Hilton Head Island Restaurant Reviews

Alphabetical List of Reviewed Restaurants

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* ALEXANDER'S
* ALFRED'S RESTAURANT
* ALLIGATOR GRILLE
* AMIGOS CAFE y CANTINA
* AUNT CHILADAS
* BISTRO MEZZALUNA
* BOMBORAS GRILLE
* BRAVO! PIZZA
* BRITISH OPEN PUB
* CATCH 22
* CHARBAR CO.
* CHARLIE'S L'ETOILE VERTE
* CHART HOUSE
* CLAUDE AND ULI'S SIGNATURE BISTRO
* CONROY'S
* CORKS NEIGHBORHOOD WINE BAR
* CQ'S
* CRANE'S TAVERN and SEAFOOD
* DRYDOCK SEAFOOD GRILL & SPIRITS
* DYE'S GULLAH FIXIN'S
* ELA'S BLU WATER GRILLE
* FANCY Q SUSHI BAR & GRILL
* FLORA'S ITALIAN CAFE
* GIUSEPPIS
* GRUBY'S NEW YORK DELI
* HARBOUR TOWN GRILL
* HINCHEY'S CHICAGO BAR AND GRILL
* HINOKI
* HUDSON'S ON THE DOCKS
* IL CARPACCIO
* IT'S GREEK TO ME
* JUMP & PHIL'S
* JUST PASTA
* KENNY B'S FRENCH QUARTER CAFE
* KINGFISHER SEAFOOD AND STEAK
* KURAMA
* LITTLE VENICE
* MARLEYS ISLAND GRILLE
* MELLOW MUSHROOM
* MI TIERRA
* MICHAEL ANTHONY'S
* NEW YORK CITY PIZZA
* NICK'S STEAK & SEAFOOD
* OLD OYSTER FACTORY
* PALMETTO BAY SUNRISE CAFE
* QUARTERDECK
* REDFISH
* REILLEYS
* SAGE ROOM
* SAN MIGUELS
* SANTA FE CAFE
* SEA GRASS GRILLE
* SEA SHACK
* SKILLETS GRILL & CAFE
* SKULL CREEK BOATHOUSE
* SMOKEHOUSE
* STELLINI
* SUNSET GRILLE
* TAPAS RESTAURANT
* THE STUDIO
* TJ'S TAKE and BAKE PIZZA
* TRATTORIA DIVINA
* TRUFFLES CAFE
* WILD WING CAFE
* YUMMY HOUSE

ALEXANDER'S
76 QUEENS FOLLY RD - PALMETTO DUNES
843-785-4999

Since Chef Terry Ziff moved to Alexander's from Redfish, this Island standard has upgraded its food quite a bit, and its wine list quite a lot. Alexander's is still not the elegant, fabulous place its advertising suggests, but the property is pretty, and with the improvement of the food, the expense is now more reasonable. Also on the plus side, the overbroad selection that once pervaded the menu has been pared down so that Chef Terry's technical expertise brightly shines through in every dish. Try the scallops with brown sugar horseradish butter and port reduction; the lobster tempura with Asian slaw; the Oysters Rockefeller (with Pernod) and Savannah; or any of the grilled fish. The wine list has earned a Wine Spectator "Award of Excellence," and the wine buyer is very knowledgeable and does not hesitate to stock good boutique selections.

Food rating: A Overall Rating: A
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ALFRED'S RESTAURANT
807 WM HILTON PKWY - PLANTATION CENTER
843-341-3117

Long time Islanders will know the name Chef Alfred Kettering and he is back working his magic again. This 40 seat restaurant tucked behind Santa Fe at the entrance of Palmetto Dunes is perfect for his culinary talents. European trained, one can enjoy his authentic German cuisine featuring sauerbraten and wienerschnitzel but but also the delightful roasted chilean sea bass. Also if you are curious there is seating at the bar that overlooks the cooking so you can see how it is all done.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: A-
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ALLIGATOR GRILLE
33 OFFICE PARK RD - PARK PLAZA BEFORE SEA PINES MAIN GATE
843-842-4888

Regan Barnum of Alligator Grille has a restaurant complimenting her own elegance in which to serve winning dishes such as roasted duck spring rolls, spicy tuna, crab and brie wontons, steaks, fish, and an excellent double cut pork chop topped with onion jam. And while the restaurant is not attempting to serve innovative cuisine, it certainly is successfully in paying attention to its wine list, which features some nice American selections along with a bevy of exciting and infrequently seen wines from Spain. Wine steward Jason Lewis has done a nice job here. With friendly service, well made drinks, and home made desserts added in, Alligator Grille is more than a welcome addition to the island.

Food Rating: B+ Overall Rating: A-
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AMIGOS CAFE y CANTINA
70 POPE AVE - CIRCLE CENTER
843-785-8226

To some extent, Amigos is the usual Mexican restaurant in a shopping center, however, there is a pleasant twist. The kitchen here actually pays attention to the health desires of so many of today's diners, and, just to prove that it can be done, still creates good Baha Mexican food. The charbroiled chicken in soft corn tortilla, the fish burrito, and the skinless chicken breast grilled with cilantro and topped with low fat sour cream are worth a try as is their famous bbq chicken salad. It is my very favorite hole-in-the-wall and the piping hot chips (made to order) are to die for along with their homemade salsa bar. Give it a try!

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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AUNT CHILADAS
69 POPE AVENUE
843-785-7700

Though it certainly began as a Mexican restaurant serving Mexican standards, Aunt Chiladas has branched out to offer certain Italian dishes, seafood, and American fare. Some of the specialty dishes can be quite good (try the d.r.burrito which comes stuffed with spaghetti and meatballs or sausage), and all portions are super sized. The margaritas are wonderful, good beer is available, and the service is friendly. This is a relatively easy place to have lunch or dinner if one desires, and is often crowded due to its popularity. Aunt Chiladas is mostly frequented in the evenings by the younger crowd.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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BISTRO MEZZALUNA
55 NEW ORLEANS RD
843-842-5011

Pleasant setting with indoor and outdoor seating Bistro Mezzaluna has large portions of Northern Italian fare. Family owned who you will meet at some point during your experience makes for an interesting night. Be aware there is usually someone playing the large baby grand piano so it depends on where you are seated and what they are singing whether you can hear your dinner companions.

Food Rating: B- Overall Rating: B-
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BOMBORAS GRILLE
101 A/B POPE AVENUE
843-689-2662

Bomboras Grille is a brand new addition to the Coligny area. Sitting right on Pope Avenue with a bank of windows and soon a large patio, it can't be missed. Opened the spring of 2011 it has a great vibe; in fact their motto is a Chill Bar on Coligny Beach. The interior is all blues, greens, browns and copper with long benches that go around the room along with tables and a great bar. The owners have picked up on some great innovations such as a way of dispensing beer from the bottom up (have to see it to believe it), chill disks at the bar which won't allow your drink to get warm and all the wait staff use an iPod Touch that sends your order in while they are still standing at your table.

