Even though ECHO has only been open since 2013, there are 81 years’ worth of layers in the significance of its location, its décor, its logo, and its name.
During World War II, three U.S. Merchant Marine ships were sunk along the coast of Georgia by a German U-boat, and German soldiers were able to come ashore through the coastal marsh grasses. Radar became an extremely important tool for the U.S. Navy. RADAR is actually an acronym for RAdio Detection and Ranging, and the connection to this restaurant’s name is found in the definition – “a measuring instrument in which the echo of a pulse of microwave radiation is used to detect and locate distant objects.”
What is now the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort actually started as a dance club in 1935. Then, six years later and a mere five months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the dance club expanded and opened as the King and Prince Hotel. It was an immediate hit because of its stunning oceanfront location and views. During the war, the hotel was used as a place where the Navy could watch the coast and train its sailors. So now, ECHO, located within the resort, is a way of acknowledging and embracing this piece of historical importance.
Executive Chef de Cuisine James Flack and his highly-trained staff are making history of their own these days with their creativity and wizardry in the kitchen and at the bar. They have a passion for local and regional foods from their seafood to vegetables and hand-crafted cocktails. In many ways, you have a family of chefs creating memorable meals for the families who will enjoy them.
Even though there is a Friday Prime Rib Night and a Sunday Brunch featuring a Bloody Mary Bar, you might also find a Fruity-Pebbles Panna Cotta on the dessert menu. Perhaps, Chef Flack is a kid at heart.
When my husband and I were at King and Prince Resort for few days recently, we had several opportunities to savor Chef Flack’s amazing ability for combining the best possible ingredients into dishes that were both beautiful and delectable.
First, we saw him create his signature shrimp and grits using huge wild Georgia shrimp. In the past, we were wishy-washy about shrimp and grits, but not anymore. Chef Flack made believers out of us. Even the grits were exceptional. They were fresh stone ground yellow grits, produced by Geechie Boy Market and Mill in Edisto Island, South Carolina. Chef Flack explained that he used three times more water than normal and cooked them for an hour until they were full of creamy goodness.
The next morning we had crab cake eggs Benedict for the very first time with outstanding flavors and textures. We learned that the coast of Georgia is the REAL Blue Crab Country, and they actually ship their crabs to Chesapeake Bay.
We had other chances to photograph quite a few of the gorgeous dishes created by the ECHO kitchen staff. All were works of art. The cooks operate, by the way, in an Open Kitchen Restaurant. Guests can peek in on the action at any time.
For an over-the-top culinary event, schedule a five-course dinner and wine pairing with Chef Flack and his ECHO team. If you’re lucky, you might get to sample foie gras, Georgia black bass, a Wagyu A 5 filet and a raspberry crème brulee.
While you’re there, go ahead and reserve one of the luxurious rooms or villas at King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. It’s a treat you will long remember.