Whet your appetite with these 4 fine-dining options in Pawleys Island

18 Mar

Whet your appetite with these 4 fine-dining options in Pawleys Island

South Carolina enjoys a national reputation for the quality of its food, and some of the Palmetto State’s finest restaurants and chefs call the Hammock Coast home.  

Some consider Pawleys Island to be the epicenter of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast thriving culinary scene, and it’s true that Pawleys is home to an eclectic mix of restaurants that provide a mouth-watering array of choices for foodies. For vacationers looking for a fine-dining experience, Pawleys Island is a great place to start.  

Chef Adam Kirby at Bistro 217 in Pawleys Island is known for his excellent cuisine. (Photo by Chris Rogers/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)


 The area’s casual charm provides a relaxed environment to enjoy a meal capable rivaling the best of a “big city” dining experience, and here are four of Pawleys Island best restaurants.

• The experience at a fine-dining restaurant extends beyond the food and that’s certainly case at Austin’s Ocean One, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Inside a dining room that features nearly floor-to-ceiling windows to highlight those stunning views, executive chef Bill Austin offers a seasonal menu that is long on fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks. The pistachio and ginger-crusted grouper, which is complemented by a Thai basil and blue crab sauce, risotto and baby beans, comes highly recommended. 

Austin’s Ocean One not only has delicious food but an unbeatable view of the Atlantic Ocean.

 Austin’s Ocean One earned a Travelers’ Choice award from TripAdvisor in 2020 and reviewers continue to rave.

I had the lobster bisque, red snapper and Godiva chocolate mousse. They have an inhouse sommelier. Wonderfully good food, good views and good service,” reads a 5-star review.  

Bistro 217, whose owner and executive chef, Adam Kirby was named one of South Carolina’s “Chef Ambassadors” in 2017, draws its inspiration from Southern and Pacific Rim foods, a combination that has delighted diners for years. On a menu full of memorable entrees, the 217 Eggplant Treasure Chest is a favorite. Local shrimp, scallops and grouper are served in a basil-parmesan cream sauce over fried eggplant.

Bistro 217 is in the heart of “downtown” Pawleys.

In a recent 5-star Tripadvisor evaluation, Karenstravel61 raved, Loved the menu selection. Creative variations on classics. Everything was amazingly delicious. All 4 of us ordered different entrees and loved them. Soups great. Homemade ice cream was awesome. Great service.

• For more than 30 years, Frank’s has been at the center of the Hammock Coast dining scene, and it’s as good now as it has ever been. The homemade jalapeno pimento cheese, served with wonton chips, will start your meal with a little spice, and the 8-ounce USDA prime filet mignon is the perfect entree for a memorable night out.

Frank’s is a Pawleys Island institution.

It always feels like a special evening when we have dinner at Franks Outback,” FrequentFlier183545 said in one of the 943 5-star reviews Frank’s has received on “The ambiance is dressy/causal but dignified.

Perrone’s touts itself as providing “world cuisine with a Mediterranean focus.” While the menu may draw inspiration from around the globe, Perrone’s specializes in local, organically sourced food and proteins that are hormone and antibiotic free. The seafood risotto, which features butter poached new Bedford scallops and local shrimp, is a favorite, as are the steaks, but if you want something a little different, don’t pass up the elk rib chops. The elk chops are certified cervena, double-cut, bone-in and pasture raised. They are cooked sous-vide and topped with a lingonberry-port sauce. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

Perrone’s use of local and organic food makes it a popular fine-dining experience in Pawleys Island.

One of the best restaurants in the country! Beautiful decor, food that will compare to any of the best restaurants in the country! The bar is incredible with expert mixologist and vast wine list. I love this place,” garymW4202AS gushed in a 5-star evaluation of Perrone’s. 

The quality of the fine dining in Pawleys Island matches the beauty of its stunning beach, which is saying something.

Bistro 217, Frank’s, Perrone’s and Austin’s Ocean One are among the best restaurants in Pawleys Island and all of South Carolina. Who’s hungry? For more on dining throughout South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, click here. For a first-person account of vacationing and dining on the Hammock Coast, click here.

— By Chris King, King Communications

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