Don't think of this as just a bar as it has great food too. Serving lunch and dinner they focus on small plates for sharing and share we did. Everything we ordered was great from a Flat Iron Steak with Warm Potato Salad, Blue Cheese Slaw and Vidalia Onion Jam, Crispy Shrimp with Ginger Maw Maw Slaw , Chicken Fried Steak served over Peppercorn Sauce with Fried Potato Salad and Micro Green Salad to a special for the evening, Swordfish Taco's. They have wine by the glass or bottle, cocktails, specialty beers and soon 20 beers on tap, musical entertainment is also provided on many nights. Coming later in the spring they will have a large patio to enjoy a nightly breeze and watch the world go by on Pope Avenue.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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BRAVO! PIZZA
1B NEW ORLEANS RD and WM HILTON PKWY
843-342-7757

Owners are from Northeast OH and they make very good traditional pizza along with grinders and stromboli. A hidden gem next to Blockbuster on New Orleans Road. It is eat in - take out or delivery from 4PM - 2AM.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: B+
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BRITISH OPEN PUB
VILLAGE AT WEXFORD
843-686-6736

If you want a semi-British experience with lots of golf overtones, this is the place to find it. The pub serves excellent beers, as well as traditional British Isles dishes such as Scotch eggs, fish and chips, Shepherd's pie, and bangers and mash. There are also more traditional pub preparations available all day such as hamburgers, crab cakes, etc. For dinner the menu expands, and you can enjoy a well prepared Porterhouse or Angus steak, lobster, or shrimp. We like the British Pub for a casual meal with nice people and good prices. New branches have opened in Beaufort and Sun City.

Food rating: B Overall Rating: B
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CATCH 22
37 NEW ORLEANS RD - ORLEANS PLAZA
843-785-6261

Catch 22 is one of the hottest places on the Island, and deservedly so. In fact, it may qualify as one of the only seafood/fish restaurants on the Island that offers both ambiance (without a water view to help) and excellent food.

The combination raw bar/alcohol bar sets the pace for the charming front room. The servers are attractive, friendly, and professional throughout the establishment. The wine list has some fine selections. The chef is skilled at preparing the dishes on the menu. You can order full or half portions of many dishes. And, while not inexpensive, the price is fair. What more can you ask for? Our jumbo crab cocktail was full of fresh crab; the shrimp were large and not soggy; the pan seared scallops, a treat in itself, came with ravioli filled with mushrooms, onions, goat cheese, and spinach; and the baked oysters topped with bacon, onion, and roasted pepper sour cream were a delight. Enjoy this one.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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CHARBAR CO.
33 OFFICE PARK ROAD SUITE 213 - PARK PLAZA
843-785-2427

Charbar is the Island's newest place to go for burgers but you will find that this is not your average "burger joint". Charbar Co. was recently bestowed the honor of the Island's "Best Burger" the 2012 Burgers & Brew Festival. Charbar lets you make your own burger by choosing your meat, cheese, toppings, and bun, but you can also choose from their own burger designs or daily specials. Specials have included a Beef Jalapeno Burger, the Buffalo Pork Belly Burger, and the Chicken Pretzel Sandwich. All burgers are served with your choice of side: salad, sweet potato fries, or rosemary fries with house made ketchup. There are lighter burger options on the menu, including the portobello sandwich and a shrimp burger that is consider by some as the "best shrimp burger ever made". They also have wraps and salads rounding out their menu. The food, however, is not for the "svelte of waist", and you will surely not walk away hungry.

If you're not in the mood for food, Charbar offers a large variety of craft beers, wines, and cocktails. Each day during happy hour, a drink special is offered. Drink specials are varied and fun, such as a Spiked Arnold Palmer, Espresso Martini, or a Dragon Berry Mojito. Charbar has live music a few nights a week and is a fun place to hang out with friends. The Island has few lounges where you can feel comfortable just sitting at the bar nursing a drink, this is one of the few. With an open layout, friendly servers, and casual atmosphere, Charbar's goal, for you, is clearly to relax, enjoy yourself, and come back again.


Food rating: B Overall Rating: B+
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CHARLIE'S L'ETOILE VERTE
8 NEW ORLEANS RD.
843-785-9277

One of the few restaurants on Hilton Head that does not advertise because it is always crowded (lunch or dinner), Charlie has moved into the old Charleston's location, which was always the prettiest restaurant in town. The ambiance is now on a par with his cuisine, and the restaurant is big enough to hold his legion of fans. The restaurant specializes in excellent preparations of fish, but the land side is well represented and served without apologies. The wines here are selected with care, and the lovely bar can create the most difficult of cocktails.

My complaint about Charlie's remains the same as it did when he was in his old location. It has to do with service, and the disadvantages are magnified in the new and larger building. He simply does not have enough help, and the wait staff that is there needs to be better trained in all areas to bring the establishment to the level of fine dining. The slowness of the service and the lack of attention can really be off-putting.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: B
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CHART HOUSE
2 HUDSONS ROAD - OFF SQUIRE POPE RD
843-342-9066

A favorite of locals and tourists alike, Chart House is an attractive, spacious waterfront restaurant that serves well prepared and enticing fish and steak dishes. You can choose from a variety of appetizers that include the Chart House Chopped Salad or Fried Green Tomatoes. Six or seven varieties of fresh fish can be prepared by broiling, sauteing, or grilling. Specialties and classics such as Shrimp & Fritters, Prime Rib or a bit of both with Lowcountry Ribeye Surf and Turf are also enticing. Drawbacks? Prices are not cheap, and the service is not always consistent.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B-
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CLAUDE AND ULI'S SIGNATURE BISTRO
1533 FORDING ISLAND ROAD, MOSS CREEK VILLAGE
843-837-3336

Chef Claude, a native of Normandy, France, has cooked at some very famous restaurants in Paris and London and we are fortunate to be able to experience his culinary talents right here in the LowCountry. Chef Claude prepares French cuisine the way you would expect: with precision, rich flavor, and while wearing a beret! The interior of the restaurant is cozy, but not crowded. The tables are situated in a manner that you feel as though you can have a conversation without yelling across the table. The servers are cordial and expedient. During your dinner, expect to see Chef Claude come out and check in with all of this patrons to ensure that you are enjoying your meal.

