It has been a hot minute since I’ve written a restaurant review but our latest experience at one of our favorite Myrtle Beach restaurants – hook & barrel – warrants one.
My family has trekked to Myrtle Beach my entire life. First it was in a pop-up camper, then renting a house on the south end, and then a timeshare on the south end of North Myrtle. For the last 18 years, it has been at the Marriott OceanWatch resort. Just around the corner, on the corner of King’s Highway and 82nd is hook & barrel, a restaurant and bar that promotes a sustainable and ethically sourced menu of fresh seafood.
Typically during our week at the beach, my husband and I opt for at least one date night dinner on our own, and we’ve picked hook & barrel a few times as our venue. While it isn’t on the water, it sports a nautical decor that tastefully reminds you that your are very much at the beach.
Our dinner started with a Lemon Basil Martini (for me) and complimentary crispy flatbread with homemade pimento cheese. Not as strong as the pimento cheese I make, it’s mild flavor likely appeals to a wider audience. But what makes this “gift of fellowship,” as our server described it, is the cutting board in the shape of South Carolina.
Immediately you know you’re going to have a wonderful meal at a restaurant that pays attention to these sorts of details.
Our official starter course was shrimp cocktail – the hook & barrel version comes spiced with crab boil – and a Caprese salad. They were out of the burrata by the time we got there, but the subbed mozzarella was equally delicious.
My favorite hook & barrel bite of the night was our main course. For the fellow, he went with his go-to seared scallops. They were served over a roasted corn and corn and basil puree, cooked to perfection. I opted for an entree from the starter menu – the tuna poke – and it was fabulous. Layers of rice, avocado and ahi tuna topped with toasted panko and drizzled with honey soy glaze and wasabi aioli – it was one of the most delicious dishes I’ve eaten in a while.
For dessert, my husband picked Baked Alaska to share – a treat for me because he doesn’t typically prefer chocolate, particularly when it is competing with key lime pie or crème brulée which were both options on the dessert menu. On this night, hook & barrel topped their warm chewy brownie with caramel ice cream before finishing off with meringue, toasted table side. Worth all the calories.
It is hard to complement this dining experience without mentioning Cece, our gracious server who was warm, informative and attentive without being a bother. She was a true delight!
So, if you’re like me and travel to (or happen to live in) Myrtle Beach on occasion, hook & barrel is well worth your consideration for dining. You won’t be disappointed.
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