Specializing in made-from-scratch Southern classics, this relative newcomer to the Pawleys Island culinary community is the third establishment by co-owners Adam Kirby and Anne Hardee. With the success seen by the duo’s Bistro 217, this eatery promises to be devoted to excellence for years to come.
In addition to standard crowd-pleasers like Hot Peel n’ Eat Shrimp, beer-battered Onion Rings, and Fried Pickles, the list of Appetizers also includes interesting items like Popcorn Gator with hot mustard sauce, Crispy Fried Chicken Livers with spicy ketchup, and Grilled Artichoke with their house sauce.
Salad options range from pre-dinner portions of the House or Caesar, as well as Entrée-sized creations like the Blackened Mahi Chopped Salad (romaine, black eyed pea and roasted corn salsa, bacon, white cheddar, cucumber, onions, herb buttermilk dressing), The Waldorf Salad (arugula, frisee, deviled eggs, bacon, watercress, grapes, apple, bleu cheese, walnuts, Dijon vinaigrette), and the Steak Salad (tenderloin, arugula, frisee, spinach, radish, goat cheese, southern mustard vinaigrette).
The list of Signature Items includes tempting dishes like The Comfy, which is a fried chicken breast on a homemade biscuit with creamy sausage gravy and fries, a Brisket Sandwich made with house-smoked beef brisket on Texas Toast with fries, celery root slaw, and house bbq sauce, and a Po’ Boy that comes with your choice of cornmeal-crusted flounder or oysters on a hoagie roll with lettuce, tomato, pickle, tartar, and fries.
Those opting for something other than a Signature Item should be prepared to make a tough decision from an Entree menu that touches pretty much all of the bases. Highlights include the Fried Pork Chops with mashed potatoes and sweet collards, Trout Almondine with sautéed spinach, lemon mashed potatoes, roasted tomatoes, and a lemon butter sauce, and the Grilled Ribeye with bleu cheese-stuffed red bliss potatoes, country green beans, housemade steak sauce, and horseradish cream. Other options include Fried Chicken, Meatloaf, Country Fried Steak, Oven-Roasted Salmon, Shrimp N’ Gritz, Rack of Ribs, Veggie Pasta, Cornmeal-Crusted Flounder, and a Fried Seafood Platter.
Rustic Table also offers Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and options include items like Blueberry Pancakes, Eggs Benedict, Kirby Goes Bananas (French toast with caramelized bananas and bacon), and a Pawleys Omelet with bell peppers, white cheddar, ham, and breakfast potatoes.
Given the restaurant’s name, guests shouldn’t expect fancy tablecloths and white-gloved waiters. But you wouldn’t really want to eat down-home Southern food in an atmosphere like that anyway, would you? The space is as advertised, with concrete floors, wooden tables, and servers that are just about as friendly as you’ll find. It’s the type of place where the food is comforting and the dining room itself isn’t out to impress anyone.