The Bistro has lunch, dinner, and early dining options. The menu seamlessly combines classic French dishes, such as Crepes, Escargots, Duck Breast and Chicken Cordon Bleu, with a few LowCountry favorites, such as She Crab Soup and Crab Cakes. Each meal is paired with a seasonal fresh vegetable and starch. The food is well seasoned, appropriately portioned, and perfectly cooked. There are no surprises or fireworks at Claude and Uli's, they simply prepare classic food very well. The Chef Claude and Uli has a simple philosophy for their bistro: Offer exquisite dishes at affordable prices. And they do, indeed, live up to that philosophy.

Food rating: B+ Overall Rating: B+
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CONROY'S
MARRIOTT in PALMETTO DUNES
843-686-8499

Yes, this nice addition to the Island restaurant scene is actually affiliated with author Pat Conroy, but don't expect to see him there. What you will see are servers who have been well trained, a menu that features old favorites, and a lot of diners having a good time.

Almost all the dishes we have sampled inside the restaurant and out (Conroy's participates in Island wide food functions) are well prepared. If we had to recommend a few dishes, they would be the cornmeal-crusted oysters, the horseradish encrusted salmon, and a huge oak smoked pork chop. The wine list here is nice, yet could be a bit more inventive. The bar outside the restaurant features excellent entertainment and some of the best made drinks on the Island.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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CORKS NEIGHBORHOOD WINE BAR
11 PALMETTO BAY RD
843-671-7783

Corks is a great wine bar but that isn't all it has to offer. Located in the Island Crossing Shopping Center next to Staples near the Sea Pines entrance you may drive right past the front door but once inside you are enveloped in a cozy bricked-in environment. Though not large they do what they do very well. This includes a large wine selection and some artisan beers and wonderful food. They also have some great specials so you can try out the offerings without breaking the bank. We went on a Monday when all the bottles of wine are half off and we had 2 flat bread pizza's that were out of this world - especially the Cordon Blue and some sushi and even a Baby Cake for dessert. They also host special tastings so best to get on their newsletter list so you can find out what is going on.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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CQ'S
140 LIGHTHOUSE RD - HARBOUR TOWN - SEA PINES
843-671-2779

There are seven or eight restaurants on Hilton Head that, at least in my imagination, vie for the title of "the best". The cuisine of each is different, yet wonderful in its own manner. Combining most of the elements we look for in a full dining experience, CQ's, located in easy to find romantic Harbour Town, allows one to dine in a beautifully restored inn. The restaurant also offers professional management by Leslie Sayres, friendly and thoughtful service, wine and food knowledgeable staff, a creative menu, fine cuisine, a cozy bar area, that certain feeling best described as warmth and ambiance, and an outstanding wine list (receiving the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence). Granted, it may not be the Island's star in each of these categories, but few places rank as high in so many. While we almost never indulge in fois gras, we do here - it is pan seared and sinfully outstanding. In fact, it seems that whatever we choose here becomes an instant favorite. What more can you ask?

You won't mind spending a bit more at CQ's than at most places on Hilton Head.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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CRANE'S TAVERN and SEAFOOD
26 NEW ORLEANS RD
843-341-2333

We enjoy the cozy bar area and the terrific wine list in this top of the line steakhouse and seafood tavern. Not only are the USDA Prime steaks well prepared (you can order as large a slab of beef as you are willing to pay for), but Crane's offers outstanding jumbo lump crab cakes and shrimp scampi. While we give a special nod to these dishes, that should not detract from the balance of the fine food prepared here. This is one of the restaurants on Hilton Head where the owner cares about wine and offers a fabulous wine list in fact, it competes for the Island's best. Negatives? The service is not always on top of its game, and you can feel crowded at times. But the positives far outweigh these occasional inconveniences.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: B+
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ELA'S BLU WATER GRILLE
1 SHELTER COVE LN - SHELTER COVE HARBOUR
843-785-3030

Opened about a year enjoy this restaurant that has incomparable views of Shelter Cove and the Broad Creek.

Food Rating: Overall Rating:
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DRYDOCK SEAFOOD GRILL & SPIRITS
21 OFFICE PARK RD - SAPELLO BLDG - SUITE 105
843-842-9775

Drydock has moved to a new location on the road that cuts between the Sea Pines Circle and Pope Avenue. This location and their last one assured that when you do find it it will be populated with mostly locals who enjoy a good drink, pub grub and each other. Great outdoor seating area!

Food Rating: B- Overall Rating: B-
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FANCY Q SUSHI BAR & GRILL
430 WM HILTON PKWY - NORTHRIDGE PLAZA - UNIT G
843-342-6626

Fancy Q's is the newest sushi restaurant on Hilton Head and has made quite a splash with locals and vistitors alike. Hidden away in Northridge this small restaurant is certainly worth it even if there is a wait. Serving both lunch and dinner you are warmly greeted as you come in and the presentation is outstanding. One of the best dishes is the "Crab Eddie" appetizer that is brought to the table along with soup while waiting for amazing fresh sushi that delights the eye as well as the stomach. Great prices too!

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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DYE'S GULLAH FIXIN'S
840 WM HILTON PKWY - Atrium Building
843-681-8106

What an amazing treat this restaurant is! If you want down home traditional Gullah fare this is the place complete with a menu were you can read the Gullah language. For Before'rs you might want to try the Seafood Hush Puppies that have blue crab and swimp in them. Or to get the real deal make a reservation for the Friday All You Can Eat Gullah Buffet that many times includes entertainment. Everything is local and made to order so sit back and enjoy!

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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FLORA'S ITALIAN CAFE
841 WM HILTON PKWY - SOUTH ISLAND SQUARE
843-842-8200

Flora's has an interesting, albeit short, history. A New Jersey family with restaurant experience bought Café Maxx from its previous owners, and simply turned it over as Flora's Italian, even keeping the same phone number. Of course, to call itself Italian Flora's revamped the menu a bit, but then returned to some of Alfred's excellent dishes to keep the old clientele. On my visit I found nothing wrong, but nothing to rave about either.

Food rating: B Overall Rating: B
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GIUSEPPIS
32 B SHELTER COVE LN - SHELTER COVE PLAZA
843-785-4144

Recently remodeled and looking fantastic they have added quite a few more seats in tables and at the bar. Clearly in the top three on the Island as far as pizza (and we refer to the restaurant at the above address only), Giuseppi's serves it all, from the traditional pizza, to white pizza, to chicken with roasted red pepper pizza. They offer original style or stuffed. They offer a wide variety of fresh toppings. They offer quality that makes one feel as if he was eating the best pizza on the streets of New York, though the owners of this establishment come from Pittsburgh. And they offer the not to be missed "Weggie", their own fabulous rendition of a calzone. Giuseppi's has a large salad menu, including garden salads, Caesar salads, tuna salads, etc., as well as a good variety of sandwiches and pastas. This is a perfect restaurant for pizza or a great place to bring the kids for lunch or dinner 7 days a week.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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GRUBY'S NEW YORK DELI
890 WM HILTON PKWY - FRESH MARKET SHOPPES
843-842-9111

Would you think you could find a deli in Hilton Head where some dishes and meats almost compare to delis in New York or South Florida? I did not, and after sampling most of the Island's "delis" for 5 years I thought I was right. Then I found Gruby's, and when I savored their delicious corned beef on rye with New York style cole slaw, I knew I had been wrong. Since then I've tried numerous combinations of foods and have enjoyed most. And the menu looks like a mini Carnegie Deli menu with a number of the same type sandwiches. This year Gruby's moved into larger space in the same shopping center.

