by Cindy Reid
Breakwater Restaurant, now in thirteenth year, has earned the right to be called a Beaufort institution. Their sophisticated menu, lively bar scene and downtown location have come to represent the best of the casual upscale dining and libation environment. But Breakwater doesn’t ride on their reputation, in fact they are committed to shaking things up every few months with seasonal menus, make-you-happy Happy Hours and week night food specials that reflect their fun and fresh hospitality. Summer offers the opportunity for a seasonal reset and Executive Chefs Gary Lang and Beth Shaw have designed the perfect menu for you to enjoy summer’s local bounty.
Let’s start with the food. It. Is. Always. Superb. Doesn’t matter what you order. Could be the filet mignon or could be Southern fried shrimp. It simply never disappoints. Breakwater has been using a contemporary approach to traditional Lowcountry dishes for years and they are always updating the menu to include seasonal seafood and other local fare. It is what good food is supposed to be and exemplifies the best of “New Southern” cuisine.
The Sorghum BBQ Pork Belly, a new item on the menu, illustrates this perfectly. At Breakwater the pork belly is compressed again after cooking, removing fat, making it a more flavorful and updated take on the traditional dish. Served with bacon macaroni & cheese and sorghum barbeque sauce, it is a rare treat.
Another popular item is the Ricotta Gnudi, served with wild mushrooms, smoked gouda, and spinach. “It is important that we always have a vegetarian entrée available for our customers” says General Manager Donna Lang,” and this one is both healthy and delicious.”
A perennial diners favorite is the Scottish Salmon, served with caramelized fennel , spinach and grape tomatoes , artichokes ,marinated chick peas ,charred lemon and basil vin blanc. It is a refreshing and healthy choice, beautiful to look at and even better to eat.
Don’t want to eat heavy meals in the summer? Pop in and enjoy one of the many small plate options on the menu or one of the small plate specials served twice a week. Tuesdays are officially dubbed Taco Tuesday, with each week bringing a new version of the fan favorite. One week it might be Kung Pao Chicken with julienned sugar snaps peas and smoked cashews and the next Tuesday it could be Fried Shrimp with corn salsa, green curry creme fraiche and spinach. What a great deal at 2 for $8.00 ! A new addition is Slide into Thursday, which features the ever popular sliders, in this case the Nashville Fried Chicken sliders. They were such a hit at the Breakwater Kentucky Derby party that they have put on the menu for the summer. That makes all us a winner!
Blended Burger Project
Donna Lang, “We are doing the James Beard Foundation Blended Burger challenge for the third year in a row. It is a nationwide competition and our Chef de cuisine Megan Horne is entering her creation the Lowcountry Black and Blue. It starts with a fifty/ fifty blend of chopped wild mushrooms and wagyu beef that’s seasoned with her own Lowcountry blackening spice.”
Seared to perfection, it is finished in the oven, topped with blue cheese, port onions, lemon aioli, local melon salsa and arugula all served on a brioche bun. Wow! Starting May 30 and running until July 31st, Breakwater will be serving up Megan’s signature blended burger.
The Blended Burger project “asks participants to join a movement that strives to make burgers better by blending ground meat with chopped mushrooms, creating an incredibly delicious patty that’s healthier and more sustainable for the planet.” The James Beard foundation will award the top five chefs with the most online votes with a trip to the historic James Beard House in New York City where they will showcase their burger at an exclusive event in 2018.
So swing by, try the Lowcountry Black and Blue and then go online and vote for Beaufort’s own Megan Horne!
And what about that Happy Hour? Monday through Friday from 5- 7 PM you can enjoy $4 well drinks and $4 glasses of wine, with a red, white and rose available. In addition there are seven draft beers on hand, including local craft beers. Donna Lang says, and patrons agree, “It is the best deal in town. Come on in and have a drink and enjoy a summer special, all for well under twenty dollars.”
The restaurant’s ambiance compliments the cuisine and libations. The dining room and bar are among the most comfortably cool rooms in Beaufort. Cool in the sense of after a scorching summer day, it is a welcome relief to enter and immediately feel better, and cool in the sense of its modern design and sensibility. Breakwater pulls off the very rare feat of being sophisticated but not stuffy. It is just chill y’all!
Breakwater 843-379-0052, 203 Carteret Street, Beaufort, SC
Open at 5 PM, Monday through Saturday (Closed Sunday)