By Laura C. Burns
Monday, August 6, 2012, Conway - Downtown Conway, about 10 miles west of Myrtle Beach, now has a reasonably priced, quality Italian eatery that adds to the city’s diverse restaurant scene.
Located in the historic Black Water Market shopping center at the intersection of Laurel Street and Fourth Avenue, Solano’s Trattoria serves up delicious lunch and dinner options for families or employees on their lunch breaks.
My husband, a friend and I recently went to Solano’s for lunch, and except for a slight timing hiccup that comes with many new restaurants, the food was enjoyable.
The restaurant features classic Italian restaurant décor with comfortable booths. The music, however, left something to be desired, especially after hearing the theme from “The Lion King.”
To start the meal, we ordered an appetizer of Frankie’s Sausage and Mushroom Polpette, which is $7. Our server described a traditional Polpette as a meatball, but in this dish, flavorful Italian sausage was substituted.
The Polpette came with two sausages cut in half lengthways, mushrooms, tomato chunks and a Gorgonzola cream sauce.
The sausage was grilled to crisp the skin and showcased a perfect blend of spices, while mushrooms were impeccably cooked to bring out the savory umami flavor. The Gorgonzola cream sauce had a hint of sweetness and saltiness to balance the flavors of the sausage.
Our server gave us a basket of bread to sop up the cream sauce.
Also on the appetizer list was the server-recommended Calamari Fritti, $7, and the Mussels in Vino Bianco for $8.
Lunch entrees come with a side of pasta salad, potato salad or a cup of soup. I decided on the Sausage, Peppers and Onion Hero, $7, smothered in Marinara.
While the bread was a little too hard for my liking and the sausage and peppers needed a bit more salt, the sandwich was decent.
The potato salad, however, was wonderful with its bacon-y mayonnaise dressing.
My husband decided on the Pizza Toscana, a small one for $10, with prosciutto, fresh tomatoes, oregano, basil, sliced onion and roasted peppers.
He said the lightly sauced pizza had a thin crust that was pleasantly crispy and had a slight sweetness in the dough. The tomatoes were fresh, and the other ingredients had great flavor.
My friend enjoyed the Grilled Vegetable Panini for $7, which was served with fried squash, zucchini, eggplant, onion, Portobello mushrooms, tomatoes and provolone cheese. My friend asked to leave off the zucchini, and unfortunately that meant the cook also left off the yellow squash. She said everything needed a bit more salt and some of the veggies were a bit soggy, but once again the mushrooms were cooked to perfection.
Also on the lunch menu were stromboli and calzones for $5 to $6, including Spinach, Sun-dried Tomato, Mozzarella and Grilled Chicken; cold sandwiches like the Chicken Caesar Sandwich for $9, and soups or salads like the Solano’s Panzanella for $6.
The dinner menu has prices ranging from $12 to $17 and features Cucina Classica recipes like Pasta Bolognese for $13 and filled pastas like Veal Florentine Cannelloni for $14. Solano’s also serves chicken and meat dishes such as Pork Saltimbocca for $15 and dishes from the sea like the Grouper Francese for $15.
Overall, even though we had to wait a few extra minutes for our lunch, I would recommend Solano’s to anyone looking for tasty Italian fare.
Solano’s Trattoria is located at 328 Laurel St. in Conway. They are open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and for dinner from 4:30 until 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and until 9:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Happy Hour is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The phone number is (843) 488-4008, and the entire menu can be viewed at solanostrattoria.com.