Service has picked up in professionalism and pleasantness (if you are lucky Denise will wait on you) in the past year or so -- a nice thing to see, especially on an early Sunday morning. This is not New York, of course, but for an authentic deli experience, Gruby's is the only one on Hilton Head. Fortunately, it is quite good.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: B+
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HARBOUR TOWN GRILL
HARBOUR TOWN CLUBHOUSE - SEA PINES
843-363-8380

Chef Mark Emerson is one of the finest chefs on the Island. He and the staff transform the attractive and famous golf clubhouse at the Harbour Town links from a bright and airy room at lunch and breakfast, to an intimate dining spot for dinner. If you are looking for one of the Island's gems as far as food, this is it - trust me. Chef Mark knows his stuff.

The regular menu is now quite classic (loin of lamb, steaks, salmon, etc.), but Mark may well have some fabulous specials. We also suggest a call ahead, which might even spark his imagination to prepare something just for the caller. Our only complaint is the same one we have had for a number of years. For some reason The Sea Pines Company, which owns the Grill, refuses to stock it with wines worthy of its food. So you may consider bringing your own for a corkage charge, though they do carry the new sensation - Falcor Chardonnay. Service is friendly and the prices are consistent with the excellence of the food. Don't be put off if the crowd is small. Just remember, you know something others do not.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: B+
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HINCHEY'S CHICAGO BAR AND GRILL
36 S. FOREST BEACH - THE METROPOLITAN HOTEL
843-686-5959

Despite a menu that might throw you off, Hinchey's is a typical shore front restaurant with service, food, and atmosphere geared toward the masses that visit the beaches. The food is actually a step up from most of the restaurants in its category, and if we are in the area we don't hesitate to stop here for a barbecue, burger, or Chicago strip steak. As the name implies, Chicago is the theme inside (tapes of Chicago TV, memorabilia, etc.). A fun spot.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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HINOKI
37 NEW ORLEANS RD - ORLEANS PLAZA
843-785-9800

The prettiest Japanese restaurant/sushi bar on the Island, Hinoki is designed to offer a relaxing lunch or dinner with tableside service, where you can enjoy sushi or order from the Island's most extensive and authentic Japanese menu. Cold appetizers may include tuna sashimi three ways (spicy, carpaccio, Dijon), thinly sliced seared filet mignon, or sliced octopus with wasabi tobiko. Hot starters include various tempuras, edamame, dumplings, and a number of broiled fishes. Of course, for entrees there are traditional noodle dishes as well as numerous combinations of fish and beef served stir-fried, broiled, grilled, fried, or as part of soups and/or stews. We recommend accompanying your meal here with a nice cold sake or beer.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: A-
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HUDSON 'S ON THE DOCKS
1 HUDSON RD - OFF SQUIRE POPE RD
843-681-2772

To be fair, this long time Island seafood house is liked by many locals and veteran tourists. Hudson's opened their doors in 1967 and for many tourists it isn't a trip to Hilton Head without a visit. It is your classic seafood place with great oysters and outstanding hush puppies but some dishes are better than others. The menu is certainly enticing, and the ambiance on the docks is great on a tourist island. When if you go, order accordingly. Try a few small things first to see if this one is for you.

Food Rating: B- Overall Rating: B-
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IL CARPACCIO
430 WM HILTON PKWY SUITE 202 - PINELAND STATION
843-342-9949

An integral part of the resurgence of Pineland Station, Il Carpaccio serves Italian food from all regions of the country. You will find veal topped with prosciutto, sage, and white wine sauce representing the north; pasta with shallots, mushrooms, sausage, and Madeira sauce from the Tuscan area; and the more familiar southern section checking in with a thin, crusty pizza. You won't find elegance, but Il Carpaccio isn't striving for it. You will, however, be comfortable, dine on food that ranges from good to excellent, and be treated well. The hot appetizers were the stars here the night we visited. The wine list needs improvement. All in all we enjoy this establishment, with our only problem being the lack of uniformity in the excellence of the cuisine. As mentioned above, some can be quite wonderful, but you just don't know which it might be.

Food Rating: A- sometimes and B+ others Overall Rating: A-
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IT'S GREEK TO ME
11 LAGOON RD - NEAR COLIGNY PLAZA
843-842-4033

Solid Greek restaurant now also in their second beautiful location. The menu lists mostly the classics you would expect, and are prepared well. One of our favorites things to do is enjoy their fried calamari with a glass of wine outside on their rooftop - when you are up there you seem a world away from busy Coligny Plaza. Their soups and greek salad with gyro meat is just amazing!

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: A-
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JUMP & PHIL'S
7B GREENWOOD DR - HILTON HEAD PLAZA
843-785-9070

You will discover Islanders of all ages here having a good time in this locally owned bar/bistro with surprisingly good food. Jump & Phil's succeeds because it accomplishes its exact goal - to provide a friendly place where you can find great hamburgers, crab cake sandwiches, dinner specials such as prime rib, lobster, or ribs, and other typical pub preparations prepared atypically well. It's a late night hang out for the young at heart, but fun all the time. Great prices, too.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B+
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JUST PASTA
1 N FOREST BEACH DR - COLIGNY PLAZA
843-686-3900

A wonderful concept. Just Pasta does best when it is what it says - a restaurant that allows you to choose from a wide variety of pastas, and then select from numerous sauces. We like it a lot. Though the restaurant offers a wider menu of classics like lasagna and chicken Parmesan, or specialties like seafood fra diavlo, these dishes need to be tuned up a notch. A nice touch here is the low carb option (at a pasta place you say?) where you can substitute sautéed veggies or spinach for any pasta.

Food Rating: B+ (pasta) C+ (rest of menu) Overall Rating: B
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KENNY B'S FRENCH QUARTER CAFE
70A POPE AVE - CIRCLE CENTER
843-785-3315

This is billed as a New Orleans Style restaurant with low country influence. Some of the menu offerings are in fact reminiscent of the Crescent City, and some of the dishes can be quite tasty. As long as you don't get carried away and picture yourself dining in the French Quarter, you can have a reasonably nice meal here. We also give Kenny credit for getting away from the claims of New Orleans authenticity, and gearing his dishes to what ingredients are found in this area.

