Hilton Head Island boasts beach weather approximately five months out of the year. When fall arrives golf becomes the rage. Located in the southern tip of South Carolina, only 20 miles north of Savannah Georgia, this island of nearly 38,000 residents hosts some 2.5 million visitors annually. Although there are many attractions some local food fair goes unnoticed. These quaint little establishments are visited daily by locals.
The Sea Shack:
What appears to be a hole in the wall in some 1970’s strip mall is actually a local favorite for fresh seafood and down-home southern cooking. Since 1998 it has grown to draw diner crowds that wrap around the building in peak season. Rachael Ray visited the Sea Shack placing it on her $40 per day Food Network show. You can order from the standard menu or off the catch of day blackboard. All seafood can be prepared fried, grilled or blacken. It’s casual dining in a laid back atmosphere with a friendly energetic staff.Rusty’s Favorite: Blackened Grouper (off the blackboard), Potatoes Au Gratin (when available) and homemade slaw.
Kenny B’s French Quarter Café:
Opened in 1999 and tucked in the corner of a strip mall anchored by a grocery store Kenny B’s French Quarter is definitely New Orleans come to town (or South Carolina if you will). The fun and quasi-artsy atmosphere will have you jamming bite after bite of perfect jambalaya in your mouth while Bourbon Street jazz transports you to the Louisiana gulf coast. You will march shrimp by shrimp straight to your taste buds while you foot taps to an old gospel-like version of When the Saints Go Marching in. The owners are friendly and all menu items priced from $5-$15 will leave you and your appetite in rapture.Rusty’s Favorite: The Crawfish Etouffee. I don’t know what they put in their rue, but it’s downright medicinal!
I love going into the more commonly known Italian chain restaurant’s restroom. While, ah, powdering the preverbal nose piped in through the overhead speakers is a voice translating common English phrases into Italian. At Il Carpaccio the Italian you hear is not a voice on compact disc. This bistro comes complete with true Italians and made to order authentic Italian cuisine. Entrees are traditional Italian as well as a marriage of old world Italy and local seafood. The thin crusted made to order original artesian pizzas will satisfy pizza coinsure kings. This is not New York’s pizza pie or Chicago’s’ deep dish. Il Carpaccio offers approximately ninety varieties of wine from Italy, Germany and the U.S. to name a few. The atmosphere is quiet. Any patron can choose to dine inside or under the cabana overlooking the Pineland Station Mall pond. Il Carpaccio is and experience that will transport the diner to the Canale Grande of Venice minus the Venetian boats and serenade.