Eight Course Menu at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso’s Restaurante L’Atelier

For nine days, I lived in absolute paradise at one of my favorite resorts. The Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico is staffed by amazingly cheerful and competent people from all over the world, housed with top-notch amenities, and of course, equipped with the most amazing food and drink I have experienced at an all-inclusive resort. I have so much to share with you from my trip, but first I would like to share my experience with an eight course menu at L’Atelier.

Continue reading “Eight Course Menu at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso’s Restaurante L’Atelier”

Birthday Dinner at Hook and Barrel Restaurant

This past Monday, I was able to celebrate my 23rd birthday with a wonderful meal shared with family. This whole year has been full of blessings and looking back in retrospect brings bittersweet happiness. After having such a great experience at a new sustainable seafood restaurant, Hook and Barrel, I wanted to share the beautiful food I had the pleasure to enjoy.


hook and barrel seafood

We started our meal with these dill crackers and pimento cheese spread. It was surprisingly flavorful, and pimento cheese is always a winner in my book.
hook and barrel seafood 2

For the table, we ordered the Bacon Figs & Brie starter. There was a generous serving of brie en croute drizzled with blueberry jalapeño. Every bite of hickory bacon wrapped figs and cheese was delightful! We joked about the brie en croute being mistaken for chocolate éclairs, and I honestly feel like I would believe it if someone told me they were desserts.

hook and barrel seafood 3

My parents shared a She Crab soup (this is a half-portion; they were kind enough to split the serving). What is most impressive about the food preparation is how fresh it is. Each soup is crafted at the time the order is placed, so the brightness of fresh vegetables is a welcomed surprise. The food is overwhelmingly fresh and so satisfying.

Entréeshook and barrel seafood 3

My mother ordered the Angry Clams pasta, described on menu as “Bull’s Bay clams, cherry bomb peppers, tomato, basil, white wine butter sauce served over linguine.” She really enjoyed how light and flavorful this dish was.
hook and barrel seafood 4

My father ordered the Pan-Seared Scallops, described on menu as, “Benton’s bacon, roasted corn, grape tomatoes, corn puree,[and] basil aioli.” Can I just say that these were the best scallops I’ve ever had? The purée and aioli, for one, were the perfect accompaniment. When I say that the scallops melted in my mouth, I do not say this lightly. There was absolutely no grit, so I’m confident that much care was given to how the seafood was prepped and cooked.

hook and barrel seafood 5

I ordered the Crab Cakes on recommendation of our server. He was adamant that being a Maryland native, these were top-notch crab cakes. No fillers, just pure crab. He was so right. I loved the sweet tartness of the tartar sauce, but honestly, these could have been enjoyed sauce-free. I ordered sides of balsamic brussels and roasted vegetables, both very fresh and perfectly prepared.

The FinaleIMG_0208

The proprietor of the restaurant is a well-known pastry and baked good extraordinaire. Her first culinary venture is Croissants Bistro and Bakery, with its second location being attached to Hook and Barrel’s building. I guess you could say a major perk of having affiliation with the bakery is access to beautiful cakes like this one.

Knowing we were celebrating my birthday, our server Buddy brought over this funfetti and buttercream cake as a gift from the restaurant. It was such a kind gift and we really appreciated it!
hook and barrel seafood 7

The cake itself was so light and fluffy – everything you want out of a vanilla cake. With the buttercream icing, it was a sweet dream. Fortunately, it was not overwhelmingly sweet, so we finished our slices without feeling bogged down by a blood sugar crash hours later.

We couldn’t finish the cake, so we packed the pretty leftovers up and saved them for later.

I’m so glad we tried this restaurant out because every part of the experience was wonderful. If you’re a seafood lover who appreciates fresh and lovingly prepared food, Hook and Barrel is more than worthy of a visit to Myrtle Beach.

My birthday this year was a wonderful time and I loved the time spent with my family! I’m so blessed to have experiences like this and the ability to enjoy the fellowship.

P.S. If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, please do! I like to poll my followers to find out what content you’d like to see next. I think Instagram is just the easiest platform to get feedback on. Regardless, I love hearing the comments you have to offer on my blog posts, so let me know your thoughts below!

The Offbeat Venusian

2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.

Thank you for taking the time to hear what I have to say. I hope you’ve found something helpful, or at the very least interesting. You can keep up with my beauty adventures by following me on Instagram @offbeatvenusianI also share my favorite photo memories from travel and life on my photo diary Instagram account @offbeatandaway. Instagram isn’t your vibe? I’m on Facebook, too. If you have any questions or comments, I always love hearing what you have to say. You can comment below or you can contact me here.


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*Disclaimer: Links may be affiliate codes, meaning I will receive a small compensation for any purchase you make using my link. This never influences my opinion and I do so in order to support my ability to share content with you! A lot of the links offer you a discount or special gift. 

Current Favorites || Beauty and Beyond

I usually like to share posts like this one at the end of the week on a Friday, but I already have an exciting post scheduled for this Friday. This week’s favorites are all over the place, from brand new products to interesting news about galaxies.  Continue reading “Current Favorites || Beauty and Beyond”

Coffee, Graffiti Walls, and Crepes|| This Weekend in Atlanta

If you followed my most recent post, you’ll know that I was visiting friends in Atlanta for the weekend. I’ve always lived within reasonable boundaries of the city, but really only visited the East Cobb, Buckhead, and Marietta areas, and the Masquerade for various reasons. With a little help from my friends, I ventured deeper into the city for a more authentic Atlanta experience. What did I discover? Plenty of great coffee, delicious food, and mural-wrapped buildings.  Continue reading “Coffee, Graffiti Walls, and Crepes|| This Weekend in Atlanta”

Beyond Beauty || Current Favorite TV Shows, Books, Blogs, Food, and Others

While makeup is awesome and skincare is addictive, beauty is not my life. It’s actually a very small part of how I spend my free time! As obsessed as you may be with Sephora or Ulta, I know you have a life outside of the makeup world. Without going so far as sharing social media diary entries about my personal life, I want to be authentic about what I post on my blog. I’ll still post plenty about makeup and beauty, but I want to start to share some other interests. I try to keep sight of life in its fullness, and that involves remaining at least an arm’s distance from superficialities. Without boring you (hopefully you’re still here…), here are some of my current favorites beyond the beauty bubble. Continue reading “Beyond Beauty || Current Favorite TV Shows, Books, Blogs, Food, and Others”