The new Inlet Provision Company has quickly made a name for itself south of the MarshWalk
A table for two overlooking the water is one of life’s most serendipitous moments, and one we all seem to take for granted living along the coast.
My husband and I spent one summer Saturday evening drinking in one of these moments on the Murrells Inlet waterfront from the back deck of Inlet Provision Company. It was a rare dinner date night without our party of five, kids’ menus and soda spills. We were ready to be served and pampered in peace.
The walk through Inlet Provision’s dining room on the way to the deck was a funky fusion of rustic bait and tackle store decor and modern industrial. Shiplap walls, lighting strung by boat lines and waves of coastal artwork all combined into cool surrounds that lead into the partial outdoor bar/seating area and outdoor deck, which is where we took a seat at a high-top cafe table flanked by a pair of tiki torches. High tide and clear skies painted a pretty picture backdrop of pelicans and boats flying across the water between the south end of Murrells Inlet and the Point at Garden City Beach.
Opened in February by the same owners of Hot Fish Club next door, Inlet Provision Company is as eclectic in the kitchen as they are in the dining room. The menu unapologetically features Southern-inspired apps, small plates and seafood platters, alongside Inlet steamers, steaks and Asian-themed specialties.
First thing’s first: our choices from Inlet Provision’s Crafty Cocktails were the refreshing Seasonal Sangria, a blend of red and rosé wines, and the MIM, or Murrells Inlet Mule, the local version of a Moscow Mule, shaken and poured into a copper cup. Just the right concoction to cool things off on a summer’s eve before the sun sets. IPC also boasts a long list of craft beer offerings.
One to gravitate toward a sampling of smaller menu options I can graze on, I loved Inlet Provision’s division between the Dips & Bits and Apps & Small Plates sections. We went with an order of the spicy Hot Boiled Peanuts boiled in a broth of New South beer and spiced garlic flavor. For the price point ($4), it was a healthy helping—and we were already licking our fingers.
Additional dips and apps that caught my eye (and taste bud attention) were the Teriyaki Spam Hash with red potatoes, peppers and green onions, Fried Pork Cracklins’, and the Provision Sampler with smoked baby back ribs, chicken Dum Dums, Chicken Waffle tenders and crispy Brussels sprouts.
My husband actually chose one of the small plates as part of his dinner plan—the Slow Poke, a large plate swimming with sashimi grade tuna that’s been marinated with sesame, soy sauce and lime zest. The fresh-diced tuna was surrounded by thin-sliced avocado and a mountain of homemade kimchi. Clever name and just as creative of a culinary idea. He then paired his small plate with a bowl of Bahamian Conch Chowder, with sweet conch meat served up in a thick tomato broth and with a little bit of spice for a kick.
As soon as our server presented the dinner special, I knew I was in love. It was a Blackened Mahi topped with herb goat cheese and lump crab mixture, then served with a ramekin of crispy sautéed Brussels sprouts and a cheesy grit cake. I loved that “blackened” didn’t mean the chef drowned the fish in blackening spice and I loved the creamy cheese and crab topping, perfectly crisped sprouts and a unique grit cake disc.
Along with some restaurant entree and sandwich standards, Inlet Provision Company offers creative twists, like the MacLobster, stirred up and also baked with shrimp and scallops, smoked Gouda and Fontina cheeses, bacon and macaroni pasta; and the Poor Man’s Benedict (thick-sliced fried bologna topped with an over-easy egg, French fried onions and Hollandaise sauce between sourdough ciabatta). Vegetarians will appreciate the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Burger, Burger, topped with lettuce, tomato and fried onions.
If you have room for dessert, try the Dessert Jars: mason jars stacked with fresh ingredients that add up to a happy ending in either banana pudding, triple chocolate, Key lime pie or peach cobbler.
Inlet Provision Company’s motto is “Good Food, Bad Advice.” I’m not sure what they’re dishing out in the form of bad advice (maybe that’s saved for the regulars), but good food is a deserving portion of the motto supplied at this new waterfront restaurant.
Inlet Provision Company
4891 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday