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Best place to eat in Beaufort, SC

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Last week Gabriele and I spent a very nice vacation at Harbor Island, SC. It's a peaceful and beautiful community just outside of Beaufort, SC: http://harborisland-sc.com/ They advertise it as a place that co-exists peacefully with nature, and it's obvious as soon as you get there. You share space with all sorts of creatures -- a huge variety of shore birds, big spiders, and the occasional alligator.

We asked around and did some online research on where to go for the nice dinner out, and decided to try Saltus River Grill. We had a really super dining experience. The restaurant just crushed it on all fronts -- atmosphere, service, food and of course, wine.

We were both having seafood, so were looking at their Pinot Noirs. Our server recommended a Domaine Carneros 2005, and I agreed. I always like it when the server makes a strong rec -- they should know, and it's definitely in their interest to have us love the wine. But bummer, she came back and said they were all out.

So we went with a Gundlach Bundschu Pinot Noir, also 2005. It was a strong choice. It started with a slightly earthy, burgundy-like nose that was a bit deceiving. Because it didn't taste of earth at all, it had really nice, smooth fruit that carried throughout the palate, not all at once then gone like some CA Pinots. I tasted a lot of cherry, and it was definitely on the assertive side for a Pinot. The vineyard web site is selling the 2006 for $34 -- well worth it.

The food at Saltus was truly top notch. Gabriele had a she-crab soup that she christined the best she's ever had, and she's had it at a bunch of places. Steamed clams were fantastic with chorizo and onions, as was the caprese salad. Grilled lobster tails were perfectly prepared, and seas scallops were matched with a ham risotto and mascarpone cheese, a surprising touch that worked.

So if you ever check out the gators at Harbor Island, or are just driving through on your way to Hilton Head or Savannah, highly suggest you stop at Saltus River Grill.

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  1. Beaufort is my favorite Southern town. I live in Delaware now and am very happy but she-crab soup is something I miss almost as much as barbeque and my family.