The newest location of Gios Italian Kitchen is one to love and adore
Nowadays, dining out (for my husband and me, anyway) is a big event. It takes the careful coordination of a sitter, scheduling around the boys’ after-school activities and making sure the kids’ dinner is covered before we can actually scoot out the door.
In short, the dining destination needs to be extremely worth the effort—especially during a pandemic, when masks are part of your dinner attire. And especially if the restaurant is on the other end of Myrtle Beach from our home on the south end.
The long story: Gios Italian Kitchen in Myrtle Beach is a lovely dining experience—one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Recently opened, this is the fabulous follow-up to the original Gios that opened in Pawleys Island in 2014. The Hoxha family, owners, gutted the building that formerly housed an Applebee’s and transformed it into a glorious, ethereal fusion of modern and Old World. Pendant Edison globe lights drip from copper artisan ceiling tiles above long tables in one section of the restaurant. Booth and chair pads are upholstered in teal for a pretty punch of color. Exposed brick walls and wide windows dressed with whimsical white sheers surround the dining room. The ambiance is perfection.
Also earning five stars is Gios’ deliciously artistic Italian dishes. Brothers (and chefs) Klodjan and Renato Hoxha man the back of the house; sister/GM Eri is at the helm at the front of the house. The Hoxhas, hailing from Albania, moved to the United States in 2003 and bring with them 15 years of culinary experience.
Dinner service was seamless as well for our double date on the night of our visit. We started with a round of cocktails—I recommend Gios’ spin on the Moscow Mule and Cosmo—and a charcuterie board of brie, prosciutto and fig jam and baguettes. But that’s just the start. For the main course, I ordered Broccolini & Pancetta, which was preluded by a fresh salad drizzled with balsamic. It was truly difficult to decide which direction to go, with all of the entree options and tempting specials. No regrets for my choice, a lush blend of Italian bacon, broccolini, garlic, olive oil and fresh lemon juice tossed in pasta Nero. I couldn’t stop eating it, but had to surrender to a takeout box.
My husband and my friend’s husband both went with a little heat, picking the Pesca Del Mar, a beautiful presentation of fresh scallops, lobster claw meat and mussels layered over linguine and finished with a zesty marinara (or scampi). Light, spicy, and tasty, is how they described it. And, rounding out my fellow diners at our table of four, my friend ordered the grouper dinner special over pasta, which was perfectly cooked.
From classic pasta creations to chicken, veal, seafood and steak specialties, there is so much to love and look forward to on this menu. On my next visit, there were a few runner-up dishes I had my eye on, such as the Ravioli con Aragosta stuffed with lobster meat and swimming in a pink vodka sauce; the Chicken Scarpiello, with bone-in chicken breast, cherry peppers, broccolini spears and fingerling potatoes tossed in a balsamic glaze; and Scallops Provencial, a delectable marriage of pan-seared scallops and tomatoes, garlic and lemon basil sauce served over a bed of linguine.
Honestly, I think any route you choose to go for dinner from the Gios menu, you can’t go wrong. That’s the kind of confidence I have in the Hoxha brothers and their culinary talents.
If you’re like us, looking for a dinner destination on a rare night out in these odd times, when the norm is to either step out with a mask or stay at home and order takeout, I highly suggest Gios Italian Kitchen of Myrtle Beach. It’s a culmination of the highest quality food, surroundings, service and comfort.
GIOs Italian kitchen
7915 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach
Sunday through Thursday, 4:30–9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 4:30–10 p.m.