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HHI first week of December

DH and I will be making our annual weeklong golf trip to HH next Saturday. We have our "gotta go" restaurant list from past trips already lined up - CQs, Old Oyster Factory, Marleys, RedFish, and Sea Shack (no, don't try to talk us out of these - we're going!).

I've been checking hhidining.com for ideas, and we'd like to know if anybody has opinions about these for dinner:

Aqua
Hemingway's
Homefront
Ocean Grille

Others along the same line? We've been doing this trip for about 10 years and we have tried many other restaurants. We've done Old Fort Pub, Alexanders, Antonios, Michael Anthonys, Alligator Grille, a bunch of pub/pizza/wing places - all OK by us but we'd like to try something else.

We like places where we can relax over a drink before dinner, are not blasted by loud music while we eat, and are on the island itself (not Bluffton). $$ is not a problem for good chow with a good vibe. We love this week because it is very laid-back, our fav evening is Monday open mike night at the Jazz Corner. Thanks for any opinions!

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  1. From a 25 year resident, I suggest that you try Spice, a four week old Indian restaurant in the space once occupied by Damon's and the Iron Wolf at the Village at Wexford. You won't find an interior like this outside of Manhattan and the bar goes 'till 4AM.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DaleJ

      Sounds interesting, and right next to the Jazz Corner - bonus! Thanks for the tip!

    2. I recently had a very nice meal at Flavors. It's about a year old. Varied menu..everything very good but a highlight was a mixed mushroom risotto.

      Tough to find spot..in a shopping center off Pope..near Red Sage and Alligator Grill?? worth seeking out.

      1 Reply
      1. re: 9lives

        We'll check out their menu - thanks!

      2. Have you tried Juleps outside of Sea Pines. We lived there for many years before moving to Charlotte and loved it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RonG

          Yes, we tried Juleps a couple of years ago. We did enjoy it.

        2. Consider going to Charlie's L'Etoile Verte off New Orleans Rd and also Main Street Cafe & Pub, Hilton Head Plantation entrance, near the Harris Teeter.

          1. Charlie's L'Etoile is also a favorite of mine for a nice dinner.

            Il Carpaccio (great thin crust pizza..but not a pizza joint) or DaVino's for Italian..not quite as "polished" as Michael Anthony's..but both good.

            I posted last week about Amigo's...casual Cal Mex that my bro runs. No full alcohol and semi self service..fun but not what you posted looking for..can't resist a plug..:)

            We enjoy CQ's and Old Fort Pub a lot too.

            If you don't mind taking a drive, Palmetto Bluffs in Bluffton is a spectacular RE development with an inn/restaurant operated by the Auberge de Soleil (Napa Valley) group...really a top restaurant. Worth a drive if you feel like taking a break from golf..beautiful spot on the May River..that's worth seeing in the daylight.

            1 Reply
            1. re: 9lives

              The food critic at The Charlotte Observer just gavve Old Fort Pub a strong review a few weeks ago.

            2. Thanks everybody - I'll post about where we ended up when we get back!

              1. Back from the HH trip, a little rundown on what we ended up trying:

                Aqua - meh. Menu looked very enticing but the experience didn't measure up. We had 'provocative oysters', supposedly Rockefeller and something else that should have been served hot but were only lukewarm. Split a lobster bisque that was pretty good but hubby's portion was a bit heavy on the green onions. Split a bento box that was OK but nothing special. They did comp my hubby's espresso after we mentioned the problem with the oysters which was nice.

                Spice - split decision. The place is spectacular as DaleJ mentioned, with stunning Dale Chihuly lighting. Nate, our server, was very knowledgeable and friendly. Perhaps it was what we ordered that was our downfall, an appetizer sampler and a split dinner sampler. We don't know Indian food so we thought it would be a smart idea, but everything kind of tasted the same to us, and somewhat bland. Not their fault.

                Hemingways - pretty good. Food, service, atmosphere all worked. Hubby was in the mood for a good steak, and his filet was cooked exactly as he likes. My shrimp and chorizo pasta dish was very tasty and I really liked the fact that you could order a 'petite' serving, which was plenty for me.

                The old standbys came through as well. Sea Shack (grilled grouper sandwiches to die for), Marley's (I loved my chicken and shrimp thai red curry dish in a hollowed out pineapple half), RedFish (latin ribs - HUGE! and that bread dip is so addictive), Kurama (split a sushi appetizer and a soft shell crab roll after the Patriots game - yum) and CQs (best meal of the trip, a triggerfish special with bacon that I could not stop eating even though I was full, hubby had venison that was done perfectly, lovely atmosphere with the understated Christmas decorations and excellent service).

                But for the second year in a row, Old Oyster Factory was closed for renovations! Crap! I guess we'll have to tweak our vacation week, I still really have a craving for their gumbo and their Oysters Savannah!

                Back on the diet now... :-)

                2 Replies
                1. re: ns538bmk

                  Hey, try Charlie's L'Etoile Verte next time. I was in HHI the last week of November and the food was awesome! Everyone at my table really enjoyed their food. It's close to Sea Pines. The Sea Shack is the spot, glad you enjoyed it.

                  1. re: atruebluedevil

                    Yeah, I'm kind of kicking myself now that we didn't give it a try this time around. Next time for sure!

                2. If you meant Home Port....skip that one!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DitzeeMom

                    If you are coming back this year, you have to try Crane's steakhouse. Located on New Orleans Road. Everything is fantastic! We especially like the Tavern Roll-prime rib and blue cheese sauce wrapped up in phyllo dough. Their steaks are top quality. Old Oyster Factory is a tourist trap. Definately go to Michael Anthonys and Cranes. You won't be disapointed. (I am a PGH Transplant since 93 :)

                    1. re: chocchipcookie

                      Actually we are going to be back in about three weeks - I can't wait! Charlie's is a definite this time, I have to remember to make a reservation soon. I know OOF is a tourist trap but we enjoy it very much. We've tried Michael Anthony's and weren't wowed, maybe it was an off night. CQs, Redfish, and Marley's are our other favs. So many places, so little time!

                      And I did mean Homeport in my OP - thanks ditzeemom, it isn't on the short list this year.