March 2019

2019 Restaurant Round-Up

Author: Special to CH2

The Old Fort Pub
As Charles Fraser’s vision of Hilton Head Island was coming to fruition in the early 1970s, he commissioned one of the island’s art community pioneers, illustrator Frank Ballantine, to design a waterfront restaurant overlooking Skull Creek in Hilton Head Plantation, adjacent to one of the area’s Civil War forts. Like its sister restaurant CQ’s, Old Fort Pub was formed from the mind of a man in touch with the Lowcountry and all its nuances. It is these nuances that Pierce and Bonnie Lowrey so deftly protected and nurtured when they purchased Old Fort Pub, along with CQ’s, in 1993.

The only AAA four-star restaurant on Hilton Head Island, eleven years running, Old Fort Pub is a culinary masterpiece with sunset views and charming elegance emanating from every stunning angle and each delicious dish. Recently named in the “Top 100 Scenic Restaurants” by Open Table, and “Best View” by the Food Network, Old Fort Pub has a lot of competition for attention, and Executive Chef Broderick Weaver does not disappoint. Assisted by Chef de cuisine Kynif Rogers, his menu focuses on American cuisine with a French accent, featuring sustainable seafood and local farm-sourced produce.

With four decades of staying power, Old Fort Pub is the place for a special occasion, an everyday treat, or where you go to feed your culinary imagination. Guests come for the remarkable sunset view and then are simply wowed by the service and the food. Old Fort Pub has deftly balanced Fraser’s original vision with the future, nurturing guests again and again.

65 Skull Creek Drive,
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
(843) 681-2386

Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar
New and improved doesn’t begin to describe the culinary advances at Alexander’s since 2017’s change of ownership and renovation. You owe it to yourself to experience Executive Chef Sean Carroll’s updated menu and creative spin, taking Southern classics and Lowcountry cuisine to the next level. Signature dishes include Baked Flounder Rockefeller; Jumbo Diver Scallops with smoked pancetta and sundried tomato emulsion; and tender, juicy Slow Roasted Prime Rib.

Owned and operated by Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, as Alexander’s evolves, it continues to be casual, relaxed and family-friendly, but with a touch more panache. The spring menu is bursting with fresh, light offerings, along with preparations and flavor profiles that are relatable with a unique twist. Along with locally-sourced seafood and homegrown produce presented with an unexpected flair, don’t miss the hottest appetizer in town: Popcorn Flash-Fried Calamari with wasabi lime drizzle. It’s gluten-free!

In addition to their exciting new menu offerings, seasonal additions, and nightly specials, Alexander’s is planning two not-to-be-missed special wine dinners over the next two months, affording Carroll and his staff the opportunity to further push the envelope towards a more upscale dining experience. Join them on Tuesday, March 26 for a culinary treat accompanied by selections from JUSTIN Winery or on Thursday, April 25 to enjoy the Duckhorn Vineyard Wine Dinner.

Grab reservations now for Easter Brunch, Sunday, April 21, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and enjoy a three-course plated brunch that is bound to surprise and delight. And check out the website for a peek at what’s new and tasty every night, all year round.

76 Queen’s Folly Rd.
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 785-4999

Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza
Big Jim’s BBQ, Burgers & Pizza restaurant is located at the Robert Trent Jones golf course in Palmetto Dunes Resort, but you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the deliciousness. The restaurant serves three meals a day and is a magnet for families and visitors in addition to golfers enjoying a day on the links.

With an emphasis on Lowcountry Southern cuisine, the menu has recently undergone revisions to hone its focus on East Coast/Southern-style barbecue, including a new fall-off-the-bone baby back rib presentation and melt-in-your-mouth barbecue sandwiches. Under the leadership of Sean Carroll, executive chef for Palmetto Dunes Resort, Chef Patrick Blankenship brings his experience and expertise to the pizza side of the Big Jim’s menu, making all the dough and sauces in-house. Other selections include boneless wings, the best burgers in town, and unusual pizza toppings (cheesesteak pizza anyone?)

The breakfast menu has also been elevated to a new level of scrumptiousness with unique items such as Loaded Hash Browns and Big Jim’s Meat Omelet in addition to classic egg presentations, breakfast sandwiches and burritos.

Big Jim’s offers a children’s menu, take-out service, catering and, of course, beer, wine and Happy Hour specials. Enjoy big screen TVs and expanded outdoor seating overlooking the Jones course—the perfect place to relax and watch your favorite sports all year round, while soaking up the beauty and splendor of one of Hilton Head Island’s most magnificent golf courses.

