Gwen Fowler



Don't miss the bacon jam at Charleston's Cypress

Posted 12/1/2011 11:27:00 AM

Lots of people can make strawberry jam or blackberry jam. Chef Craig Deihl of Cypress in Charleston makes bacon jam.

This isn’t jam for spreading on toast. Deihl serves it on his wood-grilled burger and his butter lettuce salad.

It is so delicious but also so simple to make, he said.

On the butter lettuce salad on the dinner menu, the bacon jam and lettuce are combined with blue cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes.

The burger is on Deihl’s bar menu, which has drawn praise from many and was featured on a segment of Unique Eats earlier this year. On that segment, TV personality and chef Lee Anne Wong calls Deihl the “Pope of Meat Fat.”

During an interview last summer, Deihl talked about how he could often see outlines of people’s faces on the large windows at the front of Cypress. People often don’t come in because they think the elegant restaurant is out of their price range.

“They think we are expensive, but we have an $8 burger,” he said.

That’s right. The wood-grilled burger is $8, and that price would be fair for admission alone to this beautiful bar. It’s a beautiful contemporary space, with a wall of wine, and not all what you expect when you enter the historic building.

In addition to bacon jam, the burger is topped with pimiento cheese and butter lettuce and served on a yeast roll.

Three new items were added to the bar menu when it was revamped this fall: steamed buns with sirloin, spicy hoisin sauce, pickled peppers and butter lettuce; crispy pork belly served with Korean mustard and accompanied by kimchi fritters; and bahn mi, made with pork pâte, ham, kimchi, carrots and cilantro.

There’s also a charcuterie plate, pimento cheese biscuits with shaved ham, and a lamb BLT.
In March, Deihl was named one of six finalists for the James Beard Foundation Best Chef of the Southeast award.