By Becky Billingsley
Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, Murrells Inlet – South Carolina cluster oysters are available at Graham’s Landing in Murrells Inlet, and the delightfully briny and flavorful morsels can be enjoyed with an incredible natural waterfront view.
Greg Plummer and his son, Graham Plummer, are the owners of this new restaurant at 5225 U.S. 17 Business S. in Murrells Inlet. Inside the décor is rustic, like a well-heeled fish camp, with a variety of soft-toned woods as the dominant color scheme. About half the interior is a dining area with booths and tables, while at the rear is a roomy bar backed by picture windows overlooking a wild and natural view of the inlet.
Outside, a long covered open-air deck runs along one side of the building, and a large elevated deck with umbrella-topped tables faces the water. At 2 p.m. on Sept. 25, several diners were outside enjoying lazy late lunches, a few drinks and the gorgeous weather.
Executive Chef Steve Martin is in the kitchen steaming buckets of South Carolina cluster oysters that go for $9, and they’re served with melted butter, lemon wedges and cocktail sauce. Chef Martin uses single select South Carolina oysters for platefuls of Oysters Rockefeller ($8 for six, $13 for a dozen) in a creamy mixture of spinach, Parmesan cheese, Hollandaise and applewood smoked bacon.
More appetizers ($7-$15) include Lump Crab Cake served with Louisiana remoulade, Parmesan-breaded Calamari fried with mild pepper rings and served with the chef’s renowned house-made marinara, and marinated chicken, shrimp, filet mignon or tuna skewers.
She-Crab Soup and Seafood Gumbo ($5-$7) have already become known as menu stand-outs, and three salads include Caesar, Wilted Spinach with warm sweet and sour bacon dressing, and Chopped Salad with many tasty add-ins.
Sandwiches ($8-$11, come with Tater Tots or fries and coleslaw) span land and sea with seafood Po’ Boys; Sliced Pork Loin with creamy horseradish, slaw and Napa cabbage; Cheesesteaks (the chef is from Philly), Andouille Sausage with peppers and onions on Cuban Bread; a pressed Classic Cuban; French Dip; and Fish Tacos containing flounder, salmon or tuna. Special “green egg smokers” are used to slowly infuse pork roasts with smoky flavor before the meat is pulled into tender shreds and served on a soft bun.
Of course Graham’s Landing has Seafood Baskets – they’re $10-$12 – and four sandwiches that can be burgers or chicken for $7-$8 including Mushroom/Swiss, Bacon/Cheddar and the Deluxe with sautéed mushrooms, fried onions, jalapenos, Cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce.
From 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays there are regularly featured Blue Plate Specials for $8-$10 that each come with side dishes:
Monday – ¼ Fried Chicken
Tuesday – Smoked Pork Plate
Wednesday – Pileau (rice with smoked sausage and chicken)
Thursday – Fried Shrimp
Friday – Fried Fish
Seafood entrees, served from 5-10 p.m., are $13-$25 and come with salad, vegetable and a choice of potato or grit cake. They include the fish of the day that can be pan-seared, blackened or chargrilled before it is finished with a choice of lobster sauce, white wine tomato caper sauce or pecan butter meuniere. Stuffed Shrimp are filled with crabmeat, Shrimp and Grits are in Andouille Cream over cream cheese grits, and Atlantic Salmon is grilled, topped with fried onions and served with Dijon cream.
Also available after 5 p.m. are Hand-cut Ribeyes, Roasted Chicken and Chicken Piccata. No restaurant Chef Martin works at would be complete without some of his Italian fare, and in the evenings he served Local Clams in White Sauce or Marinara, Shrimp Scampi, Flounder Francaise, Pasta Marinara and Fettuccine Alfredo.
Desserts are $6 each and sized to share, with choices including Ella’s Southern Pound Cake that’s made with pecans and bourbon, Chocolate Tower Cake and Key Lime Pie.
Happy Hour is daily from 4-6:30 p.m. when Pabst Blue Ribbon is $2, other domestic beers are $2.50 and house drinks are $3.50.
Graham’s Landing is at 5225 U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet, and the number is (843) 947-0520. It’s open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Saturdays.