Food of the Gods
The PubScout scopes out The Parson’s Table in Little River.
CH__CH! What’s Missing?
I saw this on a church billboard once, and it stuck with me. Of course, this review is not an attempt to increase attendance at any house of worship.
Unless said house of worship is being used as a restaurant that serves exceptional food and beverages in a most unique setting. In this case, it’s a former Methodist church in Little River, complete with stained-glass windows. It’s called, appropriately, The Parson’s Table.
Enter through the front door and notice the neat, cozy bar on your immediate right. I couldn’t help thinking that if more churches had such an amenity greeting those who enter, signs asking people to attend services might not be necessary.
We often had ridden past The Parson’s Table, which is right on U.S. Highway 17, and just as often had designated it as a potential dinner stop. So, along with our OIB neighbors Dave and Eileen, we made the quick trip over the line to see what was being preached there.
As it turned out, the homily (hominy, in the case of their Shrimp and Grits) was about some truly outstanding food, a respectable beer list, an award-winning wine list, friendly, attentive service by Jo Anne and a great history lesson.
Dave and I split and enjoyed a dozen oysters on the half shell as an appetizer, while Eileen sampled what she said was an excellent shrimp cocktail. The gals had one of those award-winning wines, while Dave and I opted for some IPA’s — Goose Island for him and Sierra Nevada Torpedo for me.
So far, the evening augured good things. Jo Anne made sure to advise us about every dish we were considering, including the nutritional contents of each. Hey, feed the body; feed the soul.
The missus (aka the Crab Cake Queen) ordered hers (without knowing it was a Grand Strand Award Winner), and Eileen had Parmesan-encrusted chicken. Both raved about their selections.
I hadn’t had duck anywhere down here for a year and a half, so I went for it. I was mighty glad I did. It was succulent, perfectly done and swimming in a raspberry Chambord sauce that complemented the dish superbly. Delicious garlic mashed potatoes rounded out the dish.
Dave ordered a Maple-Bourbon-Glazed Pork Chop with a Wild Mushroom Honey Soy Sauce, and when it came to the table, I was astounded at its presentation as well as its size. Probably 3 inches thick and accompanied (read: smothered) by that unbelievable mushroom sauce, this dish could have served half the folks at the Last Supper. Dave did manage to leave me a bite, though. Really, really tender and tasty it was too, and I’m not a pork chop guy.
We decided to splurge on dessert (except for Dave, who, rather unsurprisingly, had no room for it), and the gals each got a Mango Sorbet, which they very positively endorsed.
I had a positively sinful concoction called Banana and Pineapple Praline — fresh bananas and big pineapple chunks in a mixture of chocolate syrup, dark rum, butterscotch, pecans and caramelized brown sugar, served over vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream. That set my diet back at least three weeks.
While the food and libations were good (the restaurant won a coveted 2020 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence), what was quite unique was the actual inside of this former house of worship, with its vaulted ceiling, old wood, chandelier and little private nooks and crannies in which to dine (and reflect upon the afterlife and the events that these walls have seen).
It was no small irony that in a house where people once praised God, we were using His Name frequently to compliment what came out of Chef Edward Murray’s kitchen. That Wine Spectator Award doesn’t go to places that just serve sacramental wines, either.
And just to be honest, the ACTUAL address is 4305 McCorsley Avenue, which is not EXACTLY on Highway 17, as I said earlier. Because I’ll definitely be going back, and I don’t want to be struck by lightning for lying the next time I go to “church.”
Want to go?
The Parson’s Table
4305 McCorsley Avenue, Little River, SC