New Orleans influenced dishes such as Po Boys, Crawfish Pie, red beans and rice, and shrimp etoufee are available, and while it is truly difficult to match this food outside Louisiana, Kenny B's does pretty well. The restaurant also serves chicken sandwiches, quiches, and burgers to mollify those who don't know the beauty of New Orleans cuisine. Our major problem with the food here, served in large portions, is a lack of balance. Some of the soups (primarily the gumbo ya-ya) were too salty, some flavors were dashed by the overuse of Tabasco sauce (as in the jambalaya), and some dishes were too bland (red beans and rice). This problem, we hope, can be rectified by a bit more care prior to service. Some good beers are available, but you might have some trouble finding a wine of distinction. We were unimpressed by the Sunday brunch.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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KINGFISHER SEAFOOD AND STEAK
18 HARBOURSIDE LANE - SHELTER COVE HARBOUR
843-785-4442

Kingfisher is a long time favorite of tourists for casual dining, and a choice of locals for its entertainment, which is varied and well done. With a nice menu which includes seafood quesadilla, oysters with a blend of spinach bacon, lobster cream and béarnaise; herb crusted catfish, beef tips bordelaise, filet with fried leeks and béarnaise, a Greek pasta, and lots of fresh fish prepared in interesting manners, we have no problem relaxing at this attractive establishment when we want some music and solid seafood. It isn't gourmet, though the chef is well trained, and the service, while friendly, lacks style. Still, you will probably enjoy your time here.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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KURAMA
9 PALMETTO BAY RD - NEAR THE SEA PINES CIRCLE
843-785-4955

This wildly successful sushi and steak house may be the most crowded restaurant on the Island, day in and day out. It offers fresh sushi and a limited grilled fish menu at each of the two sushi bars, as well as huge (and well prepared) dinners at the traditional Teppanyaki tables. We always love to watch a skilled chef at Japanese steakhouses, and most at Kurama fit the bill. The excellent food is a real bonus. The only problem here is that because of the crowds, you might have a bit of a wait, and usually the service is quite slow. But this allows you to meet your dining companions and strike up new friendships. This is a fun place offering good prices all the time, and some fabulous specials. Check it out.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: A-
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LITTLE VENICE
2 SHELTER COVE LN - SHELTER COVE HARBOUR
843-785-3300

Little Venice is a very traditional Italian restaurant serving the normal dishes such as veal marsala, veal piccata, grouper with olive oil, and different pastas with seafood or meats. The food is average to good, and the wine list is likewise. What Little Venice does have going for it is an attractive view of the harbor at Shelter Cove, which is a nice place to visit and relax in the early evening hours. This is an excellent restaurant for the kids, and the prices are quite reasonable. On some evenings there is entertainment in the square just in front of the restaurant.

Food Rating: B- Overall rating: B
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MARLEYS ISLAND GRILLE
35 OFFICE PARK RD - PARK PLAZA NEAR SEA PINES MAIN GATE
843-686-5800

The surprise of the year in Hilton Head was the resurgence of Marleys from a restaurant that was really not very good for the first few months, to an establishment that we recommend. With a style that is quasi-Caribbean, and food that is fresh and flavorful due to the wood-fired hickory grill and the deft use of spices, Marleys has carved a niche for itself among a broad clientele. Take all of that and add a nice wine list, a rum bar, well made martinis, and an attractive room, and you have the elements of a very nice evening.

Consider at least the whole wood grilled fish of the evening; the delicious spicy tuna sashimi (more like a tartar); the butternut squash soup; the sesame seared yellowfin tuna; the sugar cane scallops; and the Cuban style steak in lime, garlic, cilantro, and cumin. But the menu is vast (with so many choices we can't see how the chef can prepare them all well, though what we recommended above were expertly served), so you will have no trouble finding something you desire. The service is quite efficient and very pleasant, but the ever-present crowd slows things down.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: A-
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MELLOW MUSHROOM
33 OFFICE PARK RD - PARK PLAZA NEAR SEA PINES MAIN GATE
843-686-2474

If you grew up in the Atlanta area in the late 60's or early 70's, you will remember the Mellow Mushroom, with a name that reflected the counter-culture of the day. Well, the child has grown up, branched out, and now offers pizzas, hoagies, salads, and calzones. We admire the many variations available, especially those with a health conscious bent, such as the mega-veggie pizza (sun dried tomatoes, spinach, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, feta, banana peppers, artichoke hearts) and the grilled tofu or grilled tempeh hoagies (the latter with balsamic vinaigrette, grilled onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and sprouts).

Of course, the more traditional pizzas and hoagies are here, too, and you can accompany them with one of about two dozen interesting beers on tap. Mellow Mushroom doesn't offer the best tasting pizza and hoagies on the Island, but it's still perfect for kids, pre and post movie meals, and a great beer experience.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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MI TIERRA
160 FAIRFIELD SQUARE STE #6 - NORTH END OFF HWY 278
843-342-3409

Mi Tierra bills itself as an "authentic Mexican restaurant", and to a degree it succeeds. Set in an inauspicious building on the side of small strip of offices, Mi Tierra presents more than the standard menu one sees in many Mexican establishments. Of course, you can order a tostada or the traditional combination plates (which are all quite good), but you might want to try beef simmered in ancho pepper and chili guajillo, shrimp enchilada with garlic, or a selection of fried seafood. For a beverage, we recommend you stick with beer at Mi Tierra, and enjoy a very casual evening with good, filling food, and prices that are easy on the budget. It's fun.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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MICHAEL ANTHONY'S
37 NEW ORLEANS RD - ORLEANS PLAZA
843-785-6272

Put succinctly, Michael Anthony's is the hottest and the best restaurant on Hilton Head. Offering exquisite food from Chef Michael Cirafesi, and presenting its best face in the front of the house with GM Jill Boyd and manager Chris Miller, this establishment has put it all together. While there are some new restaurants on the Island that may someday rival Michael Anthony's, as of now it is the only restaurant that can compete nationally on all levels.

There are many factors that set Michael Anthony's apart from not only most restaurants on Hilton Head, but anywhere. The owners are all daily (and nightly) involved with each aspect of dining, including customer relations. They have dedicated themselves to perfection and keeping abreast with the best new culinary techniques and wines. They take the time to hire intelligent, attractive, and professional staff. And they insist that all food and ingredients pass chef Michael's trained and talented eye.

Without overstating our case, we can say that almost every dish is, or approaches, perfection. The menu changes, but hopefully you can find scallops, duck, gnocchi (perhaps the best we have tasted anywhere), or veal available on the evening you visit. But don't hesitate to order whatever is offered. Recently, the bar has remained crowded late into the evening as diners sip good wine by the glass and enjoy the terrific atmosphere. Make this your first stop for dining on Hilton Head.

