New Review: Bexley Fish & Raw Bar

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In my latest restaurant review for the Post & Courier I drove out to Summerville to check out Bexley Fish & Raw Bar, longtime Charleston chef Jeremy Holst's first foray into restaurant ownership. I haven't been this impressed by a new restaurant in a long time.

As I detail In the review, there wasn't a single dish that I tried that wasn't delicious, and almost all of them combined unexpected flavors into that, however improbably, really work well together: fresh strawberries layered on tuna crudo, scallops with green pea puree, all adorned with fresh, fragrant herbs.

Though I touch upon Bexley's use of local produce and provisions (much of it from in or around Summerville), I didn't have room to talk about all the intriguing things Holst and his team do in the kitchen.

When I chatted with Holst after my last visit, he talked excitedly about some of his current “toys” —a new electric broiler that chars the tops of oysters in less than a minute, a liquid nitrogen flash-freezer—and future plans, like his idea to install mirrors over the combo raw bar and prep counter so diners can watch the chefs hands as they plate dishes.

I also didn't have room to highlight the serious made-in-house aesthetic at Bexley. They fry tortilla chips fresh to order for the crudo, age red Fresno chilis for hot sauce then dry and crush the leftover mash into the chili flakes that garnish many dishes, and blend their own furikake, an umami-rich Japanese seasoning with dried fish flakes, sesame, nori, and more.

If you're out Summerville way soon, give Bexley a shot: it's an impressive new venture from a talented local chef.