Bistro 90 serves some of the best steaks and pasta west of the Strand
Go west, fearless foodies, to Longs and expand your adventurous palates beyond what’s served off the clogged 17 corridor of Myrtle Beach.
The bright lights of the beach may disappear into the pine forests of the rural country, but the Longs area that dissects SC 9, 90 and 905 isn’t uncharted territory. Bistro 90, which has its namesake address on SC 90 (just about a mile off the SC 22 ramp), has settled in here quite nicely since 2008 with Longs locals. And I’m here to tell you it’s worth the short road trip for those of us based at the beach, too.
The brick arched front doorway gives way to rich burgundies, bronzed walls, dark wood furniture and metallic appointments indoors throughout the dining room and long, galley-like bar area. A massive wine rack and Italian paintings also add to the ambiance for what’s billed as a “prime steak and Italian restaurant.” It’s on the formal end, but not pretentious. On our Friday night visit, white linen-topped tables were filled with patrons that ranged from couples who left the jeans and tees at home to a well-dressed wedding rehearsal dinner party to a group of golfers with polos, khakis and visors. We were impressed with the impeccable service from the waitstaff to the bussers and runners.
My husband and I were seated two tables away from Bistro’s live entertainment for the evening, a lovely lady playing the keyboard and singing soft rock versions of today’s hits.
Steaks are a big seller here, from the New York strip to the filet to the rib eye. Duck, pork chops and veal are also grilled and served. We started with a half-portion of the Bistro 90 Fried Green Tomatoes appetizer, which incorporated seasonal ingredients like sweet corn that worked well with slivers of sautéed roasted red peppers, remoulade and lump crab meat. The trio of thinly sliced green tomatoes were tossed in delicious light breading and deep-fried.
Italian courses were the direction we went with for dinner, which were preceded by a basket of warm, sliced bread and fresh garden salads drizzled with the house Italian dressing, which packed some nice zest.
My husband chose the Rigatoni Sorrentino, a pasta dish that boasts lots of flavor (and ingredients). Shrimp, grilled chicken, mushrooms and roasted red peppers swim in rigatoni and delicious balsamic-infused Alfredo sauce. While the elements are plentiful, they’re not competitive and instead exude a beautiful balance.
My entrée was the Bistro 90, pasta sautéed with two giant chicken breasts, mushrooms, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes in a pesto basil Alfredo sauce. I attempted my best pregnancy appetite, but I could still only get halfway through the dish. The only mild complaint: we each had to add salt, a rare occurrence for me when I’m dining out.
More Italian standards and some Southern comforts, like seafood and shrimp and grits, also mingle on the Bistro 90 menu. Plus, there’s an entire menu of brick-oven pizzas, strombolis and calzones. From the bar, there’s an extensive international wine and martini list that will require quite a few trips out to Longs to get through.
We’ll definitely be making another trip to Bistro 90, Longs’ sweetheart. It’s a restaurant that encompasses flavor, flair and friendly casual-fine dining.
7209 SC 90
Longs, SC 29568
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.