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Hilton Head Island area foodie places?

AnnTopel Jun 7, 2013 04:49 PM

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. hill food RE: AnnTopel Jun 7, 2013 08:27 PM

    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
      AnnTopel RE: hill food Jun 8, 2013 04:07 AM

      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. lynnlato RE: AnnTopel Jun 9, 2013 09:21 AM

      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. http://www.roastfishandcornbread.com/

      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. http://hudsonsonthedocks.com/

      4 Replies
      1. re: lynnlato
        AnnTopel RE: lynnlato Jun 9, 2013 11:26 AM

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

        1. re: AnnTopel
          lynnlato RE: AnnTopel Jun 9, 2013 04:52 PM

          Have a great trip and report back! :)

        2. re: lynnlato
          cervisiam RE: lynnlato Jul 30, 2013 05:07 PM

          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
            lynnlato RE: cervisiam Jul 31, 2013 05:07 AM

            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. d
          Dick814 RE: AnnTopel Jun 11, 2013 01:00 PM

          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
            AnnTopel RE: Dick814 Jun 12, 2013 12:06 PM

            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
              AnnTopel RE: Dick814 Jun 13, 2013 07:44 AM

              Loved Charlie's! Thank you.

              1. re: Dick814
                AnnTopel RE: Dick814 Jun 13, 2013 10:51 AM

                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. ItalGreyHound RE: AnnTopel Jun 11, 2013 01:18 PM

                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
                  AnnTopel RE: ItalGreyHound Jun 12, 2013 05:35 AM

                  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
                    lynnlato RE: AnnTopel Jun 12, 2013 02:39 PM

                    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
                      AnnTopel RE: lynnlato Jun 13, 2013 07:43 AM

                      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
                        lynnlato RE: AnnTopel Jun 14, 2013 05:48 AM

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

                        1. re: AnnTopel
                          flygirl RE: AnnTopel Aug 7, 2013 10:53 AM

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

                    2. re: ItalGreyHound
                      AnnTopel RE: ItalGreyHound Jun 13, 2013 07:47 AM


                      Spelled that wrong in the last message.


                      1. re: AnnTopel
                        ItalGreyHound RE: AnnTopel Jun 17, 2013 10:51 AM

                        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
                        AnnTopel RE: ItalGreyHound Jun 14, 2013 10:50 AM

                        Do you know anything about Black Marlin in Palmetto Bay?

                        1. re: AnnTopel
                          ItalGreyHound RE: AnnTopel Jun 17, 2013 10:54 AM

                          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
                            lynnlato RE: AnnTopel Jun 17, 2013 06:56 PM

                            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
                              AnnTopel RE: lynnlato Jun 18, 2013 04:04 AM

                              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
                                lynnlato RE: AnnTopel Jun 18, 2013 06:36 AM

                                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!

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