Looking into the Suggestion Box

by Mar 15, 2024Online Exclusives, Pub Scout, Restaurants, South Brunswick

The PubScout follows the trail of suggestions to 55 Bistro Bar, a new dining establishment at Sea Trail in Sunset Beach.

Suggestions about good paces to quaff and eat come from many places — friends, acquaintances, bar staff and even publishers.

And sometimes professionals, like chiropractors. My chiropractor and I have a deal. I tip him to good IPAs, and he tips me to good places to review. He also tips me over to adjust my spine. It’s a symbiotic relationship that works.

My most recent tip came from another professional, a physician’s assistant in charge of monitoring my recent hip surgery and recovery. When we first met, during the pre-op days, we got to talking about beer (surprise, surprise), and I mentioned my sideline job of writing about beer, bars, restaurants, etc.

“Well, then you have to get over to one of the newest places in SEBC,” Justin said. “It’s called 55 Bistro, and it’s a very neat place.” I told him that I would stop by that very evening to give it a look-see.

Sea Trail Sunset Beach NC

The missus and I weren’t crazy hungry when we got to the place housed in the Sea Trail Convention Center, so we decided to have a few drinks and maybe grab an appetizer to tide us over until dinner somewhere else.

But 55 Bistro made a good impression.

Nice beer and wine choices, a crazy-good appetizer of Seasoned Mozzarella Logs in an incredible homemade sauce, some delicious crab bite balls, a nice flatbread menu and a collection of special juices intended for the specialty cocktails and created by Caribbean bartender Clay Burnsed.

Crab Balls Bistro 55 Sunset Beach NC

So when I went back to see Justin for my two-week post-op exam, I made plans to visit with the missus that very evening for dinner and a full review. Justin, after declaring my walker to be history and granting me permission to drive, said he’d meet me there later.

We arrived just after 5 pm, and seating was available. That’s important to note for two reasons. First, seating became rather limited at 5:30, and incoming guests were then ushered to a back room off the main room to dine; and second, the missus’ Chardonnay was just $4, which suggested a Happy Hour. But Happy Hours are not permitted in NC unless they’re “Happy Days” so $4 Chardonnay is a good deal.

Of course, we ordered an app of those Mozzarella Logs to split, which I paired with a VooDoo Ranger Juicy Hazy IPA. The missus ordered a Cobb Salad, switching out the chicken for shrimp. A Meatball Sub special got my attention.

Shrimp Salad Bistro 55

Her salad was delicious, as was my meatball sub, smothered in that homemade sauce and melted cheese. It was pretty big, too so, after those Mozzarella Logs, I found it necessary to eat the meatballs and cheese while leaving some of the huge, sauce-soaked roll behind. That was my loss, because it was delicious.

A quick word about the vibe of 55 Bistro. It does not feel like a typical restaurant.

It looks and feels very much like a 19th hole, which, being at a prestigious golf course, I suppose it is. My guess is that many gathered there had just come off the links.

Sunset Beach NC Bistro 55

One minor nitpick: As commendable as it is, the accompanying cutlery should be real flatware, not recycled materials. But the food and grog 55 Bistro served would make most restaurants proud, and that’s the name of the game. Whether you’re a hacker or not, 55 Bistro is worth a visit.

Earth Friendly Cutlery

I looked up at the packed bar and saw my PA Justin quaffing a beer (an excellent Makai Fire Knife, I think) so I told my waitress to make sure his next one was on me. Justin came over to the table to thank me, and gave me his official seal of approval on my new cane, the use of which he had authorized earlier in the day.

Tips on neat places to visit can come from anywhere. Including from the guy who gave you permission to drive there.

Want to go?
55 Bistro Bar
75-A Clubhouse Road, Sunset Beach
(910) 795-4062
seatrail.com