Review: Low Country Companion

Lowcountry CompanionThe Lowcountry is rich beyond compare with traditional seafood dives and scads of fine dining opportunities, too. Not surprisingly, it's downright difficult to choose when mealtime rolls around -- especially if you're a visitor when limited time to explore the options. Make it easy on yourself by making a delicious decision to check out Bistro 217. Little wonder Bistro 217 has a satisfied throng of regulars. "Regulars" are a discerning bunch so that detail is a sure sign of success. Ask around and prove us right!

Co-owner and Chef Adam Kirby is among the finest chefs ever (and he has the awards to prove it).The food is über creative without being pretentious, and it is as close to perfect as perfect can get each and every time a plate is served. Co-owner, Anne Hardee, has a couple of decades in the food industry beneath her belt and she has an undeniable affinity for making guests feel more than welcome – downright spoiled.

Très chic and intimate, Bistro 217 is located in Downtown Pawleys, a smidgen south of the Hammock Shops. These folks don't serve food … they serve cuisine beautifully presented and unfailingly delicious. Anne, Adam and their colleagues are constantly brainstorming new ideas. Menu specials change every day and showcase the best, freshest, seasonal ingredients. Portions are satisfying and reliably delicious. There's plenty of variety, too.

One not-to-be missed lunch option (the Editor's all-time favorite) is the Pan Sautéed Grouper. A generous portion of grouper is dressed to the nines in a delectable lobster sauce and served over crispy house made chips and fried spinach. The Monster Bistro Burger was voted as one of Carolina's Best Burgers by Southern Living. The Shepard's Pie has become a major hit. And it's important to note Bistro has its own in-house butcher shop. If beef is your weakness, you should know they grind their own and serve only Certified Angus Beef®. That's beef at its best. Kirby's Chicken Salad – chock full of grilled chicken, fresh grapes and toasted pecans – is a perfect summer option. The Red Curry Chicken is crazy popular.

If it's possible, Bistro 217 ups their game when dinner rolls around. The Seared George's Bank Scallops may be illegal in some states. Served alongside a fresh spring pea risotto and tender, honey-glazed carrots, it's a no-miss proposition. Braised Beef Short Ribs (with buttermilk-mashed potatoes – and more) and Grilled Filet Mignon are two of several dishes that feature their Certified Angus Beef. ® Lunch or dinner, start with the Tomato, Crab and Jalapeño soup or the Crab Bisque. And spring for a side of fried okra with a spiced-just-right Jalapeño Remoulade.

Go hungry because you cannot forego a sweet ending. There are always more than a few options. This scribe's favorite is any one of Chef Adam's homemade ice creams. It's churned in the kitchen – fresh every morning! Mouthwatering flavors like Roasted Banana, Chocolate Cayenne and Pistachio, Salty Caramel, Cinnamon Pecan and Key Lime Pie (Chef Adam actually folds the luscious, housemade pie into the ice cream!) – one and all are chock full of the finest ingredients and not one artificial flavor.

The casually upscale décor is tasteful. An unobtrusive staff delivers professional, impeccable service. The bar has its own menu (although you can eat from the regular menu too). Smaller plates suit smaller appetites, as well as guests who want to try several items and share and those who like to mix and match a hearty meal.

Choose from dozens of wines; twenty-plus are available by the glass and most are chosen for taste and affordability. New to know is that they are also stocking a whole slew of craft beers. This restaurant celebrates its tenth anniversary in September. Stop in and celebrate with them. Lots of mirrors, velvety music and candlelight make the atmosphere soft and sexy. Also, check out their website for media praise from Southern Living, Sun News, Discover South Carolina and more.

We must wrap it up somewhere so know that Bistro 217's al fresco bar and dining area is made comfortable to suit the season. It's a great spot for bridal luncheons, business functions and other celebrations, too. Reservations are suggested for weekend nights. Offsite catering is available, too. Please take a moment to ask to speak with Anne or Chef Adam and tell them we sent you!

Courtesy of Lowcounty Companion & Kimberly Duncan. Find them on Facebook!

Monday - Saturday 11 - 4
Monday - Thursday 5 - 9:30
Friday and Saturday 5 - 10:00