Sam Karos and his family have owned several restaurants in Horry County: Seafare buffets in Murrells Inlet, Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach (the last one burned down in February 2012); Carolina Fish Fry restaurants in Loris and North Myrtle Beach; and The Fat Greek’s Restaurant in North Myrtle Beach, which was sold to Andy Hardas around the beginning of this year. Karos has moved north of the border to recently open The Fat Greek Taverna at 6309 Market St. in Wilmington, N.C. An article at wilmingtonbiz.com also says that Karos and his family are soon opening, “…a 100-plus-item, seafood-focused buffet restaurant named Seafarer at…300 N. Lake Park Blvd. in Carolina Beach.”
Gio’s in Pawleys Island has been closed this week, but at press time it was scheduled to reopen today for lunch and dinner and will have an “expanded and extensive wine list and a new staff member or two,” Jodi Giorlando wrote in an e-mail. She also said she is getting the outdoor covered patio ready for dining service and will debut a new spring menu that includes a grilled eggplant appetizer with roasted red pepper, portabello mushroom, goat cheese, rosemary and olive oil; a new entrée of seared red snapper with Sicilian caponata, whipped garlic potatoes and blood orange reduction; and formaggio sachetti in light cream sauce with nutmeg and thyme. Gio’s is at 10008 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island and the number is 237-8245.
Mardi Gras is coming to Vintage Twelve from 6-9 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, March 4, with Cajun gourmet flair. Bourbon Street cocktails will be $9 each, including Sazerac with rye whiskey, Pernod, bitters and sugar; Southern Comfort Champagne; and Jungle Bird with Gosling rum, Campari, pineapple juice and lime juice. For $40 per person, a four-course dinner menu offers crab gumbo or alligator bites; salad with spicy herb dressing and Cajun hushpuppies; and a choice of pork tenderloin, shrimp and grits, lemon thyme roasted chicken with jambalaya and crispy okra, or crawfish etouffee. For dessert there’s King Cake, and diners might find a plastic good-luck King Cake Baby in a slice. Vintage Twelve is in the Embassy Suites Hotel at 9800 Queensway Blvd. in Myrtle Beach, and the number to call for reservations is 497-7300.
Walk on the red carpet at Castano’s Italian Steakhouse at Barefoot Landing during an Academy Awards party starting at 6 p.m. Sunday (March 2). The Blu Energy Girls will be on-site along with a beauty queen, and there’ll be prizes for best dressed and other categories. Castano’s is following up with a Bacon Party from 4-7 p.m. on March 20 with bacon martinis and other bacon cocktails, an Ultimate BLT Burger, bacon appetizers, bourbon barbecue bacon, maple bacon, rosemary black pepper bacon and a bacon dessert of pecan-bacon squares a la mode. Castano’s is at 4926 U.S. 17 S. in North Myrtle Beach, and the number is 361-2000.
Current and/or potential restaurant owners who’d like more information about buying, selling, financing or franchising restaurants; or want to learn about online marketing, insurance, the Affordable Care Act or the new S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control regulations, can attend the Restaurant Business Development Conference. It’s scheduled for March 12 at Coastal Carolina University, and the $99 price includes admission for up to three people, breakfast and light snacks. To register for the conference visit www.coastal.edu/sbdc/restaurantconf.html, and for more information call 349-5070.
This year the Best Seafood Chef in South Carolina is Danny Smith, who works at Frank’s Outback in Pawleys Island. He won the South Carolina Seafood Challenge held the last week of January (during the first winter storm) at the Myrtle Beach Area Convention Center. This title earns him the right to represent South Carolina in August at the Great American Seafood Cook-off in New Orleans. This was the fourth annual S.C. Seafood Challenge. In 2011 the winner was Chef Corbett Rourk, who worked at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club at the time but is now Banquet Chef de Cuisine at The Greenbrier in White Sulpher Springs, W. V. The 2012 winner was Executive Chef Kevin Luque of the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort, and in 2013 it was Chef Sean Thomas, who worked at Capriz Italian Feast at the time but now is Executive Chef at Litchfield Beach Golf & Resort.
Becky Billingsley serves daily restaurant news at MyrtleBeachRestaurantNews.com.