South End Bistro in Pawleys Island dishes out a diverse menu in a refreshing setting
Alfresco dining has never been a more inviting sight than during a pandemic—and has never been more crucial to a restaurant’s survival. It’s a breath of fresh air sans face masks! Which is why the outdoor garden setting in back of South End Bistro in Pawleys Island is such an incredible asset.
The bistro’s front façade on Ocean Highway is deceiving. Because behind the office-like architecture of the restaurant is a beautiful outdoor dining space. The multi-level deck is laid out with a raised stage for live music, an open air bar and, beyond that, a pretty pavilion dining area strung with Edison lights. (There are heat lamps placed throughout for the cooler weather.) A few patio tables for two line the outskirts of the pavilion in a bed of garden pebbles.
The menu is an eclectic mix of casual cuisine. Try the Crispy Brussels Sprouts, pan-fried and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a balsamic reduction. Fellow appetizer options include Fondue Bacon Mac, hand-breaded Eggplant Rollatini, a charcuterie board and more.
There is also an assortment of salads, like the Steak Salad with sirloin tips and poppy seed dressing, and sandwiches, like the Double Down Burger stacked with two quarter-pound patties, caramelized onions, candied bacon and white cheddar cheese. The showpiece section of the menu, however, is the Pizzas and Calzones on hand-tossed crust (gluten-free is also available). Choose from 10 creative combinations, like the Mediterranean smothered with a garlic-butter base, the Buffalo Chicken with either a ranch or gorgonzola bleu cheese base, the Shrimp Scampi loaded with grilled shrimp in a white wine garlic sauce, and many more. On Saturdays only, brunch is served under the sun.
Cap off the night with one of the bistro’s beers on tap or delicious cocktail concoctions, like their Salted Caramel White Russians.
Overall, the bistro’s ambiance was cozy and intimate, yet fun and festive with live music each night from 6-9:30 p.m. It was nice to see a mix of locals out on a Saturday night to support South End Bistro, which just opened in 2020.
South End Bistro
8151 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island
Hours: Monday–Friday, 4–11 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.