Walking into the Chesapeake House restaurant, I am greeted by a breath of sensory delights. Dark wooden furniture and moldings coupled with nautical accents reminiscent of a weathered seafaring vessel, the gentle whispers of hungry beachgoers as they eagerly wait to be seated, and the rich aromas of delicacies from the briny deep all remind me of why I absolutely adore the beach and the serenity of living on the grand strand.
Established in 1971, the Chesapeake House in Myrtle Beach, SC, is a family-owned restaurant specializing in fresh, local seafood and savory USDA steaks. Located on Restaurant Row on Highway 17, this quaint and cozy establishment is nestled next to an ocean estuary, allowing for charming waterfront views (and possible alligator sightings!) while dining. The restaurant is divided into two main dining areas and a separate bar room. Rows of tables line each side of the dining rooms, with larger, more accommodating seating arrangements down each center. The décor is traditional, simple yet unique, without the overreaching trendiness of some places, which can take away from the central focus of the experience: the food.
The menu is substantial, composed of the standard surf and turf fare, yet the seafood is the star of the show. Customers may feast on shrimp, scallops, oysters, crab, clams, lobster, flounder, or the fresh catch of the day—Carolina coastal varieties caught by local fishing fleets—all prepared in a variety of ways. Steak and chicken take a supporting role on this menu; however, with a variety of cuts and preparations, combined with specialty creations and local favorites, the cuisine offers something for everyone. Traditional appetizers, soups, salads, and desserts round out the menu. In addition, children and senior menus are also available.
Now it’s time for me to make a decision. I am a lover of all things sea-related, and so a dinner of nothing but seafood makes me giddy with excitement! I decide on the Combination Platter, which allows me either two or three choices from a selection of shrimp, oysters, flounder, deviled crab, or scallops. I choose the scallops and shrimp. The scallops will be grilled and the shrimp sautéed. With this, I select a baked potato and steamed asparagus. A house salad (or cole slaw), a complimentary cup of their world-famous fish stew, and a selection of breads accompany the meal. I am set…and in heaven. As I eagerly anticipate the scallops and shrimp, I dive into the bread! I dip a warm hush puppy into a ramekin of creamy butter. The texture is favorable… not too dry, not too moist… and it is just sweet enough to make it a true dinnertime companion…not a dessert in disguise… as some hush puppies are known to be. The homemade bread has a fine, light texture made even more delicious with a generous slathering of fresh butter. The cinnamon rolls are the last mouthwatering goodie in the bread basket. Their aroma tickles my nostrils, tempting me to taste their delectable goodness, but I resist…saving these for dessert. Before I even plunge my spoon into the fish stew, I take pleasure in its rich red tomato base and distinctive redolence, but once I taste this robust medley with its flaky bits of tender white fish and blend of Italian spices, I am perfectly fulfilled. I could make a meal just out of this hearty stew alone!
Finally, the much anticipated scallops arrive. The generous portion is succulent and tender, grilled and seasoned just right, allowing the natural delicate sweetness of the scallop to remain. The shrimp, sautéed in a blend of spices, butter, and white wine, is truly delectable. The steamed asparagus is crisp with a mellowy sweet yet tart taste—a perfect combination. I pair all these good eats with the house Cabernet Sauvignon, but there is a wide selection of spirits available. Last, but certainly not least…the cinnamon rolls! Their warm, ooey-gooey, buttery, cinnamony softness is the perfect ending to the perfect beachy meal.
With friendly and courteous servers and staff, a charming atmosphere, and delicious dishes, the Chesapeake House is the ideal place for good chow and good cheer. Whether it’s a romantic dinner, or a regular old Tuesday night supper with family and friends, or even the reunion dinner for the annual guys’ golf trip, come see why the Chesapeake House is still satisfying the palates of locals and visitors alike for over 43 years!
About Laura Meyer:
Laura Meyer was born in Texas and raised on the South Shore of Massachusetts before settling in Virginia. Ever since she was a little girl, she put pen to paper, creating stories and writing poetry about the magical worlds found right outside her front door. She later received a Bachelor of Arts in drama from the University of Virginia, working in several professional theatres before stumbling into teaching. She is a high school teacher of English and theatre, a writer, both professionally and for pleasure, and a lover of life who enjoys painting, designing home décor, canoeing, hiking, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and her three dogs! She can be reached by email at LauraAnneMeyer@yahoo.com