Enjoy your favorite beach eats on your next trip to the Grand Strand, but leave room for a little fine dining, too. No budget worries - for less than the cost of a seafood buffet, you can sit down to a memorable culinary experience and still have money for the water park.
The Fowler Dining Room has been making waves throughout the Myrtle Beach area as a hotspot for discerning diners. Creative, skillfully executed dishes are served here by reservation only and spots fill up fast, especially for full-service fine dining and chefs table experiences.
Not only does this environment give student chefs a chance to fine-tune their already impressive skills in the kitchen, but it gives guests an opportunity to enjoy an elevated dining experience for a fraction of what they'd pay at fancier establishments.
Formerly located at the Horry Georgetown Technical College main campus in Conway, Fowler Dining Room reopened in 2016 near Market Commons as part of the school's International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach.
The facility, outfitted with two pastry labs and training kitchens, a production kitchen, retail bakery, dining room and bar, is a multifaceted, state-of-the-art classroom for aspiring chefs. But don't get hung up on the word "aspiring." There's plenty of talent here turning out world class cuisine and farm-to-table fare for appreciative guests.
Students also operate on onsite farmers market once a week, which showcases area farmers and producers as well as offerings from baking and pastry students. Visit the website for dates and times.
But let's talk food. For a first course, you might choose the soup du jour or a gourmet option such as grilled asparagus with asparagus puree, bacon lardons and maple syrup balsamic reduction.
There might be wood oven roasted salmon accompanied by stone ground grits, cider glazed carrots and braised kale accented with smoked tomato barbecue sauce offered as an entree. (Note: Due to school regulations, alcohol is prohibited.)
Desserts get the same thoughtful attention, so prepare to be impressed from start to finish. If it sounds a little highfalutin, you get the drift: This isn't fast food.
Like many of South Carolina's finest eateries, the menu at Fowler Dining Room changes according to availability of ingredients. Because days and times of operation are limited and change according to the school calendar, make lunch and dinner reservations far in advance. (One of the best ways to get updated info is to visit the Institute's Facebook page.)
And once you snag a coveted seat at the table, sit back, soak in the ambiance and indulge in one of South Carolina's best-kept culinary secrets.