Thoroughbreds Chophouse & Seafood Grille Continues its Fine Dining Tradition
A thoroughbred, by definition, is a horse of pure breed. The finest of the fastest of racehorses.
In some ways, Thoroughbreds Chophouse & Seafood Grille can be considered to be in the same caliber – just in the restaurant realm. Their story is more of a “slow and steady wins the race” tale. The high-end chophouse on the north end of Myrtle Beach, also known as the legendary Restaurant Row, has survived for more than 30 years and the changing of several owners who have passed the proverbial torch.
Outdoor changes include the addition of palms and hibiscus to refresh the landscape. What hasn’t changed is Thoroughbreds’ exterior façade on U.S. 17, a standout from the saturated lineup of maritime seafood buffets. Instead, it’s a classy collection of barn and stable siding looks pieced together, culminating with a tall centerpiece cupola.
Inside, six stately dining rooms and two full bars each make statements that are uniquely different, from a large garden atrium-like area (the Paddock Pub) built around a century-old live oak tree to more traditional rooms that give off old library or parlor vibes, complete with cozy, crackling fireplaces, earthy wood paneling and crown molding, and rare, framed equine paintings. The new owners did update the foyer with a new chandelier that makes a great first impression. Throughout the maze of rooms, it almost feels like you’ve crashed a private party during Kentucky Derby week.
Our reservations for two were on a quiet, early Tuesday evening, with only another woman sharing dinner with someone viaFaceTime at a nearby table in our intimate dining room laid out with white linen tables and booths. More tables gradually began filling up with couples and large groups of golfers as we passed through on our way out. Our table was practically a front row seat to our room’s fireplace, which was perfect for us.
Also perfect was our server, Stacy, who gracefully and expertly guided us through the Thoroughbreds dining experience, starting, of course, with the drinks course. I went with a glass of California cabernet, and my husband had an Old Fashioned. The team also recently unveiled an updated martini menu shaken up with premium, international spirits.
Stacy’s service was fluent in timing, like a synchronized solo orchestra. Next out of the gate was the appetizer, or what Thoroughbreds calls The Starting Gate. The Angels on Horseback was a winner for us: sea scallops wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon, and finished in a vegetable puree and bacon bourbon glaze. The scallops were sublime, skillfully seared and divinely delicious in each bite. More starters from in and out of the sea include their Portabella Mushroom Dip, complete with Parmesan, mozzarella, cured sausage, onion and bell pepper, Shrimp Cocktail, Fried Green Tomatoes lightly breaded in cornmeal, Escargot, and Demi Beef Tips with crostini and a veal demi-glace.
Dinner at Thoroughbreds is a refined affair, intended for special occasions and celebrations. But after your first taste, you’ll realize the intention is worth every penny. Their back of the house powerhouse team of 40-plus, led by an executive chef, creates a diverse menu laden with recipes that incorporate only the freshest ingredients and rotates out dishes several times a year, depending on the season.
I fell in love with my Black Angus filet mignon at first bite (of the total eight ounces). Prepared medium, the meat from The Belmont Steaks section of the menu was tender and melt-in-your-mouth savory. Hubby decided on the 14-ounce Prime Chophouse Ribeye, and he had nothing but compliments to the chef. Sides are served a la carte; we shared grilled asparagus and Burgundy mushrooms. If you’d like to beef up your entrée, add a lobster tail, shrimp skewer, or scallops for a surf and turf style, or a sauce (au poivre, cabernet demi-glace, coffee-encrusted, Bearnaise, or compound butter). But don’t worry, the steaks at Thoroughbreds are just fine naked.
If steaks aren’t your preference, the menu also features seared lamb rack, herb-roasted chicken, fresh seafood, braised pork osso bucco, and more.
We didn’t save room for dessert, but the impressive lineup of sweets was certainly tempting at the finish line, including Grand Marnier crème brulee, Throughbreds chocolate cake, and the always-entertaining Bananas Foster prepared tableside.
Thoroughbreds Chophouse & Seafood Grille
9706 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday,