On my way across North Carolina on a searing hot July day, I stopped off to visit my good friend and grill columnist, Debbie Moose, in Raleigh.
She asked us to lunch and we debated on either barbecue, or New Southern cooking. I wasn’t up for barbecue, so we ended up at 18 Seaboard, a red brick two-level restaurant set in a former train station.
The chef-owner is Jason Smith – an amiable man who has quite the experiences under his rather young belt: cooking for big name chefs in North Carolina and New York, running a kitchen to feed 1300 daily in Antarctica, and now, being a new father with two restaurants. (He also owns Cantina 18 in Raleigh.)
18 Seaboard’s menu is modern Southern and American fare. Each dish that we ordered – we chose several to get a great sampling – showed finesse and control. The plates were not only eye-pleasing, but every plate had a focused flavor.
I’ll share an interview with the chef in an upcoming article here, but for now, I’ll share our menu and his simple, delicious recipe for corn soup.
- Corn Soup (made from corn delivered from the farmer that day)
- Snead’s Ferry She-Crab Soup with a sherry reduction
- Iceberg wedge with big bacon crunch
- Blackeyed pea cakes with zucchini, squash, and summer vegetable vinaigrette
- Crispy Pamlico shrimp salad with Asiago dressing and focaccia croutons
We had no room for dessert!
18 Seaboard’s Corn Soup recipe
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 3 ears fresh silver queen corn, shucked, kernels removed
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Salt and white pepper to taste
Heat large saute pan over medium heat; add butter when pan is hot. Swirl butter to melt; do not allow to brown. Add onion and saute 1 minute; add corn and cook 3 minutes more, stirring. Set aside. Combine cream, stock and thyme in small saucepan; cook for three minutes over medium heat with thyme. Remove thyme. Combine corn and stock mixture in blender; puree until smooth. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
Serve hot or chilled.
Makes 4 appetizer servings.