Food Rating: A+ Overall Rating: A+
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NEW YORK CITY PIZZA
81 POPE AVE - HERITAGE PLAZA
843-842-2227

New York City Pizza offers excellent pizza and fair southern Italian fare. Unfortunately, the restaurant itself is usually hot, and lacks any sort of ambiance. Service is mixed. We suggest you take the pizza home. This is a beer and soft drink place.

Pizza Rating: A Other Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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NICK'S STEAK & SEAFOOD
9 PARK LANE (BETWEEN SHIPYARD & PALMETTO DUNES)
843-686-2920

Restaurant critics, neighborhood regulars, and first time visitors always agree about Nick's Steak & Seafood: the atmosphere is great, the food is superb,and the service is outstanding. The restaurant offers a casual atmosphere that is perfect for dining with friends, co-workers, and family members. The creative menu features a wide array of great selections, always made from the highest quality ingredients. Be sure to ask your server about daily specials and other notable menu selections. The staff at Nick's Steak & Seafood are friendly and professional and will ensure that your dining experience is a pleasant one.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: B+
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OLD OYSTER FACTORY
101 MARSHLAND RD - 1.1 MILES OFF MATTHEWS DR
843-681-6040

Not just a seafood restaurant, Old Oyster Factory prepares the entire realm of a Continental menu and does it all well. Added bonuses are a beautiful water view and a wine list that offers over 100 wines by the glass and has received an Award of Excellence from The Wine Spectator. We don't need to recommend anything in particular because all the dishes are uniformly well prepared and tasty. Be aware, however, that this is not your average seafood restaurant price-wise. It is more of a fine restaurant that specializes in seafood, and, thus, your bill may reflect that. One added note is now that The Old Oyster Factory accepts reservations it makes it a sure bet when you visit Hilton Head!
Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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PALMETTO BAY SUNRISE CAFE
86 HELMSMANS WAY - PALMETTO BAY MARINA
843-686-3232

Open from 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Sunrise Café is a welcome, and crowded, addition to the Island. All the food is fresh and well prepared. Breakfasts include the traditional pancakes, French toast, and eggs, but also feature quiche de jour, eggs benedict, frog legs, and handmade crab cakes. For lunch the options are sandwiches, sunrise oysters, artichoke and crab dip, she-crab soup, and wonderful salads.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: A-
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QUARTERDECK
149 LIGHTHOUSE RD - BY LIGHTHOUSE IN HARBOUR TOWN
843-671-2222

This is one of the best places to watch Hilton Head's famed sunsets. A typical menu of burgers, fried shrimp, crab cakes, pasta with seafood, and peel and eat shrimp is available, but we recommend sticking to a light appetizer to nibble with your drink while you watch the sun go down and listen to music on the patio.

Food Rating: C- Overall Rating: B- (A for the sunset)
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REDFISH
8 ARCHER RD - OFF PALMETTO BAY RD
843-686-3388

There is probably no more versatile restaurant on Hilton Head than Redfish. Here you may buy one of the best lunches in town, truly enjoy a dinner that features wonderful preparation with a "Cuban flare," purchase wine from the retail shop in the bar (there is no better wine selection on the Island), and just have a good time with friendly people and service. We like eating in the bar room surrounded by all the wine for sale, and the restaurant permits you to buy retail and drink the selection with your meal for a small corkage charge. This would be great even if the seared tuna, crispy calamari, Latina ribs, spicy cornmeal oysters, and seafood dishes weren't so good. Redfish is in the top ten of our places to recommend.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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REILLEYS
95 MATTHEWS DR-PORT ROYAL PLAZA / 7D GREENWOOD DR-HILTON HEAD PLAZA
843-681-4153 and 843-842-4414

Reilly's is almost a semi Irish Pub and bar offering the traditional Irish foods (Shepherds pie, corned beef and cabbage, etc.), as well as the usual American lunches. They have a good selection of American and imported beers, friendly service, and usually a lively crowd. All the food is good, though this is not the place to eat if one is searching for any kind of healthy cooking. The restaurants are just not geared for it. On the other hand, they are fun and worth the trip, especially sitting outside at the Sea Pines Circle location and watching your favorite sporting event on one of the many flat screen tvs.

Food Rating: B- Overall Rating: B
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SAGE ROOM
81 POPE AVENUE - BACK SIDE OF HERITAGE PLAZA
843-785-5352

Owner/Chef Matt Jording spent a number of years as chef at Santa Fe Cafe, where he learned how to prepare creative food from pro Jim Buckingham. We're happy he brought his talent with him to his own establishment, and even happier to report that he continues to improve upon it. Sage Room offers fine cuisine in an upscale atmosphere, and is frequented by those "in the know" on the Island, including many in the food and beverage industry.

The wine list is good and constantly improving, and the service was first rate during our last visit. As for the food, it rivals most any on the Island, and Matt changes his menu periodically. We can highly recommend the roasted pork tenderloin with blue cheese cream sauce; the butternut squash soup (in season); the Rosemary skewered shrimp with herb cream cheese and lump crab won ton; the filet with poached egg and bearnaise sauce; and delicious rack of lamb with a shitake demi glace. Two thumbs up, as they say, for each dish, as each exhibits that little extra "something" that is the signature of an excellent chef. This is a fun and attractive place to be.

Food Rating: A+ Overall Rating: A
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SAN MIGUELS
9 SHELTER COVE LN - SHELTER COVE HARBOUR
843-842-4555

Located in beautiful Shelter Cove, the restaurant offers itself as more than a "Mexican Cafe," and this writer agrees. It is one of the best Mexican restaurants in town, offering more sophisticated dishes than its competitors. The restaurant is blessed by being able to have an outside bar, some of the best Margaritas in town, and, in season, entertainment. Prices are very reasonable.

Food Rating: B+ Overall Rating: B+
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SANTA FE CAFE
807 WM HILTON PKWY - PLANTATION CENTER
843-785-3838

While there are many establishments that advertise themselves as specializing in southwestern cuisine, most only offer the standard faire of tamales, burritos, and a mesquite grilled meat. Santa Fe Cafe, on the other hand, reminds one of a fine restaurant that has chosen to serve first class southwestern dishes (and priced accordingly). Santa Fe Cafe offers service by friendly and attractive servers in a restrained and lovely setting. The bartenders at Santa Fe Cafe know how to make an excellent margarita and the wine and beer list is very good. The biggest problem my dinner companions and I have at Santa Fe Cafe is getting past the wonderful appetizers, which may include mesquite grilled chicken quesillada, corn meal crusted oysters, southwestern crab cakes, marinated shellfish in lime juice, and a wonderful seafood enchilada. The entrees, especially the meat dishes, are all delicious (my favorite is usually the lamb). Santa Fe boasts a outdoor patio upstairs that is relaxing and romantic. Our only problem, is a menu that has not changed for a long while. But if you have not been, don't miss it. And if you are like us, new menu or not we go back again and again.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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SEA GRASS GRILLE
807 WM HILTON PKWY - PLANTATION CENTER
843-785-9990

This charming room set with low country beach themes is in the same location as was the popular Charlie's Etoile before the latter's move to New Orleans Road. Kathy, and Chef Chad, who had all been with Charlie for 15 years, just seemed naturals to re-open as owners of their own new place, and thus Sea Grass Grille was born.

