A Spiritual Experience
If you like great food, exceptional ambience, friendly service, reasonable price and ghosts, you’ll love The Brentwood.
It’s hard to believe that a former private home the size of The Brentwood Restaurant and Wine Bistro could be passed by so easily. But if you’ve never been there, and you’re blinking while driving on U.S. Highway 17 South in Little River, SC, that is exactly what you might do.
Considering it’s one of the 10 most haunted restaurants in America, blinking might not be a bad idea.
But you’d be missing an unbelievably unique experience. The huge, imposing — and very Southern — former home of Clarence and Essie McCorsley sits back a bit on Luck Street from busy Highway 17, though that’s not where it started out.
You can read all about the history of the place on its website (thebrentwoodrestaurant.com/house-story). But the appeal of the place is not only in its history — some of it ghostly. And was that a bit of deja vu I felt walking into and out of the house? Had an earlier version of me experienced this house? Hmmm …
But let’s face it: Any place that takes a reservation for happy hour has got something beyond the appeal of the spirit world.
My three-person party decided on the happy hour route for our first visit, and we couldn’t have been more impressed with ambience of the 1910 Victorian home. Various rooms on two separate levels all have walls lined with wine bottle corks — more than 30,000 of them. Artifacts and bric-a-brac from a bygone area abound throughout the place, and it’s most welcoming despite its macabre reputation.
All that ambience only served to heighten an anticipation of the delicious, very reasonably priced — and consummately interesting — happy hour menu.
I perused it while quaffing a Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA as the ladies ordered from the very extensive wine menu. French Onion Soup, She-Crab Soup, Salmon Mousse, Escargot, Sweet Corn Risotto, Cajun Gumbo with Andouille Sausage, Duck Bangers and Mash (quite good), Fried Shrimp, Seafood Cake, Mussels Poullet (absolutely delicious, BTW) and various cheese plates — and not a single item over $9. It’s a steal, though I suspect once you’ve tasted the fare, you’ll either stay for dinner or be back for it.
We opted for the happy hour experience only, and three of us ordered two appetizers each, a martini, two glasses of wine each for the gals and two DH DIPAs for me. We left fully sated.
And the bill came out to a C-note. That’s $100 for those of you not from New York, like our friendly waiter Steve, down here just two years, but very well-travelled in his career and exceptionally friendly. So was Bailey, our other waiter.
The place, being haunted, runs more than 50 Dinner and Ghost Tours a year, in which you can get a three-course dinner (your choice of four different entrees and two desserts) for just $50. It appears that those dinners are held in a special room on the first floor, where I noticed that all tables had some sort of deathly centerpiece. There are plenty of dates available, but reservations are required.
It being a Wine Bistro, there’s also a wine club — apparently very popular — with an extensive program for those inclined to the grape.
Despite the wine-corked walls, you don’t have to be a oenophile to enjoy the Brentwood. You simply have to like great food, exceptional ambience, efficient, friendly service and very reasonable prices.
And maybe ghosts.
Want to go?
The Brentwood Restaurant and Wine Bistro
4269 State Road S-26-852, Little River