With more than 1,700 restaurants serving millions of annual visitors to the Grand Strand, it's difficult for an upstart eatery to offer something truly unique. But The Claw House, the latest addition to the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, has done just that by pursuing a fresh concept amid a sea of other waterfront restaurants in the Seafood Capital of South Carolina.
The Claw House recently became the first new establishment in two decades to open on the row of long-standing restaurants that make up the MarshWalk. With a dozen seafood-themed eateries making up the popular dining district, The Claw House opened its doors in the spring of 2016 and has quickly become a favorite of both locals and tourists.
Bringing a taste of New England-style seafood to the heart of the South Carolina Lowcountry, The Claw House is an authentic lobster house similar to ones that are commonplace on Cape Cod in the Northeast. Specializing in Maine lobsters that are flown in for freshness, The Claw House also serves all types of shellfish, such as crab legs and shrimp, and mollusks, like oysters and clams.
The Claw House's famous Maine lobsters arrive twice weekly and are kept in special cold-water tanks to provide patrons with the freshest flavor available without taking a trip to the North Atlantic. Pick out your dinner, have it steamed to perfection and allow your server to show you the best way to break open the shell. Dip the meat in Old Bay-seasoned drawn butter and wash it down with a cold beer or a fine wine. Add on a small filet mignon for the ultimate surf-and-turf feast.
For those who prefer the taste of seafood straight from the sea, The Claw House boasts one of the biggest raw bars on the Grand Strand. The horseshoe-shaped raw bar features 30 seats where visitors can belly up to the table for iced oysters, steamed New England clams, mussels and more. Try a chilled lobster or shrimp cocktail.
For those who like their seafood hot, order a crab stack or a cup of clam chowder for a nice, hot dish to compliment the cold ones. The house-made kettle-cooked fries are another popular starter. The menu offers all the classics, like Maryland-style crab cakes and seafood pie, as well as Southern favorites like shrimp and grits and Calabash-fried fish and shrimp. Those who prefer land food have a wide selection of steaks, chops and side items to choose from.
With lofted ceilings and large wooden beams that create an open, spacious floor plan, The Claw House is built to look like an authentic New England seafood establishment. A huge aquarium adds to an atmosphere that is warm and casual, perfect for fine dining or a quick lunch. The indoor dining room and bar area is cozy and provides a view of the water from all angles.
But the best seats in the house are technically not in the house, but rather on the covered patio deck that overlooks the inlet and the MarshWalk. Featuring a climate-control screen for extreme weather conditions, the porch is the place to be for fun, occasional live music and excellent views of fishing boats sailing in and out of the neighboring marinas. The bar also offers some creative cocktails, like the house specialty Blood Orange Jalapeño Margarita.
Located about 15 miles south of Myrtle Beach in Murrells Inlet, The Claw House restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily. For reservations or for more information, call 843-651-4415 or visit www.theclawhouse.com.