Chianti South-Authentic Italian Cuisine is Served at this South Carolina Historical Landmark

Located just north of North Myrtle Beach, Little River is a small town with a lot of character. You can find the charming green, white and red themed Chianti South restaurant just off of Highway 17, one of the main highways in the Myrtle Beach area. Further south down Highway 17 one will find many chain restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions, such as miniature golf and firework stores. Chianti South has been serving fine Italian food and wine since 1997, but even more exciting is the fact that the restaurant itself sits upon historical land. Among the acres where the Chianti South Colonial Farmhouse sits, ancient Live Oaks are virtually untouched and grace the dining guests with their everlasting beauty. Lush and exotic plants and flowers are placed throughout the yard and the wrap-around porch, which are inspired by a Tuscan estate feel. The ambiance from the outside is stunning, but once the food and wine are placed upon the table, a truly complete Italian dining experience is created.

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The dimly lit dining area is contrasted nicely with white tablecloths that house small candles, salt and pepper shakers, fresh olio di oliva (olive oil), wine glasses filled with quality ice water, and of course oven-baked bread. Naturally, the first thing to do while waiting to order is to create an oil-based salt and pepper dip to soak up with the sliced bread. One or two pieces will be plenty with all that is about to come next.

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From Calamari Fritte and freshly prepared Caprese, to cream-stuffed mozzarella balls with olives and Crostini bread, Chianti South offers an array of antipasti (appetizers). Any choice is a good choice and will surely help get a feast started. Of course, vino (wine) is necessary with these antipasti, and choosing a delicate vino bianco (white wine) will usually suffice. At the time of the visit, we chose a bottle of Barone Fini’s Pinot Grigio, listed at $27 per bottle on the menu, but typically retailing around only $10.

The house soup of the day was a Tuscan Minestrone-like dish with fresh vegetables and white beans, all tied together with a perfectly spiced vegetable broth. If soup isn’t your thing, a variety of crisp Arugula, Iceberg, and Romaine salads are offered as a side to the main dish, or are available as main meals if preferred. While these foods are being enjoyed alongside the white wine, it is time to place and order for the entrée of choice and vino rosso (red wine).

A remarkable wine list, with hundreds of options from all over the world can make for a difficult choice. It is truly a wine lovers dream, to see many great bottles available for purchase, all in one place. Warehousing wines from California throughout all of Italy and beyond, Chianti South deserves to be awarded Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” on an annual basis. Wine Spectator has given this “Award of Excellence” to Chianti South since 1997. This is the first and only restaurant in Myrtle Beach to receive this award, and the owners are adamant on offering affordable fine wines with their great meals. The best and most updated vintages of each wine are sought after by the wine purchasers, so that guests can enjoy the wines at their intended tastes.

From Chianti South’s classic dishes such as Zuppa di Pesce (fish soup) with scallops, squid, mussels, shrimp, clams and lobster atop fresh Linguine pasta and tomato sauce, to a bone-in pork chop special – one can always find something delicious to eat. Hand-crafted gnocchi with red sauce, gently breaded chicken parmesan, and Cavatelli with crumbled sausage mixed with a broccoli-rabe garlic and butter sauce are some more house favorites. With all of these hearty food choices, a solid bottle of well-aged Italian wine seems appropriate. Borgogno Barolo 2007 was our vino rosso of choice and it was a marvelous one. Based from the ever-useful Nebbiolo grape which grows predominantly in Piedmont, Italy, this wine opens up very nicely over time and can be aged anywhere from 5-25 years. Decanted for about an hour while enjoying appetizers and the vino bianco, the Barolo tannins softened slightly, while releasing delicate aromas like dried rose petal and ripe berries. The flavors of raspberry, black pepper, and tobacco are present on the palate, but one can primarily taste good black cherry fruit. Receiving a 94 point rating from Wine Enthusiast, Borgogno Barolo 2007 has its fair price retailing around $115. Wine Spectator also rated this vintage 90 points on its scale. Luckily, Chianti South has this vintage bottle available for the same price while supplies last. Great value wine for a great price!

Last but not least, dolci (desserts) are a must at Chianti South even if the first two courses seemed to be enough food. Accompanied by freshly brewed espresso or cappuccino-some chocolate cake, tiramisù, or a cannoli may just satisfy a sweet tooth craving. If that isn’t enough of a hand-made selection, Chianti South also offers cookies and cream flavored gelato that is made in-house. In the kitchen, only the best ingredients are used to prepare these desserts, as well as everything else listed on the menu. From antipasti, to dolci, vino bianco to vino rosso, and everything in between-Chianti South is a must visit historic restaurant when in the Myrtle Beach area. To see the entire food and wine menus, check out their website below!

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