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Jun 7, 2013 04:49 PM

Hilton Head Island area foodie places?

Where does a good, healthy Southern gal go in this area to get fresh, grilled offerings? Vegetarian options? Sushi suggestions? Independently owned creative chef choices?

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  1. hopefully things have changed. Hilton Head when I was there was a white-washed shopping mall type experience, best I can suggest is Savannah or Charleston. that's sounds bitter, but I was hoping for a trace of Gullah.

    a nice beach.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hill food

      We took the ferry over to Dafuskie and had some nice deviled crab and awesome, hot, correctly fried okra. We also bought some okra gumbo at Low Country Market and added fresh shrimp and andouille to it and that was scrumptious. Was hoping for some grilled fresh catch... Any ideas, anyone?

    2. Chef David at Roastfish & Cornbread is big on fresh and local AND they have a vegetarian menu. It's one of the few good restaurants on the island and its owner operated.

      HHI is long on chain restaurants, sysco frozen fish and seafood and short on independently owned spots that highlight local seafood. It's kind of sad.

      Alligator Grille has been around a long while and is an independent restaurant just outside the Sea Pines gate. They offer pastas, steaks, seafood and also sushi.

      Red Fish is another good spot. Fresh fish, steaks, etc. with creative presentations. A bit more upscale, but not white tablecloth upscale.

      Old Fort Pub has been around for a long while and is one of the nicer restaurants on the island and would likely require a reservation.

      Hudson's Seafood is always a must for us. It's one of the hidden gems where you can get any fish prepared any way with hush puppies and all the fixins. It's on the intercoastal waterway and it's nice to watch the sunset on the water while waiting for your table.

      4 Replies
      1. re: lynnlato

        Thank you so much! Really appreciate this. We will take your great advice.

        1. re: AnnTopel

          Have a great trip and report back! :)

        2. re: lynnlato

          we were so disappointed with roastfish and cornbread. dinner took almost 2 hours, and that was being seated at 5:15 pm on a weekday. the food took about 40 minutes to come out, and the server made a mistake when telling us about the day's specials, which she didn't correct until my entree came out, so DH was left in the lurch. the whole roasted branzino was the only highlight of the entire meal, and the snapper was dry and flavorless. everyone around us looked tired, hungry, and annoyed, and one table even left.

          not that yelp is the be all, end all of accurate restaurant reviews, but we should have heeded the warnings with the recent dismal ratings.

          1. re: cervisiam

            Sorry to hear that. It's definitely never been a quick dining experience by any means - this is the low country after all - but that's just plain disappointing that the food and service weren't up to par for your experience. :(

        3. We like Sea Grass Grille and Charle's for seafood. At Charlie's sit at the bar. The bartender is very entertaining.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Dick814

            Thank you. We had a super lunch at L'etoile verte. Smoked salmon sandwich with horseradish spread on ciabatta. Excellent she-crab soup.

              1. re: Dick814

                Sea Grass Grille gets a top rating from us. Thank you. Fish cakes and luscious, creamy remoulade were quite good. Watermelon gazpacho soup was crisp, with a spicy piquante bite, and a generous portion. The muffins were a little on the chewy side, but still flavorful. And the service was excellent. We would definitely return and regret there was no room for the peach blueberry cobbler. Next time.

              2. It's not exactly vegetarian, definitely not sushi, but is independently owned, with a creative chef and delicious scratch made Italian - Michael Anthony's. It's our favorite restaurant on the island, hands down.

                We have had lovely meals at Old Fort Pub and Redfish as well, both recommended by Lynnlato below.

                My MIL is just across the street in Wexford, and loves Charlie's - I believe they have some lovely vegetarian options, if I remember her description of her last visit accurately!

                12 Replies
                1. re: ItalGreyHound

                  We tried Roastfish & Cornbread. Best collard greens I have ever tried. Roasted oysters were excellent. Sweet potato cornbread was tasty, light and crumbly in a good way. Our server was super nice, friendly and thoughtful. Highly recommend. She even got chef to share one of the unusual secret ingredients in the collards.

                  We are planning to try Michael Anthony's and Charlies. We have a few more days!

                  1. re: AnnTopel

                    Roastfish & Cornbread is so great, and was a perfect fit given your parameters. So glad y'all enjoyed it!

                    P.S. Chef David wrote a cookbook a few years ago. You should see if they have a copy to sell you. I have the cookbook and that collard greens recipe is in the book, along with a million sweet potato recipes and a bunch of out Low Country/Gullah fare.

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      We heard a rumor yesterday that Ombre is the new Hilton Head secret place for great italian food. Started by former M-A owner. Do you know about that yet?

                      1. re: AnnTopel

                        I don't know of it. If you go, please report back!

                        1. re: AnnTopel

                          I can confirm it's quite good. Not cheap though - you'll pay DC area prices, easily.

                      1. re: AnnTopel

                        We have not tried it yet, but my MIL has enjoyed her meals there, and we have the exact same tastes in food :)

                        Wish I could report first hand, but she and many of her friends enjoy Ombra. I have heard from her that the atmosphere is a bit more "noisy" than M-A.

                      2. re: ItalGreyHound

                        Do you know anything about Black Marlin in Palmetto Bay?

                        1. re: AnnTopel

                          Unfortunately not. Sorry so late getting back to you - your trip may well be over by this point! Hope it was wonderful!

                          1. re: AnnTopel

                            We've only been there once, but once was enough. It was your typical HHI tourist trap restaurant. Located in a shopping center w/ tourist gift shops. The standard get em in, give em booze, get em out. Crazy busy and the food was meh. A better dining experience, that is family friendly and has nice views, is Hudson's.

                            1. re: lynnlato

                              Thanks so much. We're back in the ATL now and grad classes start back for me next week. I appreciate your help! Now I've got to go back to carrot sticks and tuna, so I can balance things out - ha.

                              1. re: AnnTopel

                                Hahaha, your plan sounds very similar to mine! I'm in Seabrook Island right now and eating and drinking and enjoying myself. It's only Day 3 and I already feel heavier -ha! I'll be doing a serious cleanse when I return to the real world.

                                Glad you had a good time!