Willcox Hotel | Grand Hotel | Aiken, SC

Review by: Michael Stern

Not Typical Roadfood, That’s For Sure

A meal at The Willcox hotel does not exemplify Roadfood. Strictly speaking, the qualities of this grand hotel would banish it from a rigorous Roadfooder’s itinerary. After all, a typical Roadfood restaurant is not stylish, does not cost a lot of money, and serves meals that clearly reflect regional flavor. Yes, you will find glimmers of Dixie on the menu — collard greens gratin with that steak? cheese grits with breakfast? Still, I don’t suggest coming here for a representative taste of Central Savannah River Area foodways. On the other hand, The Willcox offers a golden opportunity to savor brilliant New American Cuisine in a setting that is historic, romantic, casual but polished.

What to Eat

You cannot pigeonhole the menu. Many dishes reflect global reach: Moroccan sweet potato soup, Arab-inspired shakshuka, beef carpaccio Japanese style with tempura oysters. On the other hand, I have enjoyed some items that are uniquely American, but with a twist. How about waffled mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon? Dessert of PB&J made from panna cotta, Concord grape jelly, and peanut butter crunch? A posh S’mores that includes chocolate bourbon mousse? An Arnold Palmer cake that mixes tea and lemon flavors in a completely different way? If you seek a big, juicy, beautifully grilled and gorgeously dressed hamburger or a handsome steak with all the fixin’s, look no further. (And oh, the truffled fries alongside!) Expect textbook-right eggs Benedict at Sunday brunch. The eggs get even better when silk-smooth smoked salmon takes the place of Canadian bacon. Potato pancakes come “loaded” with smoked cheddar, scallions, sour cream, bacon, and fried eggs.

A few Willcox dishes I won’t forget have been crisp-sweet-bitter Szechuan Brussels sprouts, featherweight calamari, and big, beautiful scallops with bacon and honey-roasted parsnips. No matter what else you eat, or even if you come just for a drink, pâté is essential. Smooth and organ-plush, it is a signature Willcox dish.

Plan Ahead

Note: The Willcox is a thriving hotel and spa and is, without doubt, THE place in town to stay as well as to eat. Reservations for a meal are recommended. Reservations for lodging in this grand hotel are essential. Around the beginning of April when the Masters Tournament is played across the river in Augusta, rooms get booked a year in advance.

 

Directions & Hours

  • Monday: Open 24 hours
  • Tuesday: Open 24 hours
  • Wednesday: Open 24 hours
  • Thursday: Open 24 hours
  • Friday: Open 24 hours
  • Saturday: Open 24 hours
  • Sunday: Open 24 hours

What To Eat

Hamburger

DISH
Chicken Liver Pate

DISH
Truffle Fries

DISH
Chicken Milanese

DISH
Cole Slaw

DISH
Ice Cream Trifle

DISH
Szechuan Brussels Sprouts

DISH
Baked Flounder

DISH
Pork Schnitzel Fries

DISH
Scallops

DISH
Salmon Fillet

DISH
Maple Syrup Steamed Pudding

DISH
Roasted Duck Breast

DISH
Coconut Custard Cake

DISH
Calamari

DISH
Brownie Bite

DISH
Arnold Palmer Cake

DISH
Beet Fennel Salad

DISH
Bread Basket

DISH
Shakshuka

DISH
Shrimp

DISH
Whipped Feta

DISH
Peach Gazpacho

DISH
Superfoods Brekkie

DISH
Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts

DISH
Ginger Scallion Chicken Meatballs

DISH
Pork Belly Sliders

DISH
Fish & Chips

DISH
Lox Benedict

DISH
Parisian

DISH
Poutine

DISH
French Onion Soup

DISH
Brussels Sprouts

DISH

Willcox Hotel | Grand Hotel | Aiken, SC Recipes

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