By Claire Grulick
Located on Highway 17 in Pawleys Island, Bistro 217 is nestled between a small collection of stores where, if you get distracted, you could almost miss this pearl of a restaurant.
Exposed wooden beams and low lighting set up an ambiance of sophistication that exudes an intimate dining experience. Bistro 217’s devoted Chef and Co-owner Adam Kirby has been serving his all-encompassing menu since 2004. With a comprehensive balance of Southern comfort classics and South Pacific staples, Bistro 217 is exactly what you’re looking for to top off your Myrtle Beach visit.
Bistro 217 does accept reservations, which I highly encourage. Of the two times I went, once on a Monday night and another on a Thursday night, both times were busy and buzzing with people. While we didn’t make reservations for the Monday night, we were nonetheless greeted with welcoming service by our hostess and seated relatively quickly. The hospitality only continued with the waitstaff as they were consistently friendly and attentive, ever reflective of the restaurant’s homey setting. The menu isn’t extensive, but rather particularly chosen to best represent the unique affair and cater to the needs of the hungry patron.
For something to sip, Bistro 217 has a full wine and cocktail list. Their happy hour from 4-7 p.m. is a can’t-miss occasion with great drink specials and an exclusive to-the-bar-priced menu. If you’re looking to try something coastal to start off your meal, in the true spirit of this beach town eatery, Bistro 217 offers guests the option of a fish appetizer presented whole for you and your party to try. Surf, turf, and everything in between is what you’ll find for the entrée selection. Whether you’re dining gluten-free, only there for the steak, or just really love shrimp, you won’t be disappointed.
I personally treated myself to the pan-seared lobster, shrimp and scallops. The dish came out piping hot, and a baked cheese-top layer covered the pasta so that when I first turned my fork, I was met with a face full of steam and a heavenly seafood pasta aroma. In addition to the array of seafood, sundried tomatoes and scallions also added to every bite of parmesan béchamel over fettuccine noodles. The creaminess of the sauce perfect accented the saltiness of the lobster, shrimp and scallops. There was never a forkful that lacked some piece of meat or mollusk as the ratio of pasta to sauce offered plenty for my shrimp to go swimming one last time. The size was just enough for me to gorge myself completely at the table and then take a full-size portion home to enjoy in the comfort of my stretchiest pants.
For those lucky enough to leave room for dessert, there’s still something for everyone. If you need a dish just mouth-watering enough to end on a sweet note, there are options such as a flight of homemade ice creams or a Meyer lemon tart. And then for those fully ready to revel in the final course, fried apple beignets or the restaurant’s very own Bistro s’mores satiate that need for a delectable end to the evening.
Claire Grulick is enjoying her junior year at The College of Charleston where she’s studying English, linguistics, and writing, rhetoric, and publication. She is the proud Editor-in-Chief of her college’s Her Campus chapter and an editorial intern at Charleston Weddings Magazine. She hopes to pursue a career in editing and publishing.