkin Abbey Mushrooms with kale, breadcrumbs, parmesan and a farm egg. We fought over every last crumb and there was much moaning. Then we ordered up another Old Danger. We thought about taking half the pizza home to savor the deliciousness and so we could try something else from the menu, too, but decided a reheat would spoil the magic. So we dug in and finished. I asked for big, meaty red wine to accompany the pizza and was served a glass of Primitivo Torre Quarto 2010 (Puglia), which delivered on all fronts.
I savored the last couple of drips from my glass while we contemplated dessert. Pastry Chef, Caroline Sherman, suggested we try the Creme Brulee, but we were anxious to get downstairs for some gelato from Beardcat’s Sweetshop, the latest addition from Jason Parrish and Executive Chef Jacques Larson, the team responsible for Wild Olive and The Obstinate Daughter. Caroline suggested that we try her Pluot gelato from downstairs. She said we’d know it by its bright pink color. We did give it a taste. It was sweet and tart, and an incredibly refreshing summer flavor, but I had my sights on the creamy Olive Oil gelato with a scoop of the Blueberry/Blackberry swirl. My husband ordered scoops of the Cantaloupe and Coconut Sorbets with a scoop of Pistachio gelato. Every single flavor was amazing.
We sat outside enjoying our scoops and the island breeze, and savoring one of the last afternoons of our vacation.