Island Treasure

August 2023
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
Scott Smallin & Ashley Daniels

After Nearly 20 Years, Pawleys Island’s Bistro 217 Continues to Shine

(Left to right) Asian influence mingles with Southern twists, Fried Oyster Salad; Chicken and Shrimp Curry; Tuna Napoleon is on the wide-ranging menu.

A few fast signs that you’re about to encounter an ultra-special spot are a packed parking lot and a waiting list for lunch on a cool, rainy day in May. That’s what to expect at Bistro 217 in Pawleys Island—and it’s only the start of the best to expect here. 

On this day, a sliding glass door is closed at the entrance of the courtyard to keep the chilly, wet air out. Indoors in the courtyard, however, it’s cheery, warm and welcoming, with the din of patrons dining at wrought iron garden tables and a long bar that are surrounded by painted brick walls, air plants and succulents. It’s an eclectic outdoor dining space that can be opened to let in the natural light and island breeze. The bistro’s indoor dining area features a gathering of pretty banquettes and booths, centered by a horseshoe-shaped bar.

The meaning behind the Bistro 217 name is simple. Opened in 2004, which is forever in restaurant years—let alone Myrtle Beach restaurant years—it was the second restaurant opened by Anne Hardee on the main drag of U.S. 17. Therefore, 217. 

The seasoned restaurateur and her business partner, chef Adam Kirby, also run the Rustic Table restaurant located next door. And one visit is all it takes to be convinced that they know what they’re doing.

Just as the Bistro 217 interior design is eclectic, so is the menu by design, ranging from twists on Asian and deli classics to creative Southern goodness and beyond. The Bangkok Chicken lunch entrée is a must, a savory blend of tempura chicken with five-pepper jelly, mustard, soy, roasted cashews, jasmine, rice, broccolini, and green onions. (Our server ever-so-nicely had the kitchen hold the onions for me.) There’s also the standout Chicken and Shrimp Curry, with zucchini, squash, red coconut curry, cilantro and lime atop Jasmine rice. 

More standouts include their Tomato, Crab and Jalapeno Soup served with toasted white corn sticks, the Shrimp and Grits fried grit cake appetizer finished with bacon, mushrooms, tabasco, white wine, butter, garlic, and tomatoes, a refreshing lineup of fresh salads, and sandwiches. For dinner, try the Trout Almondine, Grilled Chicken Orzo, Horseradish-Encrusted Pork Schnitzel, or Korean Chili-Seared Salmon, to name a few. 

Save room for dessert, like their Warm White Chocolate Bread Pudding or Chocolate Lava Cake, a to-die-for sweet assemblage of peanut butter ice cream, candied peanut crumble, and mixed berry puree. And treat yourself to one of their top-shelf cocktails, like the Grayman’s Gimlet (Hendricks gin, St. Germain elderflower, and a house lime cordial) or the Express Your “Ass”Ets, a Bistro specialty mix of Mountain Peek Espresso rum, Kahlua French Vanilla, Amarula Cream Liqueur, and a splash of half and half. 

10707 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island
(843) 235-8217
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. 
to 3:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m.