The past two days have been an emotional whirlwind for John Dabrowski. He, along with co-owner and chef Keith Estabrook, held a soft opening for their new restaurant. During a pandemic.
Talk about stressful. We saw it in John's eyes. Not much the face as he was wearing a mask.
It's called Local Eat Drink Celebrate, and it's in familiar territory for those in the culinary know.
The eatery is located in the Hammock Shops Village and in the building recently occupied by Southern Comforts, Seafood Shack and Southern Dining, but most notably Louis's at Pawleys, led by late great chef Louis Osteen. While the former did a great job and offered awesome food, the ghosts of the latter could be heard Friday night in the kitchen and on the dining room floor.
John has also enlisted his wife, Peta, and friend Peter Giordano to be part of the team, really defining the "family" and "local" atmosphere. John says he has staff that want to be there, a key to being successful.
Keith Estabrook and John Dabrowski have been friends for over a decade, and have worked together at many great restaurants on the Grand Strand. Their restaurant, Local, embraces their vision of using locally sourced food and ingredients on both the menu & behind the bar, working with regional artists and vendors, and supporting charities and events within the community. For those of us not born in this rustic piece of paradise, we may remember the feeling upon arrival in Pawleys Island: the welcome smiles, the embrace of the community, and the feeling of home. That is the feeling Keith & John have captured with Local.
So, let's get to the food. I only need a few words to describe. The pictures will do the rest.
The flavors were exceptional, seasoning was spot on and evident and the uniqueness was jab to the tongue.
OK, simply put. We loved the food.
Those short ribs. Oh, so tender. Ask about the grits. You'll be surprised with what's not in it.
Lightly breaded. Like, little to no breading and lots of crab meat. It's prepared for the crab to be the star, and yes, it was the star. Lots of folks in the dining room loved this offering.
The Boiled Peanuts - with Parmigiano Reggiano and roasted garlic broth - and Citrus Marinated Olives are part of the "Snack" options on the menu. Both are unique and flavorful. Loved the broth with boiled peanuts. Really different, but hits with a culinary pow!
The Tacos are on the "Share" side, and though they look small, they pack an awesome punch, too. Pictured is the smoked pork, served in a spinach tortilla, topped with shaved cabbage, pickled onions and jalapenos, chipotle-lime aioli and vegan avocado mousse.
Just wow. We wish John, Keith and all the staff the very best.
Make plans to visit when they officially open and #EatItUpGeorgetown!