Myrtle Beach Bad Restaurants, Part 1: Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar

In any town Myrtle Beach’s size, there are a lot of places to eat. Too few are excellent, most are passable, and others’ proprietors would be better off in another line of work. Travinia—which would be better named Travestia—is a member of the latter category.

A restaurant that feels the need to play Frank Sinatra music on its website to solidify its authenticity is not only doing a disservice to its customers but to the Chairman of the Board himself (R.I.P., Frank). If only had I visited the website before I assented to eat there.

On the night in question, I was not the one picking up the tab. Which may disqualify me in the eyes of the people who are all “You shouldn’t judge a restaurant where you didn’t pay for the food!!!” But I don’t care. When it comes to Myrtle Beach restaurants, Travinia shouldn’t even be in the conversation.

It started with our waitress who was, to be fair, very nice. Unfortunately, she was a rookie to whom seemingly the most standard questions elicited an apologetic “I’ll have to ask about that.” And, unlike at a competently-run restaurant, she was unaccompanied—“hung out to dry” would be more accurate, actually—by any of the rest of the waitstaff. This was after our flustered server called on one of her more experienced colleagues, who stopped by, looked annoyed and hastily and inelegantly opened the first bottle. The affable head of our party demonstrated the proper technique on the remaining bottle. He should have tipped himself at the end of the meal.

The food, sadly, was not much better. I ordered the rigatoni with braised short rib Bolognese. The piece of short rib was challenging to locate with a microscope. “Lukewarm” would have been an improvement on its temperature. To speak of the pasta, I prefer it al dente but near-raw is not al dente.

But hey, at least the décor of the place is chic and modern!

Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar is located in Myrtle Beach’s Market Common district, at 4011 Deville St. Don’t go there. Instead, try Maggi D’s, by the Coastal Grand Mall. Proprietor John Magliato grew up in the Bronx and northern New Jersey, where people are a lot more discerning when it comes to Italian food, given how truly shocking it is to me that a place as bad as Travinia can exist.

Posted 6/19/13

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