7 Trent Jones Lane
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 785-1165

Dunes Catering & Events
Organizing, planning and hosting an event of any size can be stressful, often taking some of the fun out of the occasion for the host. Dunes Catering & Events invites you to relax and enjoy your own party while they take care of the cooking, serving, decorating, and cleanup.

Dunes Catering & Events specializes in oceanfront events, offering the Dunes House, located inside Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. With its sweeping views of the ocean, 800-square-foot covered venue with adjoining 1,000-square-foot deck, the Dunes House can be rented for any type of event from a cocktail party to a formal wedding reception.

Other on-property venues include Alexander’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, a perfect lagoon-side setting for lunches, brunches or a rehearsal dinner; Centre Court Pavilion, a bright, airy, all-in-one conference center with moveable walls to accommodate various size events including casual luncheons, dinner buffets, business meetings, and more; and Arthur Hills Golf Course, offering dining indoors, al-fresco or in the shade of a tent overlooking the famous championship golf course—an outstanding backdrop for a business event, rehearsal dinner or reception. Off-site catering to your home or business is also available.

But amazing venues are just the beginning of your memory in the making. Dunes Catering & Events offers a broad array of menus and service options for creating the experience of your dreams. From plated breakfasts, lunches and dinners, buffets or action stations, to elegant fine dining, you can have it your way. Extensive culinary options include everything from simple boxed lunches to sophisticated multi-course gourmet meals—and everything in between. Featuring a new menu created by talented Executive Chef Sean Carroll, items include local, fresh ingredients that are sure to impress your guests. All menus can be customized to your exact needs, allowing flexibility to match your unique, creative vision.

Whether you are planning a family gathering, professional corporate event or an elegant wedding, the experienced staff at Dunes Catering & Events can help bring your ideas to life. From beginning to end, they will work with you to ensure that the venue, décor, food and atmosphere reflect the standard you expect. Staffed with professionals from an event planner to an experienced culinary team, Dunes Catering & Events will help you enjoy an unforgettable, seamless, and stress-free event.

4 Queen’s Folly Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

MidiCi Italian Kitchen
A Taste of Naples

Come to MidiCi Italian Kitchen and share classic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, salads and desserts made with fresh ingredients in the open kitchen. Enjoy the moment with a glass of wine, local craft beer, signature cocktails, or Italian coffee. MidiCi brings friends together in a warm, upbeat environment in the belief that people are the best thing that can happen to anyone.

Now Open on Sea Pines Circle!
7 Greenwood Drive, Suite C
Reilley’s Plaza
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 842-7999


Skillets Cafe & Grill
Skillets Café was established in 1993 as a small, family-owned and operated breakfast bistro, catering to breakfast customers at the south end of the island. With ample tables and their prime Coligny Plaza location, Skillets Cafe and Grill introduced dinner in 2005 and is now one of the best places around to lean back and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Abundant “fresh from the sea” specialties also pepper the menu in a come-as-you-are family atmosphere with prices that won’t break the bank. All of your favorite fried and grilled seafood combos are offered in addition to southern specialties like BBQ Ribs, Pork Chops and Fried Chicken. For the more sophisticated palate, Skillets Cafe and Grill offers house specialties like the Baked Grouper or Ribeye with your choice of sides. Even Fido is welcome on the expansive porch for alfresco dining; Skillets offers a Lucky Dog menu just for pampered pooches.

Pasta aficionados will welcome back the Create Your Own Pasta dishes (including gluten-free varieties) with too many flavor combinations to count. Prime Rib takes center stage on Sunday Nights, served with vegetables and a baked potato for only $21. Not terribly hungry? Then just swing in for a post-beach cocktail at Happy Hour as you take in the hustle and bustle of the South End’s “downtown,” Coligny Plaza.

1 N. Forest Beach Dr., Unit J
Hilton Head Island, 29928
843) 785-3131

B’s Kitchen
B’s Kitchen has moved its base of operations to the kitchens of Old Fort Pub and CQ’s. Under the guidance of chefs Brody Weaver and Kynif Rogers, new menu items have been added and the bar has been raised on quality.

New pasta additions include made-from-scratch lasagna, Italian sausage- and pepper-stuffed ravioli, and house made pasta with Bolognese sauce. Made with the freshest and best ingredients, B’s Kitchen’s delicious dishes are a great option for busy bees juggling careers, children and full lives. Just re-heat in the oven, and dinner is on the table in less than an hour—with no messy pots and pans to scrub later. Spend quality time with your family and leave the cooking to us.

Pre-order online from B’s Kitchen at or Curbside pick-up available at both locations.

