About Bistro 217
Bistro 217 was born as a second child to an established restaurant family. Hands-on partner Anne Hardee says she gave the new business its unusual name because it was their second restaurant, and because it is located on U.S. 17, the main north/south thoroughfare skirting the Grand Strand coast.
Anne has more than 20 years’ restaurant ownership experience, and she “wanted to create a unique, eclectic atmosphere.” It’s nice to see plans work out so well.
You enter Bistro 217 at the courtyard, where wrought iron tables are ringed by painted brick walls and sheltered by sturdy reinforced canvas. The space can be enclosed with zippered plastic drops, or opened to allow balmy beach breezes. Well-maintained plants add color, ivy crawls along the walls, and diffused natural light provides a Zen-like aura.
Inside the restaurant are banquettes and booths, a well-defined bar area and nifty little nooks for business meals or pleasurable privacy. Fresh flowers are a given; on a recent Wednesday it was miniature orange and yellow sunflower blossoms floating in shallow glass dishes. [Full Article]
Adam Kirby, Chef/Co-Owner
From Coastal Carolina Dining
Adam Kirby, chef and co-owner of Bistro 217 in Pawleys Island, has successfully taken all of his culinary influences and created a diverse, Southern menu. "Growing up in Atlanta, I had the benefit of learning from two fantastic Southern cooks at a young age, my mother and grandmother." Chef Kirby later moved from Atlanta to Hawaii, where he fell in love with the cuisine on the islands and decided to pursue a career that mirrored his passion for cooking. Adam then moved to Portland, Ore., and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu of the Western Culinary Institute.
After his intense culinary training, Adam spent a number of years travelling the country while working for a number of renowned restaurants including Stars in San Francisco, Spice Canoe and the Terrace Hotel in Atlanta, and the Gasthaus Restaurant at the Widmer Brewery in Portland.
Today, Chef Kirby's menu at Bistro 217 exemplifies his culinary talents and wide-ranging influences. His style of cuisine is described as Southern and Pacific Rim by some, and described as delicious by all. Chef Kirby has been with the restaurant since it opened in 2004, and the menu has expanded quite a bit during the last six years. "I love to create new, exciting and flavorful dishes. I will often have a nightly special and will sometimes incorporate them into the menu permanently. I want to present a menu that has something for everyone, whether it is a lunch or dinner." In addition, Chef Kirby prides himself on utilizing consistently fresh ingredients and not cutting any corners. At Bistro 217, even the ice cream is homemade. [Full Article]
Anne Hardee, Co-Owner
Nearly everyone on the Waccamaw Neck – the finger-shaped tract of real estate that stretches south from Murrells Inlet over Winyah Bay into Georgetown – knows and loves Restaurateur Anne Hardee. She's a Steel Magnolia kind of lady – as smart as she is strong.
Co-owner of Bistro 217 and Rustic Table, two all-the-rage restaurants in the heart of Pawleys Island's mainland, she's sophisticated and lovely. She is also mother to two active teenagers (both of whom work in the restaurants); she loves anything that involves water, and she's an active supporter of the larger Lowcountry's most important causes.
With easy laughter and big smiles Anne welcomes patrons in both eateries. You never know where she'll show up but a siting is more likely than not. It's quite clear Anne takes satisfaction from her work. ("Queen of Tasting" is a tough gig! Anne's treated to a sample of every recipe that makes its way to the menu!) Adam Kirby, executive chef, plans menus and masterminds cooking techniques in "the back of the house." Like Anne, his standards are exacting, and patrons notice the details.
Anne is head of operations and manages mounds of administrative work for the restaurants. Fortunately, she's as good at facts and figures as she is at creating a delightful dining experience. She's quite the wine enthusiast, as well, and that means the bar is stocked and stocked well.
Anne came by her expertise the best way – hard work and willingness to take risks. She worked in the restaurant business since college. "Even as a child I loved going out to dinner and always wanted to work in a restaurant." Being from a family of food-savvy Italians didn't hurt. When she married a restaurateur and moved to Pawleys Island in 1988, they opened Island Café and Deli. It was a runaway success. And the dye was cast.
Savvy and self-taught, Anne and her then-husband, Russell Hardee, opened Bistro 217 in 2004 to rave reviews and the new restaurant became Anne's top priority. Adam Kirby joined the team that same year. When presented with the opportunity to purchase Island Café and Deli, Anne and Adam set about transforming that landmark restaurant to a new landmark all its own – Rustic Table. Now, the twosome is managing two crazy successful eateries. Online reviews, word-of-mouth, print publications … everyone is happily spreading the love.
"Every night is like a new dance card, and I hope it will be always full," says Anne. "Adam is a fabulous partner in business. We really do strive to deliver great atmosphere, superior service and delicious, eclectic food."
By Kimberly Duncan © 2015