Golfers and gators are both regulars at Cassique.
As an homage to British architect Charles Francis Annesley Voysey, a prominent Arts and Crafts adherent, the Kiawah Island Club designed its Cassique Golf Course clubhouse in his style and named the second-floor restaurant after him.
The clubhouse restaurant naturally featured numerous golf-themed design elements, including a circle of old wooden clubs.
the newest golf course features a plush,
craftsman style clubhouse.
Just because Voysey’s harkened back to the Arts and Crafts era doesn’t mean there weren’t modern touches; an intricate globe chandelier illuminated the main dining room.
Chef Doug Blair translated Consulting Chef Tom Colicchio’s vision from New York to the Lowcountry, emphasizing fresh, local ingredients. Multi-colored beet salad was a perfect example, incorporating thin-sliced beets as garnish.
Jumbo lump crab with buttery whipped potatoes and tomato made for a devastating starter.
Tender sautéed calamari arrived tossed with herbs.
Heirloom yellow, red and purple tomatoes captured summer’s essence.
Simple roasted Palmetto bass joined roasted onions. The crisp skin provided nice textural contrast to this moist fish.
Tom Colicchio helped to elevate mushrooms to a position of prominence, so Voysey’s always has a myriad of mushrooms on the menu. Roasted hen-of-the-woods, shiitake and portobello were all incredibly flavorful.
Tiny, tender braised mousseron caps showcased an unusual French mushroom variety. As with braised morels, these ‘shrooms were saturated with butter, not that I’m complaining.
Another night, my mushroom consumption involved a combination of hen of the woods, golden chanterelles, shiitakes, and morels (aka butter bombs).
Roasted Chicken ($23) was a real highlight; this herbaceous yardbird delivered some of the most succulent meat I’d encountered, with golden, taut skin.
Pork two ways: roasted and grilled. This seriously tender meat arrived in its own jus, salty in a good way, and very flavorful, served with more mousserons and sliced garlic.
Wagyu hanger steak was an expensive cut, but worth the cost, especially since I wasn’t paying. The beef was tender enough to cut with a fork due to its dense marbling. Incredibly, Wagyu actually has greater health benefits than typical cow meat.
Gargantuan sea scallops were caramelized and served in a pool of butter, then sprinkled with fresh herbs. Yes, they were rich, but they were also some of the premier scallops of my life.
Roma beans with chopped onions were snap fresh, simple but tasty.
Roasted baby carrots were another spartan specialty.
The vegetable parade continued with blue lake beans. I’ve also enjoyed braised English peas with mint and braised silver queen corn kernels at Voysey’s.
As if we needed more mushrooms, wild mushroom risotto featured many of Voysey’s featured mushrooms, plus a Parmesan dusting. The dish was positively luxurious. Even basic Parmesan risotto impressed.
I prepared for our dessert onslaught with a cinnamon dusted cappuccino served with a rock candy stick, a more fun form of sugar than the packet.
Pastry Chef Melissa Fritz was versatile, going dainty on an angel food cake with roasted lavender strawberries, topped with a lavender sprig.
Molten chocolate cake with passion fruit coulis was truly decadent. Chef Fritz showed further range by topping a root beer float with shaved chocolate and decorative chocolate stick.
I was most excited about mango rice pudding with cinnamon-sugar plantain chips, but it was disappointingly bland. Oh well. Voysey’s offered plenty of other flavor victories.
Fluffy peach and ricotta crepe soufflé nearly burned the roof of my mouth to the third degree, but it was worth the searing pain.
Voysey’s banana split was another comforting option featuring a scoop each of the evening’s Tahitian vanilla bean, sage, and white chocolate raspberry ice cream.
Another night, Fritz’s multi-faceted dessert involved a scoop of vanilla ice cream and three individual “celebration cakes and pastries”: chocolate mousse cake topped with an aspic’d strawberry, apple crisp with a dollop of whipped cream and a carrot cake topped with whipped cream, shaved almonds and a cherry.
We were tanked up on sugar by the time the check arrived, but that didn’t stop us from attacking complimentary, house-made caramel corn. It beat the hell out of Cracker Jack, even if we didn’t get a prize.
Pastry Chef Melissa Fritz nearly keeps pace with Chef Blair thanks to fairly original, flavorful desserts.
Colicchio’s dining model encourages over-ordering. Everything on the menu is a la carte. Of course every menu item reads as delicious. And everything’s expensive – vegetable plates average about $8 – though this is Kiawah Island. At least everything’s tasty.