The menu here is heavy on sea food, and that is just fine. Select from various preparations of Mahi Mahi, salmon (farm raised), tuna, sea scallops, shrimp, tilapia, and whatever is offered as the special. You should be happy with anything here. If you are a land lover, you will find filet, breast of duck, chicken, or a pork chop. The wine list is interesting and offers some excellent selections. This is a solid, if not spectacular, restaurant. Chef Chad has 37 years of experience, and his technical skills are unquestioned. But a little more 21 st Century imagination would go a long way.

Food Rating: B Overall Rating: B
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SEA SHACK
6 EXECUTIVE PARK RD - OFF POPE AVE
843-785-2464

A place known and frequented primarily by the locals, this little restaurant actually does resemble a New England shack. But who cares, when all sorts of fresh fish are available and you can choose to have it grilled, blackened, or fried? There are no pretensions here. You order at the counter as you read the menu off a board, and then sit at an old table and wait for your food. The fried oyster sandwich, the fish based soups, and the grilled grouper were true winners, but the crowd makes it clear that everything is top notch. Large portions, and inexpensive, too. On an Island where the best seafood is usually in the finer restaurants, this is a good find.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: A-
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SKILLETS GRILL & CAFE
J-1 COLIGNY PLAZA
843-785-3131

This large lovely restaurant has expanded its menu and its hours to include home style dinners such as fried beer batter fish, meat loaf, fried shrimp, and fried chicken. More classic dishes such as a grilled pork chop, rainbow trout, grilled salmon, and sautéed calves liver are available, too. Service is still inconsistent, but the restaurant is new.

Of course, the incomparable breakfasts still make anyone's mouth water. Try the "Kitchen Sink" (a layer of pancakes ringed with home fries, sausage, bacon, and topped with poached eggs), the "Beach" (blended home fries, chopped bacon, diced ham, onions, and mushrooms in a blanket of sausage gravy topped with poached eggs), or more traditional dishes such as French toast, Belgian waffles, blintzes, and omelettes. You must have breakfast here at least once a trip.

Food Rating: Breakfast A Dinner B Overall Rating: B+
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SKULL CREEK BOATHOUSE
397 SQUIRE POPE RD
843-681-3663

Skull Creek Boathouse is the ultimate in casual dining on Hilton Head and the newest offering from the SERG Restaurant Group. Dine outside in good weather, or, when cold or rainy, choose between the enclosed boathouse or lodge room with fireplace. Regardless of your location, you will have beautiful views of Skull Creek, and enjoy well-prepared burgers, chicken, salads, sandwiches, and also new twists on sushi, carpaccio or cerviche. With alarge menu there is sure to be something to suit everyone's taste. Also an excellent place to enjoy any sporting event as they have flat screens all over, even outside to enjoy football and a beautiful fall day.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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SMOKEHOUSE
34 PALMETTO BAY RD
843-842-4227

Here we have an establishment that provides outstanding BBQ dishes in a beautiful new location. About three times larger then the location at Coligny Circle enough can't be said about the new place. With outdoor fireplaces and pool tables it is not to be missed. I am not a fan of ribs, but I suggest you don't leave Hilton Head without trying these. They are the best I have ever put in my mouth. Also sample the pulled pork, sliced or pulled brisket, chicken, and/or lots of other appropriate entrees and sides. Enjoy the different spiced BBQ sauces, but don't miss a unique mustard/BBQ preparation. You might find the best hamburger on the Island, too. A great place for the kids, for a family meal, or for some fun at the bar. It's a casual place, and prices are gentle.

Food Rating: A- Overall Rating: A-
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STELLINI
15 EXCUTIVE PARK - OFF POPE AVENUE
843-785-7006

While Stellini serves the traditional "little Italy" fare, most of the food is well prepared. The dining room is intimate and attractive, and the wine list is better than most on the Island. The mozzarella in corozza, the crab meat ravioli, and the shrimp scampi are delicious appetizers. Different types of pastas are served with a variety of red or white sauce. The veal seemed to be better than the poultry, though both are prepared five ways and are quite good, and the seafood tasted excellent. Our favorite is the grouper Piccata. This is an under appreciated establishment.

Food Rating: B+ Overall Rating: B
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SUNSET GRILLE
43 JENKINS RD - AT OUTDOOR RESORTS AT BEGINING OF ISLAND
843-689-6744

Here and there we say we have found a hidden gem, but Sunset Grille, owned and run by Hugh and Linda Lockman, truly qualifies. They don't advertise at all, yet are highly frequented by those in the know, even though their charming place with one of the Island's great views is located within a kind of upscale trailer park. Ignore that, and go. I venture to say that nowhere on the planet will you find a better Bloody Mary, as Hugh uses his own smoked pablano pepper sauce and a secret ingredient. Incredible. And the food is certainly not a let down.

You always begin with fresh biscuits (of varying flavors), and there are three of four specials - nice creations using beef, fish, and whatever else the owners decide on that day. Some of the fabulous dishes on the permanent menu include: Smoked seafood platter (enough for two -- lots of on premises smoked fish with onions, capers, eggs, and herb Dijon and smoked pepper sauces); Cajun fried oysters with a Gorgonzola cream sauce; Crispy fried quail with smoked tomato cream sauce; the best salmon in town served over grits; a 16 oz. roasted veal chop with homemade orange and pablano chutney; a perfect duck breast over black fig, shallot, and port reduction; an a huge burger stuffed with either white cheddar or blue cheese. Salads are excellent.

Sunset is open for lunch most days, as well as Sunday brunch (where the menu changes a bit to include more usual brunch items). Service is professional and friendly. The view at sunset is unparalleled. Hugh's wine list is up to date and very creative, and he likes to chat about it. Prices are as good or better than any restaurant in this class. All in all, this is one of the 4 - 5 on the Island you can't miss.

