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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Honeysuckle & Grits

Posted June 4, 2007 7:54 a.m. EDT
Updated June 4, 2007 8:10 a.m. EDT

Remember the first time you smelled honeysuckle as a child? Remember the first time you tasted the sweet nectar?

Well, I felt like a kid all over again Saturday night at Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill. For years I had heard about chef Bill Smith's signature dish of honeysuckle sorbet. Saturday night I finally tasted it and it was absolutely awesome: sweet but light and refreshing with just a hint of cinnamon and lemon.

This is strictly a seasonal recipe. Once the honeysuckle blossoms are gone the sorbet is removed from the menu. You might still have a couple of days to enjoy this dessert but call ahead.

My entree was shrimp and grits. No one does it better and more consistently than Crook's Corner. I used to think Clawson's in Beaufort was as good but the last time I was there I thought the shrimp and grits were a bit bland. Carolina's Restaurant on Exchange Street in Charleston also has a highly touted recipe but my last trip left me slightly dissatisfied.

How about you? What are your honeysuckle memories and where do you go for shrimp and grits?

Tomorrow: pimento cheese beignets.