Best of the Grand Strand 2021 - Upscale Classics

(Left to right) Perrone’s; 21 Main Prime Steakhouse. 

Written By Ashley Daniels
Photographs By Clark’s Seafood and Chophouse, Hannah Ruth Photography, Paul Grimshaw, & courtesy of Gio’s

Gios Italian Restaurant 
7915 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach 
(843) 712-2238

Three siblings, brothers/chefs Klodjan & Renato Hoxha and sister/GM Eri Hoxha, have taken family-owned restaurant to the next level. The Hoxhas, originally from Albania, know their way around the Italian cuisine and carrying out exquisite service. The dining room is stunning, but that’s just the first impression. The food is to-die for, with highlights such as Cozze al Vino Bianco (PEI mussels, garlic cloves, fresh tomatoes, white wine lemon sauce and Italian herbs), classic pastas, and chicken, veal and seafood specialties.

13302 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island 
(843) 235-9193

Perrone’s isn’t pretentious, but certainly has bragging rights for making this list as a fine dining destination. “World cuisine with a Mediterranean focus” is the mantra here, where the trifecta of food, drink and service meet in perfection. Dine indoors or out, and indulge in this masterful, ever-changing menu that includes escargot, a scallop souffle, elk tenderloin and so much more. And definitely order something from the bar, where their creative cocktails are finished with house made syrups and bitters. 

21 Main Prime Steak House
719 North Beach Blvd., North Myrtle Beach 
(843) 315-3000

Dinner at this prime steak house is certainly a main event. It’s a marriage between international elegance and Southern charm, and you’ll be pampered to perfection, from the award-winning chefs to the first-class service to the in-house sommelier. Located near the front entrance of North Beach Resort, 21 Main is also one of the area’s exclusive venues for extravagant weddings and special events, or intimate private dining bookings, in one of the venue’s private rooms with a balcony overlooking the courtyard. Magnifique! 

Flamingo Grill
7050 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach 
(843) 449-5388

This local favorite has been voted as the “Best All Around” restaurant by locals and tourists alike! Serving the Grand Strand since 1986, Flamingo Grill is an upbeat, art deco style restaurant. Owned by two locals named Dino, their team is dedicated to the best in customer service. With menu options that include Blackened Prime Rib, Lobster Tail, and Chicken Picatta, you’ll definitely want to plan a night out at Flamingo Grill! 

Chive Blossom 
85 North Causeway Road, Pawleys Island 
(843) 237-1438

You may nearly pass it by on the Causeway, but you’ll want to stop and embrace this humble treasure. Chive Blossom has maintained its reputation for a five-star fine dining experience, Pawleys Island style, for the last 20 years. Dine indoors or alfresco in the romantic courtyard settled under a canopy of live oaks. The food certainly doesn’t disappoint either, with a menu featuring Southern classics with an adventurous edge, influenced by Mediterranean, French and Asian cuisines. 

Frank’s and Frank’s Outback
10434 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island 
(843) 237-3030

Frank’s has been a name at the top of the fine dining food chain on the Grand Strand since 1988. The Pawleys restaurant is the entire package, from an intimate dining area inside to the ethereal garden dining experience alfresco in the Outback. And that’s just setting the scene; then there’s the thoughtful, creative dinner menu, wine list, daily specials, desserts and service that ices the cake. These are just a few reasons locals love Frank’s!

Aspen Grille 
5101 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach
(843) 449-9191

Aspen Grille fuses Aspen luxe with Southern fine dining. New owner Roland Sciotto, of Bistro 90 fame, brings his mastery of high-quality fare, including his expertise in providing dry-aged USDA Prime steak entrees, to the menu, which also includes Australian Rack of Lamb, seafood, chops and poultry perfections. Service is also impeccable here, adding to the experience. And don’t forget to indulge in their top-notch wine list. You will walk away blown away!

Clark’s Seafood and Chophouse
720 US-17, Little River 
(843) 399-8888

Take in the view and then close your eyes and enjoy the delicious dishes. Clark’s overlooks the picture-perfect Coquina Harbor in Little River. Dine indoors or on their deck, and treat yourself to a fine dining menu that will impress, including Coquina Crab Dip churned with fresh lump crab, fresh Blackened Tuna Steak, hand-cut USDA steaks, Hurricane Chicken (grilled chicken, Carolina crab cake, grilled shrimp, creamy velouté, asparagus and Parmesan risotto). Bon appetit!