Australian pro golfer Greg Norman is as much known for his accomplishments on the golf course as he is for his entrepreneurial endeavors. Over the years his enterprises have flourished, some of which have included the design and development of golf courses, licensing a specialty turf grass, a real estate development and investment company, as well as a winery and a Champions Golf Academy headquartered in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The location for the academy isn’t so surprising when taking into account that the area is known for its professional golf courses, with 100+ courses on the Myrtle Beach map. Perhaps then it’s also not so surprising that Norman chose to open his restaurant here, appropriately naming it the Greg Norman Australian Grille.
With a prime locale overlooking the international waterway, and as part of the boutique shopping and dining concourse called the Barefoot Landing, the restaurant draws attention from locals and tourists alike. Although the establishment is upscale, it’s far from stuffy, making tourists feel every bit as welcome in shorts and T-shirts as diners that choose to dress up.
The restaurant consists of a two-level dining area, with ceiling fans and unique drop down light fixtures, high back chairs on the upper level and rattan seating on the lower level to add a bit of a southern flair. The chairs are actually quite similar to the ones found on the front porch of the restaurant, should you need a place to relax until your party is called. There is also seating around the large wooden bar area, and on the outdoor patio overlooking the water, for a more casual experience with a view. We consider both areas to be a hole in one.
Boats and yachts of all shapes and sizes can be seen in the marina across the way, and it’s been known to happen that small pods of dolphins on occasion have made their way up the waterway and have given guests a thrill. For us personally, we failed to see dolphins on this particular visit, but we did see a small alligator surface in the water, just past the restaurant.
The menu is well varied with several tasty appetizers and entrees that include pasta and salads, seafood and steaks, chicken and other meat selections. Given that Norman’s infamous trademark is a shark, all food is served on unique plates in the shape of a shark fin. Meals are a tad pricey but, in all fairness, no more so than any other reputable steak house. And truth be told, it’s worth it. The service is first rate and the food is delicious, with tender steaks and prime rib, flavourful seafood, and a number of interesting sides to delight your taste buds. The bread basket prior to the meal also is melt in your mouth. If there’s a slim chance that you have room for something sweet after the main meal, prepare to make a tough choice between several gourmet desserts, including specialties like caramel salted cheesecake, key lime pie, and chocolate soufflé.
If you’re in the Myrtle Beach area, be sure to check out Greg Norman’s Australian Grille. You’ll be glad you did. But take our friendly advice – be sure to stroll the grounds of the Barefoot Landing BEFORE you eat. Because it’s doubtful you’ll be able to afterward. Surely this place is the “Upper Crust of Down Under Dining”.