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The only problem with dining at a restaurant like 21 Main is deciding what to order. With so many award-winning options on one menu, you've got some tough decisions to make. The good news is it's hard to go wrong. 21 Main offers some of the best cuisine on the Grand Strand, and its extensive menu and wine list are delicious from A (as in Appetizers) to Z (as in Zinfandel). Here are a few recommendations for 21 Main’s most popular dishes to help you through every course:
Appetizers: It's important to save room for your main course, but try telling your tummy that when open 21 Main's menu and see some mouth-watering starters that are hard to resist. If you must, try the Fried Green Tomato Napoleon, which are pan-seared and coated with panko bread crumbs and topped with lump crab meat, Boursin cheese finished and a Sundried Tomato Sauce. Another favorite is the St. Louis-Style Pork Ribs, which are slow-smoked and served with Chef Corey's famous Bourbon Barbecue Sauce.
Salads: Here's a tip you can take with to you most any fine dining restaurant. If the chef chooses to name a dish after the restaurant, there's a good chance it's one of the best things on the menu. Such is the case with the 21 Main Steakhouse Salad, which is almost a meal in itself. A layer of fresh spring mix greens is topped with cucumber, cherry tomatoes, apricots, crumbled cave-aged bleu cheese, spiced candied cashews, and cracked black pepper. The salad is dressed with 21 Main's special Cabernet Vinaigrette and you can add steak or shrimp for an upcharge.
Soups: 21 Main makes a number of great soups and chowders, including the Smoked Gouda Gratinée and the Roasted Corn, Crab and Bacon Chowder. But the one that makes diners beg for the recipe is the award-winning Lobster Bisque. Chef Corey isn't one to share such exclusive secrets (other than the obvious ingredient of fresh cold-water lobster). But after winning the annual Souper Supper showdown two years running, the secret is getting out.
Sushi: 21 Main may be best known for its steaks, but the sushi is a close second. Offering all the traditional favorites, the sushi bar menu also features some unique and creative rolls you should try. The 21 Main Roll (see tip from earlier) features spicy tuna, avocado, seared salmon, spicy mayo, Tobikko, Scallions and Tempura Flakes. The sashimi lineup is extensive, including flying fish eggs, quail eggs and red clams.
Entrees: For steak-lovers, prepare to feast. 21 Main offers various prime cuts of in-house, 21-day dry-aged beef, including the ribeye, strip, filet and Delmonico. Have it seared your way and topped with one of the house sauces - Roquefort Au Poivre, Béarnaise, Cabernet Demi-Glaze, Hollandaise, and Roasted Garlic & Bacon Compound Butter. Make it a surf-and-turf special by adding lobster tails, shrimp or scallops. Other popular dishes are the Scallops 21, which are served over mushroom risotto, fried spinach and Thai Butter Sauce. 21 Main is also famous for its Shrimp & Grits, using sautéed shrimp, smoked Gouda grits, red bell pepper, Vidalia onion, and a Bacon Pomodoro Sauce.
Desserts: Picking a favorite here is like judging a beauty contest. It's all good, from the New York cheesecake and Tiramisu to the White Chocolate Crème Brulee and sorbet of the day. Enjoy an after-dinner cordial or coffee and start planning your next trip back to 21 Main to try all the things you didn't order this visit.