Strong Waters casts a perfect ambiance paired with delicious food and drinks
I could sip on the vibes at Strong Waters all day. It’s the kind of place that pulls you in like a current and shakes things up—even if you can only stick around for a meal or a cocktail.
Our date night with Strong Waters Craft Cocktails & Kitchen was on a Sunday. The newer restaurant and bar sits on the corner of Ocean Boulevard and 21st Avenue North across from Breakers Resort and the Atlantic Ocean. When we took the parking garage elevator down to Strong Waters on the first floor and stepped foot inside, a few couples were relaxing at the bar that runs the length of the building. The bartender/server called out a “Hello” and told us to sit anywhere we’d like, and we chose a four-person high top against the back wall lined with leather-padded, high-backed stools.
Strong Waters pours on the ambiance of a rustic speakeasy meets modern industrial style, with a fusion of metallic paneling, coffee-colored stonework behind the bar, Edison-style drop lighting and chandeliers, and comfy corner booths framed in olive drapes. It’s casual and classy, inviting and memorable.
Also unforgettable at Strong Waters, to no surprise, are the drinks. They like to call their concept “Farm to Shaker,” featuring only fresh, local ingredients. Take your time to flip through the drink menu of craft cocktails, whiskeys and wines that’s attached to a wooden clipboard, or just go right for the Bartender’s Choice section, like we did. It was the bartender’s suggestion, after all, and a true testament to the talents of the bar staff.
You choose two words from the list and they work their magic: refreshing, tart, savory, fruity, sweet, fizzy, herbal, bitter, unusual, floral and smoky. My husband chose smoky and sweet and was presented a delicious blend of bourbon, bitters, burnt sugar, orange peel and pressed cherry. But the best part was that the bartender smoked the drink with a torch bar-side before capturing the smoke into a lid until it was released at the table. I chose refreshing and fruity, but added that while I wanted the fruit, I didn’t want sweet. He served me a beautiful blend of berries and vodka. The bar also serves a regularly changing lineup of local craft beers for those who prefer the suds over liquor.
Onto cuisine, the dinner menu also proudly sources fresh, sustainable ingredients, produce and proteins for each handcrafted, Lowcountry inspired dish.
We started with an order of the Lobster Egg Rolls, a pair of fried wonton rolls stuffed with fresh lobster, Napa cabbage, carrots, leeks, basil and ginger, finished with a curry aioli dip. The rolls were crispy and fresh and the dip had almost a sweet, caramel finish.
Our main course decisions were difficult because there were so many intriguing combinations. I opted for the scallops entree—four meaty, pan-seared scallops, a healthy serving of parmesan risotto and seared zucchini and squash. It was all drizzled with the same aioli that was served with our appetizer and it was all delicious.
Hubby went with the 12-ounce Black Angus Ribeye, seared to rare perfection and paired with fingerling potatoes and candied Brussels sprouts, all topped with a red wine reduction that you wanted to just drink up.
Close seconds that we’ll have to order upon our next visit were the Truffle Fries, tossed in truffle oil and Parmesan with a side of garlic aioli; the FGBLT, fried grilled tomatoes, candied bacon, Bibb lettuce, and black garlic aioli stacked on toasted sourdough bread from the Handheld section; and the Lobster Mac, Cavatappi pasta stirred into a creamy borsin and gouda cheese sauce with Maine lobster.
Immerse yourself in the social atmosphere of Strong Waters, which also hosts live music on the weekends for an added entertainment element. You’ll love all of the fun feels and fresh flavors at this restaurant and bar on the boulevard.
Strong Waters Craft Cocktails & Kitchen
2005-A N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.–until (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.)