63 Skull Creek Dr.
Hilton Head Plantation
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

140 Lighthouse Rd.
Sea Pines Plantation
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte
A Savannah native, Charlie Golson’s interest in the French language and culture took him to Paris in the early 1970s. After a long stint in the fast-paced hotel kitchens of Washington D.C., he was ready to move back closer to home and start a family. It was at that time he was able to open a one-room French bistro that would showcase the food and culture of which he was so fond. The restaurant has grown over the years, but the “Green Star” remains steadfast in offering the finest ingredients the Lowcountry has to offer with a menu that is handwritten daily.

No longer the small, one-room bistro, the restaurant has since moved to a spacious location on New Orleans Road, which many mistake for a welcoming Southern home. In true family fashion, Charlie’s children now carry on the restaurant tradition. Palmer, Charlie’s son spends much of his time in the kitchen researching local purveyors and meticulously butchering fresh fish and meats on a daily basis. Charlie’s daughter, Margaret, is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list.
Focusing predominately on fresh local seafood with a French, Lowcountry flare, Charlie’s is the place for good food, good wine and unforgettable memories, all enjoyed in a quaint French country atmosphere.

We were fortunate to add Chef Josh Castillo to our extended family in 2017. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx, Josh personifies the American tale of lifting oneself up by the bootstraps. He can attribute his culinary passion to two childhood memories: watching his Grandmother cook in her kitchen and watching Julia Child. He began his formal training at TCL while working as an assistant mechanic at Dataw. When he saw an opening for an internship at Chechessee Creek Club, he seized the day, and was promoted to sous chef within a year. Josh has delighted guests with his culinary creations in some of the Lowcountry’s most recognizable kitchens. His work juxtaposes unlikely combinations while paying homage to French tradition.
Suivez-moi à L’etoile Verte! Follow me to the Green Star!

“Just because it’s not good for your heart, doesn’t mean it’s not good for your soul”—Josh Castillo

8 New Orleans Rd.
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 785-9277

Santa Fe Cafe
We are a Southwest restaurant that has been here for over 25 years. Southwestern cuisine is a fusion of Mexican and American cuisine and brings out the best of both, in my opinion, although I might be a little biased. We also have the only outdoor rooftop bar, which has just undergone a major renovation. We tore everything out from the floors up and came up with a floor plan that is a lot of fun! New bar, new lounge areas and TVs to watch your favorite game.

I am proud to say we have the same staff, with a few additions, as the day we took over, 12 years ago. They are family to me, and you can feel that when you walk in the door. They know the menu, and they know how to make sure you have a great experience here.

For all of you who have come to make Santa Fe a regular stop, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Come see the new cantina! For those of you who have not found us yet, give us a try. We always look forward to meeting new friends and showing you what the Southwest is all about.- Marshall Sampson

807 William Hilton Parkway, #700
Plantation Shopping Center
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 785-3838

CQ’s Restaurant
Opened in 1973, and nestled under the crooked and lovely live oaks in Harbour Town, CQ’s was originally designed by illustrator Frank Ballantine as his studio, with the architecture reflecting his study of Lowcountry rice barns. Interest in what was going on in the unique building was so great that Ballantine gave up the idea of a peaceful artist’s colony, and CQ’s was born.

In 1993, new owners Pierce and Bonnie Lowrey found a way to take the restaurant to the next culinary level, while maintaining its charming history. Under Bonnie’s design direction, the interior is filled with décor, treasures, and murals reflecting the history of Sea Pines and Harbour Town; its dining rooms are named with a nod to the land’s heritage: Plantation Room, Rice Field Room. CQ’s is the quintessential Hilton Head stop just off the golf course or for a sparkling special occasion.

Guiding the kitchens at CQ’s and its sister restaurant Old Fort Pub, Executive Chef Broderick Weaver focuses the CQ’s menu on American cuisine with a Lowcountry influence. On any given day, the professionally trained staff creates an exceptional dining experience, practicing their art with sustainable seafood and local resources from area farmers and fishermen.
Ballantine imagined his rice barn-inspired studio as an artist’s retreat, and remarkably, that is exactly what it became. The medium may be a bit different than his pens, pencils, and paint brushes, but the result truly honors his legacy.

140 Lighthouse Road,
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 671-2779

Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar
An American bistro with Southern soul, Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar sources fresh ingredients from local farmers, purveyors and waterways. Since opening in 2013, Hilton Head Island native and chef/owner Clayton Rollison has blended his passion for seasonal, sustainable ingredients with a love of Southern cuisine to offer options from refined comfort food to more adventurous dishes. The bar program features rotating draft cocktails and craft cocktails by award-winning bartender Paul Rabe, along with a robust wine list, beers and spirits.

