When my babies were younger, I rarely let others watch them. I can’t tell you how many times my mother or mother-in-law (both trustworthy women whom we love dearly) offered to babysit while my husband and I went out to eat. “No, that’s okay. We’re good.” Now, all of these years later, I have realized that we were foolish.
Ladies, when you have the opportunity to get out with your sweetie sans little ones – DO IT! Even just dinner for the two of you can mean so much. This is for those of you who are working to keep the spark alive in 2013!
These are my three favorite kid-free restaurants in the Grand Strand:
1. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, located by the Marina Inn at Grand Dunes in Myrtle Beach.
I may be a bit biased as Ruth’s Chris was the last pre-kid meal my husband and I shared before my oldest was born. It’s a franchise and while I love to spotlight locally owned businesses, this one is just too good not to mention.
Ruth’s Chris is an upscale steakhouse with a menu and wine list to die for. Beyond great food, the ambiance is noteworthy. The booths are isolated, meaning the walls go up to the ceiling between them, so you and your honey have the opportunity for quiet conversation. The lighting is low and the mood is very calm.
The best part of your visit will, of course, be the food. Every morsel is prepared with real attention to details. For starters the crab cakes are among the best I’ve ever had. And the Harvest Salad…I’m almost finding it hard to put how much I enjoyed it into words. It was the perfect combination of savory, sweet, crunchy, and fresh. I’d like to have it every day. Seriously. I’ve also had the wedge salad and it’s amazingly crisp and refreshing.
For your main course, there are options that include chicken, pork, and fish, but the steak is where the magic lives. It’s served to you on a sizzling platter and melts in your mouth.
The only dessert I’ve ever been able to tackle is the cheesecake. It’s huge. It’s creamy. It’s rich. It’s heaven.
The cost is up there. Our last visit, which included a few adult beverages, came close to $200, though I’m certain you can accomplish a beautiful meal for quite a bit less if you tried.
2. Aspen Grille, located in Myrtle Beach off 17 business just north of 48th Avenue.
I like to use the word “hand-crafted” when I talk about Aspen Grille. The menu is filled with delights, but what stands out to me most is how customizable it is. When we were there last, I saw a meat dish that looked delish, but the side dishes for another entrée had me considering it. In chatting with the waitress, she stressed how it was the chef’s pleasure to accommodate.
The atmosphere is quiet and cozy. There are candles and music. One thing I like about it best is that it’s an equally good place for a date or a small gathering.
The specials list is always, indeed, special. Duck was on it during our most recent visit. Another unique touch is the salt plate. There are three varieties, each with their own taste that complement dishes differently.
Dinner with a salad and dessert for two will run you about $100. It’s pricey, but remarkable.
3. Frank’s Outback, located on Highway 17 North in Pawleys Island.
Frank’s in Pawleys Island is an amazing restaurant, but if you want warm and romantic, you have to try Frank’s Outback. It’s literally located out back of Frank’s. Disclaimer – I’ve only ever eaten there during the winter and the Outback is an outdoor, covered patio. Those two things don’t typically go together, but there’s a huge fireplace and heat lamps throughout. I always feel toasty, but not hot.
While the atmosphere is a bit more casual than Frank’s proper, someone forgot to tell the menu that. I never go there without ordering the beet salad. I also love the small plates and pizza selections. But rest assured that if you’re looking to have a nice, long, romantic dinner with your sweetie, they have traditional appetizers and entrées, as well. It’s all rich, delicious, and a lovely break from the ordinary.
With drinks, our last meal there was about $120. I know that’s more than many would spend on a meal, but the quality makes it worth it.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in the Grand Strand for dining without the kids? Tell us about it! Mommy needs a night out…
Photo credit: Flickr
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