Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Tue March 15 2016

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | March 15, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Myrtle Beach Eats and Beats

    Myrtle Beach Eats and Beats

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    Beach food may conjure up impressions of seafood plates and frothy drinks, but Myrtle Beach offers a tad more sophistication. Forget crab cakes and hush puppies, Myrtle Beach serves up a dizzying assortment of gourmet meals and fusion cuisine that rivals most big cities.

    I’m a huge fan of Carolina coastal cuisine and I was excited to see it presented with French flair at Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bistro. The Brentwood is headquartered in a restored Victorian home that oozes almost as much charm as its French owner and Iron Chef winner, Eric Masson.

     From a delicate she crab soup sprinkled with chives from Masson’s garden, to the award-winning shrimp and scallops chardonnay, dining at the Brentwood is a singular experience. Upstairs, the wine bistro’s walls are lined with wine bottle corks and features house made limoncello and absinthe while a pianist pumps out golden age classics. Another Brentwood highlight is the popular cooking class that Masson teaches.

    READ MORE: Myrtle Beach: More than Just the Best Golf Destination in the South

    I was treated to a brief demonstration of the chef whipping up his noted she crab soup and between his sharp wit and refined technique, I can understand why the small classes sell out quickly.

    Another culinary adventure was provided at the historic Parson’s Table, an elegant eatery housed in a church dating back to 1885. A collection of glistening stained glass windows, antique cypress doors and original Tiffany lamp make this spot as much a museum as a restaurant. Not too much to detract from the food, however. 

    I was intrigued by the eclectic menu that combined fresh, locavore ingredients with Southern flavor. Standouts include the cornbread-encrusted grouper, crabmeat-stuffed flounder roulades and pecan chicken with shiitake mushrooms. Menu selections are paired with an extensive wine list but for me, the most memorable course was dessert. Specifically a rich pineapple and banana praline and a show-stopping blackberry cabernet sorbet.  I also recommend clothes with expandable waistlines for visits to this restaurant.

    An authentic outing in Myrtle Beach is never complete without a night of shag dancing. This smooth-toed derivative of the jitterbug dance is said to have originated in Myrtle Beach during the late ‘40s and continues to thrive in nightclubs throughout the area.

    READ MORE: Day Trips From Myrtle Beach: Flora, Fauna, Art and Vino

    The landmark Fat Harold’s Beach Club is the place for serious shaggers. It’s crowded every night with dancers gliding across the floor in the required leather-soled shoes as the DJs play beach music or live bands pump out mid-tempo rhythms perfect for the dance.

    The dancers are seasoned pros and the get-ups — from sparkly dresses to jewel-toned suits, make it into a real show.  For the rhythm-impaired, there’s even weekly shag lessons so there’s no excuse not to join the fun.


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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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