841 William Hilton Parkway, Unit A
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 681-3474

Tropical Smoothie Cafe
Justin Franklin & Matt Wyrick are extremely excited to open the first of many Tropical Smoothie Cafes here in the Lowcountry! Our cafe encourages healthier lifestyles by serving better-for-you smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has a wide variety of catering options and also offers upgraded app technology and enhanced mobile ordering capabilities to further elevate the digital and dine-in cafe experience and emphasize the brand’s focus on convenience. Our mission is simple: EAT BETTER & FEEL BETTER!

We have just rolled out our new Almond Milk Strawberry Granola & Mango Turmeric smoothie as well as our all new Super Food items for a Super YOU,! Come on down and visit our amazing team at 1127 Fording Island Road between Hobby Lobby and the PGA TOUR Superstore off of Highway 278.

1127 Fording Island Rd.
Bluffton, SC 29910
(843) 836-2018

Island Bagel & Deli
Island Bagel specializes in authentic New York-style boiled bagels. We make 14 flavors of bagels every day, from scratch, and 13 handmade cream cheese flavors. You can also get breakfast sandwiches made to order with eggs, cheese and your choice of ham, bacon, or sausage. Of course, we also have smoked salmon for a traditional lox and cream cheese bagel.

For lunch, you can build your own sandwiches on bagel or deli bread with applewood smoked ham, certified angus roast beef or fresh roasted turkey breast, cooked in house and hand pulled for maximum flavor. We also offer freshly made chicken, egg, and tuna salad as well as homemade pimento cheese. Or, you can select one of our specialty sandwiches on hoagie rolls, such as the “our Favorite,” with turkey, crisp bacon, provolone cheese with avocado spread, plain cream cheese, lettuce and tomatoes served hot on a toasted hoagie roll.
Come in and taste the difference.

South Island Square
841 William Hilton Pkwy.
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 686-3353

The French Bakery
Hilton Head Island is synonymous with, beautiful wide beaches, lush green golf courses, clay tennis courts and The French Bakery. The bakery has been serving locals and welcoming tourists since 1998. Serving hundreds of customers a day, it seems the bakery is flourishing in its new location in Shelter Cove Community Park and Broad Creek, where guests now have plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy a waterfront view.

This charming French-inspired restaurant serves some of the most wonderful freshly baked pastries, breads, and cakes, along with an extensive menu made from scratch. Chef Tomek and his team are constantly creating specials that are sure to keep you coming back to see what’s new.

Whether you dine-in and experience the warm, cozy café; grab a coffee and croissant at the pastry bar for takeaway; or enjoy outdoor seating, you’ll be immersed in the charming ambiance that is uniquely The French Bakery.
The Belka family, originally from Poland, acquired the French Bakery in 2012. Six years later, Marek Belka and his team continue to offer quality dishes using only the finest ingredients. Come enjoy The French Bakery… Simply Irresistible!
Bon Appetite!

28 Shelter Cove Ln #120,
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 342-5420

HHI Hospitality
Hilton Head Island native and entrepreneur, Nick Bergelt is at the helm of some of the most creative restaurant concepts to hit the Island in some time. Under his guidance, Charbar Co., Holy Tequila, Healthy Habit and the Whiskey Room have flourished as unique places for locals and visitors alike to dine and hang out. The menus are decidedly modern at all locations, with seasonal craft cocktails serving as the perfect sidekick to the cuisine. Have you been to all of them yet?

Voted Hilton Head’s Best Salads every year since they opened in 2016, as well as Best Counter Service, this local purveyor of delicious and healthy fare features organic coffee, breakfast sandwiches, avocado toasts, chopped salads, wraps, bowls, juices and smoothies. It’s the perfect spot to grab a bite for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Voted Hilton Head’s Best Margarita, Best Taco and Best Mexican Restaurant! This spot strikes a perfect balance between chic lounge meets casual cantina. They feature award winning cuisine and over 65 tequilas, so whether your straight off the golf course or out for a night on the town, it is always a fun time with live flamenco music every night!

Charbar has been voted Hilton Head’s Best Burger every year since 2012 and their burgers ranked in the Top 20 Burgers in the World at the 2018 World Burger Championship. Additionally, they feature live local musicians every day of the week.

This new addition via the folks at Charbar features a swanky lounge with a modern vibe where adults can indulge in over 100 rare and premium bourbons and whiskeys, in addition to inspired craft cocktails and late night bites from the Charbar Co culinary team.

Healthy Habit
55 Mathews Dr,
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
(843) 686-5600

Holy Tequila
33 Office Park Road, Suite 228
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 681-8226

Charbar Co.
33 Office Park Road, Suite 213
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
(843) 785-2427
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Whiskey Room
33 Office Park Road, Suite 215
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

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