Heard it Through the Grapevine
It may just have been a coincidence that “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was on the radio as we drove into Calabash. Or it may have been prophetic.
Either way, Grapevine Restaurant was where we were headed to check out yet another South Brunswick County restaurant in our ongoing quest to find great food and good beer in our new home area. And we were not disappointed.
We arrived shortly after 5 PM and had our choice of seats, but as the evening wore on, more and more seats were being filled. Somebody knows something, I thought. Grapevine’s owner, Mac, formerly from LA, was friendly and informative—and he loves living here in South Brunswick County.
His food was quite good, especially the unique Ginger Calamari and the Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl, both of which paired nicely with a citrusy, nicely-balanced New Belgium Citradelic from the tap. There were others, both on tap and in bottles, that should happily accommodate beer nuts whose tastes range from craft beers to mainstream domestics. Grapevine also has a wide selection of quality wines.
We entered through the side door, and Grapevine’s smallish bar was inviting, cozy and set up a few steps above the main floor of the ample dining room. It was stocked with what appeared to be regulars, all engaged in lively conversation. Somebody knows something, I thought. Mac himself escorted us to our table, where lovely, affable Katya (with her delightful Russian accent) was our attentive server.
The missus ordered a Shrimp and Bowtie Pasta dish, described by Mac as very simple—and very good. The missus concurred with that assessment, and after consuming a considerable quantity of the dish, still had enough to bring home for another meal. In contrast, my plates were thoroughly emptied of their contents, including the entire bread bowl in which my clam chowder was served.
And speaking of bread, Katya delivered a hot, fresh, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside loaf, accompanied by a homemade pesto dipping sauce that was incredibly good. I’m usualy the guy who eschews the bread offerings served at the beginning, because it winds up taking valuable “tummy-space” that would otherwise have been reserved for the main meal. But this was so good, I wound up eating most of it.
The restaurant’s website advises: Welcome to the Grapevine. Our Goal is to make you a regular. To accomplish this, we combine excellent service and value with great food, drinks and fun in a comfortable atmosphere. Our menu is influenced by the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, with a splash of Calabash.
Spend some time on that website, especially on the menus page, but by all means read some of the “press” this place has received—including from the NY Times. I was impressed by the comment of one lady who allowed that she lived in Charlotte and frequently rides down to Grapevine “just to have dinner.” Just so you know, that’s about a three-hour and 45 minute trip. If you’re willing to make a trek like that, the place must be pretty good.
And speaking of “pretty good,” Mac advised that he was very proud of his “Big Ol’ Juicy Cheeseburger, not the kind of regular fare you might expect from a Mediterranean- style restaurant. But perhaps that’s where the “dash of Calabash” comes in.
In any event, Grapevine (which also happens to be the courtesy plate on Mac’s car) succeeded with us.
Looks as though Credence Clearwater Revival has given Grapevine two new regulars. До свидания, Катя! But not for long…
If you go, mention this article and The PubScout to Mac. Tell him you, um, Heard it Through the Grapevine.
Grapevine Restaurant & Lounge/ 9991 Beach Drive SW. Calabash, NC 28467/ www.grapevinecalabash.com