By Becky Billingsley
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, Myrtle Beach – Scatori’s Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant in Myrtle Beach has improved with age.
Not that it was ever bad, but the most recent time I visited was relatively soon after it opened in 2008. I remember enjoying the entrees, but I don't recall the food as being mind-blowing. Lately many of their customers have urged me to make a repeat visit, and they especially praised the pizzas.
I have a pizza-loving family, so my younger son (Adam is 20 now) and I went for lunch on Aug. 14.
Scatori’s is divided into two sides, with the right side being more spacious and bright. Normally diners fill up the left side first, and then spill over to the right side, but people are welcome to sit in either dining room. The décor is stylish and understated with warm earth colors and a minimal amount of tasteful art.
Chef Kevin Levine had his full game on when we visited, because we were blown away by our lunches.
Adam and I started with Bruschetta ($7), which was presented gorgeously where crispy crostini were arranged in a circle over drizzles of balsamic syrup, paprika oil and a fluffy dusting of Parmesan cheese. Where the crostini met in the middle was a pile of diced cold marinated tomatoes mixed with a small amount of purple onions. Visually, it had a Monet-meets-Van Gogh sunburst effect.
Adam, who is not normally disposed to comment on foods’ appearances, exclaimed, “Wow, that’s pretty!” After he tasted the dish, he said it was the best Bruschetta he ever ate, and I would say it’s right up there with some of the best I’ve had. The tomato marinade was lively and tangy without being sour, and the crostini were delightfully fresh, delicately crisp and flavorful with the coating of Parmesan on their undersides.
My entrée was an enormous slice of pizza ($4) topped with pineapple, ham and several slices of fresh Roma tomato. The crust was chewy and soft, and from the flavor I could tell the dough was fresh.
I also had a side Gorgonzola Salad ($6), which is a chopped salad containing Romaine, baby field greens, gorgonzola, a generous amount of ribboned roasted red peppers, cucumbers, shaved red onions, pancetta and candied toasted walnuts, all tossed in the house balsamic vinaigrette. It was delicious and generously portioned, especially considering it was only the side salad version.
The server brought fresh forks for our entrees without being asked, and the salad was on a chilled plate.
Adam ordered a Pepperoni Stromboli ($10) and gasped when he saw its size. One of those could easily feed two people, and when he cut it open an abundance of cheese oozed out. It came with a side of red meat sauce, which was fresh, thick and superb with just a hint of sweetness.
But as tasty as the stromboli’s filling was, what impressed Adam most was the thick, crispy and delectable crust that had a wonderful yeasty aroma.
Our lunch, which included two soft drinks, was $34.19, and we had a second meal’s worth of food in our leftover boxes. Our server was so excellent – she even boxed our leftover Bruschetta so the crostini wouldn’t become soggy - I left a 40 percent tip.
You can see the rest of the Scatori’s menu HERE – it ranges from Grilled Shrimp and Polenta and Broccoli Rabe Veal Roulade to Gnocchi Pomodora and Grilled Chicken & Pesto Panini.
Happy hour is from 4-6 p.m. daily with several discounted drinks and appetizers.
Scatori’s is at 1399 S. Commons Dr., near the intersection of S.C. 544 and U.S. 17 Bypass, by Lowe’s Foods. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and the number is (843) 650-3370. They deliver.
We enjoyed our lunch so much, Scatori’s is now on the list of Top 10 Myrtle Beach Italian Restaurants.