While on vacation near Myrtle Beach, SC my wife and I took advantage of traveling with her family to escape without our year and a half old son for a nice dinner. We haven’t had much success with babysitters back home, so this date night was long overdue. We were staying between Garden City and Surfside Beach, and decided to ride a couple of bikes up to Surfside to see what we could find. The only requirement was that there had to be non-fried fish on the menu for my wife. After a couple of strikeouts with beachfront restaurants, we headed inland a bit to Valentino’s II.

Bread And Garlic Butter

This menu at this Italian restaurant easily pleased both of us. I’m not a big fan of seafood, but I do love Italian food and they offered most of the classic dishes. In addition there is a large selection of seafood even a couple of steaks to round out the menu. All dinners come with a house salad and homemade warm bread with signature garlic butter. While I found the bread and butter to be fairly common and what you would expect, the house salad was large and fresh. Their vinaigrette dressing was incredible, easily one of the best I’ve ever had. It had an added tartness to it that I’ve never experienced before.

House Salad

All dinners are prepared fresh and cooked to order, but we didn’t experience a terribly long wait between our salad and main courses. During the downtime my wife sipped on a glass of sangria, while I enjoyed a cold draft beer. I should have went with wine after seeing the typical beer offerings, but I wasn’t in the mood. My wife on the other hand loved the white sangria, which was made with pinot grigio.

White Sangria

For dinner I went with the chicken parmigiana (16.95), which also came with a choice of pasta on the side, my choice was penne. The serving size was very large, two breaded chicken breasts served on top of the penne with tons of marinara and plenty of cheese to go with it. I was very happy with dish and somehow managed to eat nearly every last bite. I could have easily taken some home with me for lunch the next day, but we were on bikes and didn’t want to deal with that potential mess.

Chicken Parmigiana

My wife ordered one of the daily specials – the grouper Florentine ($23.95). Again this was served with a choice of pasta (she decided on angel hair) and rather than adding marinara to it just decided to have more of the Florentine sauce served with it. Again the piece of meat was large and though I didn’t have a bite of the dish, I’m told it too was very good.

Grouper Florentine

Our service was very attentive and extra friendly. I would easily return for dinner in the future. Note that the restaurant is not open for lunch and hours are 4-10pm every day. Even though we didn’t bring our son, they are kid friendly, so perhaps we will bring him along if we are ever back in the area. I think it would be hard to find a better Italian restaurant in south Myrtle Beach.

Valentino's II (formerly Cecil's Italian Grill) on Urbanspoon

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