Food Rating: A+ Overall Rating: A+
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TAPAS
95 MATHEWS DRIVE - PORT ROYAL PLAZA
843-681-8590

As one might imagine, this not so Spanish restaurant serves small portions of a variety of foods each evening (the menu changes frequently), and usually each serving is priced at between $6.95 and $9.50. One builds his or her dinner by choosing the small portions to compliment each other and make a complete meal. The evening we were there the offerings included tempura shrimp; pan seared tuna; venison; blackberry chicken; Greek shrimp; black diamond tenderloin; seafood chowder; and a number of other choices, including three scallop preparations. The chefs at Tapas have graduated from recognized culinary schools, so I was a little disappointed in the majority of dishes. The sauces were often too overpowering and some of the meats overcooked. But some of the food was quite tasty, if not spectacular, and the atmosphere is fun. The wine list at Tapas is better than average by the bottle, though only fair by the glass.

Food Rating: B- Overall Rating: B
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THE STUDIO
20 EXECUTIVE PARK RD - OFF POPE AVE
843-785-6000

It isn't often that we describe our experience at a restaurant as "exciting," but such was the case at The Studio, a brand new endeavor owned by long time (and still young) Island stalwarts Paul (Chef) and Lunonia (artist and front of the house) Colella. Knowing they would need superb help, the Colellas brought Greg Estes on as manager, and all was in place for The Studio to make a quick jump into the Island's top 7 or 8 restaurants.

Great thought has been given to making the diner's evening special. The front room is candle-lit and lovely, while the back room is brighter but contains numerous art pieces to enjoy. A full bar is offered, including an extensive martini list and well put together wine list with a minimum mark-up. Service is friendly and prices are fair. So what's left? Delicious food presented beautifully and sparked by a touch of innovation. The grilled shrimp marinated in Tequila with mango, macadamia nuts, and lime was a taste I had not had before, and the venison chops with a smoked tomato-shallot fondue were perfect on a chilly November evening. We were surprised at the large portion of perfectly prepared duck breast, while the beef and lobster could not have been better.

We look forward to returning for the quail in brandy spiced blueberries, the braised bison short ribs, and the flounder wrapped in coconut crepe with Thai curry sauce. Was there any complaint? For us the keyboard with its electronic drums was a distraction, as the music selection is middle of the road and a bit boring. What happened to a good piano with Gershwin, Porter, and Broadway? That's the way to eat dinner. Nevertheless, we can easily ignore the music if we have to so we can enjoy The Studio. It was a "find.

Food Rating: A+ Overall Rating: A+
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TJ'S TAKE and BAKE PIZZA
11 PALMETTO BAY RD #107-B - ISLAND CROSSINGS
843-842-8253

I have not reviewed too many pizza places, saving them for those shops making what I consider only the best. New to the Island is TJ's, and what a surprise it is. TJ's only makes your pizza for you to bake at home, a problem with most pizzas because home ovens are not hot enough to do a pizza justice. But TJ's uses a special tray that overcomes that problem. And TJ's does a few other things that guarantee quality: freshly made dough using extra virgin olive oil, fresh sauce with no preservatives, and garden picked fresh toppings. There are numerous combinations and sizes from which to choose, as well as an ever expanding inventory of other foods just waiting for your kitchen, such as wings and cookie dough. Trust us when we tell you that you will be happy with these products. You really won't know the pizza was not prepared in a professional oven.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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TRATTORIA DIVINA
33 OFFICE PARK ROAD, PARK PLAZA, SUITE 224
843-686-4442

Italian food over the years has become pedestrian and mundane. Most restaurants are likely to have eggplant parmesan, fettucini alfredo, and veal saltimbocca on their menus. Most people order these because they know what to expect. Trattoria Divina does not cater to those who want pedestrian or mundane Italian food. One step into Trattoria Divina makes you feel as though you are on a tour of Italy. The hostess greets you with a smile and seats you at a clean and well-appointed table. Before you even consider looking at the menu, you are served a sparkling proseco and a chef's choice amuse bouche. As you sip your bubbly, you know that you are encouraged to enjoy your time here; Trattoria Divina does not want you to rush through your meal, but rather savor it.

The servers are very knowledgeable about the menu and the specials. The chef prepares fish to perfection, the menu offers dishes with mussels, scallops, lobster, and shrimp. All of the pasta is handmade and is paired with the perfect sauce. Their house specialty, Cappasante Alla Divina, is divine with hand made tomato linguine, seared scallops, shrimp, and lobster dressed in a lobster cream sauce. Trattoria Divina also offers Filet Mignon, Osso Bucco, and Chicken Milanese, all prepared with care. The creme brulee was a highlight, as was the tiramisu, for dessert. Trattoria Divina offers a lovely wine selection, including, but not limited to, some old-school Italian favorites such as Barolo, Sangiovese, and even Grappa.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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TRUFFLES CAFE
71 LIGHTHOUSE RD -SEA PINES CENTER / 8 EXCUTIVE PARK RD - OFF POPE AVE
843-671-6136 SEA PINES 843-785-3663 POPE

Truffles Cafe, which has been in Sea Pines forever also has two more locations, one off of Pope Avenue and the other in Bluffton. All the locations are attractive with the Pope version being a bit more stylish but they are all a good place to look for an extensive menu offering a variety of dishes. They are open most every day for lunch and dinner, which is a great asset, and the service is friendly and efficient.

Food Rating: B+ Overall Rating: B+
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WILD WING CAFE
72 POPE AVENUE - CIRCLE CENTER
843-785-9464

This is listed solely for the wings. Yes, there is an extensive menu of sandwiches, ribs, burgers, and the like, but while they are fine, they are nothing special. On the other hand, the wings are not only terrific, there are OVER 30 types from which to order. Some of our favorites include: wild west wing, Thai wing, chipotle wing, ginger wing, bubba's bbq wing, and china syndrome wing. Of course, accompany these wings with a bucket of beer from a darn good list and an impressive number of tv for sports - this is fun all around. One last thing though you may have seen a Wild Wing Cafe in other locations remember this is where it all started 20 years ago!

Wing Rating: A+ Overall Rating: B+
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YUMMY HOUSE
2 SOUTH WOOD PARK, SUITE A
843-681-5888

Do you hate the name? Get over it because finally the Island has some top of the line Chinese food. But more than that, Yummy also offers excellent Japanese dishes plus a fine sushi bar. We loved our egg roll, spring roll, garlic shrimp, and scallop Teriyaki with mushrooms. The menu is not extensive, but perhaps that allows the chefs to concentrate on fewer dishes and do a wonderful job. While I usually do not like Chinese buffets because I prefer my Chinese food ultra fresh, at Yummy there is such a crowd for the buffet that it is always being replenished, and so the food is in fact fresh. Bravo. Now if they would only re-think the name.

Food Rating: A Overall Rating: A
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9/17/2014 - 9/14/2017

A Fisherman's Guide to Seafood in our Lowcountry Restaurants
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