In a 1909 Victorian home in the historic town of Edgefield (“Home of 10 Governors”), the Old Edgefield Grille is a felicitous harmony of old South and new American cuisine. It’s a gracious setting with well-accoutered dining rooms lit by crystal chandeliers.
For all its politeness, there’s nothing staid about the flavors of the food, which can be thrilling.
Shrimp and grits, for instance, is a flamboyantly spiced kaleidoscope of peppery andouille sausage, black tiger shrimp, onions and tomatoes in Cajun sauce with a crown of crisp-fried onion hay and a bed of rich, rugged-textured yellow grits. It’s a dazzling rendition of the South Carolina signature dish.
The Old Edgefield burger is a hail of flavors, too, including a thick slice of tangy fried green tomato, pimento cheese, bacon and bacon remoulade. The hamburger is itself a prize: a half-pound of juice-oozing ground chuck with a well-charred crust, cooked to your specifications.
If South Carolina were to have an official State Cheese, it would be pimento, which is a featured element of several Old Edgefield Grille dishes. This kitchen’s version is a thick paste with sharp cheddar flavor. It is ideally suited for a powerhouse appetizer in which little balls of it are coated in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried to a point where the rugged coat turns brittle-crisp and the cheese within fairly weeps unctuous dairy richness. An appetizer portion is five such balls, along with a cup of bacon remoulade. That’s a lot of cheese: hors d’oeuvre for at least two.
is svelte, with a fine fragile crust on top and custard that is smooth and creamy and yet not nearly as corpulent as so many over-the-top c