Recently in South Carolina for my cousin’s wedding we decided to extend our stay for a week and make this trip our annual vacation. After the uncluttered beaches and non commercial areas of Litchfield Beach, Pawleys Island and Murrells Inlet, we ventured to Myrtle Beach for a night away to celebrate our second Wedding Anniversary. As we grew closer to our destination, I seriously didn’t think we’d find the romantic dining experience that I envisioned for our evening…
We passed family style restaurants all along King’s Highway mostly adorned with monster sized crabs offering an array of all you can eat seafood buffets. (Not that I don’t like a good seafood bar but it’s hard to get cozy with your hubby when your gorging on a platter of crab legs wearing a lobster bib!) We Googled fine dining in Myrtle Beach and actually got three choices… we chose Thoroughbreds Chop house and Seafood Grille.
We walked in and were greeted by the hostess who reminded us we were a little early and asked if we wanted to have a drink before dinner at the bar. (Good idea!) There are two bars, one which was crowded with happy hour folks and one that was empty. The hostess recommended the quiet bar. I ordered the house Malbec and my guy, a neat scotch. Still not sure of what to expect (Sponge Bob on the bar TV), we asked if our table was ready.
We were then ushered into another world….A real New York Style steak house…Dark wood, plush booths, linen tablecloths, heavy stainless steelware, beautiful lighting and impeccably dressed wait staff…Oh yes! This was going to be good!
The ambiance of the restaurant was just race horse enough with classic paintings of horses but not overdone. The menu theme made you realize that the restaurant was aptly named Thoroughbreds with the Starting Gate for appetizers, The Belmont Steaks for their classic steaks and chops, The Preakness for other entrées, Seabiscuit for (you guessed it!) the seafood entrées and finished up with The Homestretch for dessert. Our server, Lisa, explained the menu to us like we were guests in her own home. You know that kind of service that looks effortless and smooth, like a duck, paddling like hell under the water but smooth sailing on top? That kind of service comes with practice and skill. Excellent!
We ordered the Caesar salad for two, made to order, tableside. While Lisa made our dressing in the heavy seasoned wooden bowl we got a little history of the restaurant and her time working there. If you have never had a Caesar salad made properly, you are really missing something. Classically made, starting with anchovies and cloves of garlic mashed together, fresh lemon juice squeezed through cheese cloth, lots of Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pasteurized egg all perfectly whipped with extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese. The torn romaine lettuce is added to the dressing and tossed with housemade croutons. Perfect! If you can find a restaurant that makes their Caesar this way…go for it!
For my entrée, I had the Waimea Bay Ahi Tuna. This flown in, Hawaiian Tuna was ginger-seared to a perfect rare and was served over tricolored couscous and quinoa salad with a wasabi crème fraische. Delicious! Garnishing the plate were these little gems of ginger, lime, soy marinated grape tomatoes that popped a big flavor in your mouth…..Seriously going to try to make these at home! I’ll let you know how that works out.
We mentioned to Lisa that it was our Anniversary and she said that we could have a complimentary glass of champagne or a piece of New York Style Cheesecake to finish off our meal! How nice but, when we saw the Homestretch menu and opted for the Grand Marnier Crème Brule with berries, the perfect ending to our meal.
Of course we had the Champagne!!
If you find yourself in Myrtle Beach and want to get away from the beachside resorts for a really superb meal, wonderful service and a nice wine list, then make a reservation at Thoroughbreds’ located at 9706 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC. (843)497-2636. Oh, and say hello to Lisa for us!