How Perrone’s Restaurant & Bar has made a statement in Pawleys Island for more than 20 years
If you want a taste of the city, make dinner reservations at Perrone’s Restaurant & Bar in Pawleys Island, where New York metro vibes meet Southern hospitality. It’s a beautiful blend that has landed owner/chef Steve Perrone, a New York native, success in the area’s restaurant industry since opening in 2002.
Perrone’s punches you with upscale design as soon as your feet hit the entrance floor. Checkerboard tiles are underfoot, vibrant Picasso-esque portrait artwork painted by local artists cover the colorful, moody walls, and art deco lighting hangs throughout a duo of dining rooms divided by a wine rack wall and a whimsical curtain of blown glass.
Standing beside the hostess stand are several upright dry-aged fridges, with fresh salmon fillets hanging inside one and Wagyu beef strip loin resting on shelves in another, a nod to the menu’s dry-aged chophouse section.
Their award-winning wine and handcrafted cocktail list is quite extensive, and by extensive, I mean it’s a binder full of cocktail concoctions divided by the liquor base, red and white wines, and bubblies by the bottle or glass, and beer.
After you painstakingly decide on your drink (you can’t go wrong with what these mixologists shake up behind the bar), explore the dinner menu featuring world cuisine with a Mediterranean focus. Hubby and I started with the Smoked Fish Dip, a chilled blend of North Carolina trout, mascarpone, horseradish, chives, lemon zest, and hot smoked paprika, served with a glass dropper of hot sauce (if you want to add more heat) and butter-baked saltines sprinkled with Old Bay. It was a great start and set the precedence of what to expect for our fabulous dinner.
The layers of ingredients—and the way they play off one another—in each dish are unbelievable. As the menu says, “Flavors should coexist, not dominate. We pride ourselves on that philosophy of balance by creating dishes that have many notes, but are all playing the same song.”
If you’d rather take it to the next level, order caviar service: from caviar-stuffed eggs to one ounce of Royal Belgian Reserve Osetra caviar, one ounce of California White Sturgeon caviar, or one ounce of Golden Dynasty Imperial Osetra caviar served with six one-ounce chilled shots of Russian standard platinum vodka presented on a silver-plated vodka and caviar server set.
Other close contenders for appetizers on the night of our visit were the Bangkok mussels (Prince Edward Island mussels, garlic, white wine, coconut milk, lime, Thai chilies, lemon grass, ginger, cilantro, kaffir lime leaf), Piquillo Peppers (seared, sweet, smoky Spanish peppers stuffed with goat cheese, rosemary, thyme & lemon zest), and Beetroot Cured Salmon cured in beetroot, Hendrick’s gin, juniper berries, black peppercorns, and coriander seeds.
On to entrees, and we both went with fresh seafood. I chose the Scallop Souffle, a lovely baked combination of Northeastern dry pack fresh scallops, local eggs, panko, celery, and green and red peppers that is pan sautéed, baked golden, and topped with grilled corn, oven roasted tomatoes, chopped Romas, green onions and finished with garlic, fresh lemon, butter, and white wine sauce. The souffle was an incredibly unique way to serve scallops and I loved it.
Hubby ordered the Dry-Aged Salmon entrée that was pan-seared medium rare, finished with a Korean apple and pear barbecue sauce, and served on fried rice, kimchi and pickled cucumber. He normally is not crazy about salmon, but ventured out of his comfort zone and fell for how mild the dry-aged preparation made the meat.
The complex, adventurous menu also features pasta dishes, as well as an elk tenderloin entrée, Berkshire ribeye pork chop served with two-potato mash and grilled veggies, and an a la carte chop house menu that includes a 16-ounce prime dry-aged ribeye and Wagyu cuts that can be topped with truffle butter, port, raspberry, and veal demi-glace, or imported sheep’s milk Roquefort bleu cheese. Sides include roasted butternut squash, bacon mac and cheese, and more.
It’s no surprise that Perrone’s has been a well-known name in the local restaurant scene for more than 20 years. The ambiance, service, food, and drinks are all first-class.
Perrone’s Restaurant & Bar
13302 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island
Phone: (843) 235-9193
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 5 p.m. - until