The recent James Beard Foundation Hilton Head Surf and Sand dinner in New York highlighted some of the best dining in the Lowcountry.

Clayton Rollison of Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar, Chris Carge of Poseidon, Andrew Carmines of Hudson’s Seafood House On the Docks, Brandon Carter from FARM, Tim Nelson from The Porch at Beach House and Nick Unangst from SERG Restaurant Group shared some of their favorite dishes and local flavors.

Hilton Head Brewing Company has created Java the Bock beer, a “mad brewer’s dream” libation. It’s a classic, big-bodied Weizenbock full of banana and wheat flavors, plus a hint of coffee. The direct-trade coffee is a medium roast with notes of crisp honey, floral aromas and brown sugar.

Bee-Town Mead & Cider is opening in Bluffton. Owner Mike Tripka will start with six products, including hard cider, traditional meads, coffee-flavored meads and fruit-flavored meads. Patrons will be able to taste and purchase a glass of the products. Mead is a fermented alcohol drink that uses honey; Bee-Town plans to use locally sourced ingredients.

The Juice HiveThe Juice Hive and Health Emporium has been named a winner in the 2018 Good Food Awards for its two kimchi creations in the Pickles category. The national award recognizes those making delicious food that is respectful of the environment and connected to communities and cultural traditions. Leslie Rohland, owner of The Juice Hive, was presented with the award at the historic San Francisco War Memorial in January. The winning recipes, Shiso Leaf Kimchi and Low Country Kimchi, can be found year-round on the menu at The Juice Hive and Health Emporium.

Stooges Café in Sheridan Park has new owners. Jobita and Efrain Salgado recently bought the restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch. The Salgados also own El Super Internacional, an international grocery store with locations in Bluffton and Savannah and on Hilton Head Island.

gustoA new Italian restaurant is opening at The Fresh Market Shoppes on Hilton Head Island. Gusto Ristorante is scheduled to open this month and will feature a full bar, extensive wine list and al fresco dining on a garden patio. Executive chef and owner Giancarlo Balestra and his wife, Nancy, plan to bring the vibrant flavors of his hometown Rome to Hilton Head.

Hilton Head chefs Lee Lucier of FISH Seafood and Raw Bar and Clayton Rollinson of Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar are friends who share two passions: food and football. After playfully ribbing each other on social media, diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan Lucier and New England Patriots devotee Rollinson made a friendly wager: The chef whose team loses the Super Bowl will host a pop-up event in the winning chef’s restaurant. The Eagles came out ahead, beating the Patriots 41-33, so Rollinson will be cooking at FISH to benefit Volunteers in Medicine at 6 p.m. March 1.

G Free SpotThe G-Free Spot recently opened in Coligny Plaza and its menu is entirely gluten-free. The bakery offers baked goods such as brownies, cookies, cupcakes, cheesecakes and breads. Nicole Gardner, owner of the bakery, opened the storefront after running an online store. Gardner and her daughter both learned they were gluten intolerant in 2011, which was about the time they moved to Hilton Head. The store is at 1 N. Forest Beach Drive. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays during the offseason and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day during peak season. The bakery also offers wholesale distribution to local restaurants and hotels. 


Explore the culinary landscape of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton at participating restaurants offering “prix fixe” menus. The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Restaurant Week will feature the best in Lowcountry culinary experiences. Modeled after successful restaurant weeks in New York and other cities, thevent features more than 70 of the area’s top award-winning restaurants.

Breakfast and lunch franchise First Watch opened a restaurant in the Grayco Center in Bluffton last month, near Hobby Lobby. The same menu is served from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every day. Breakfast items include avocado toast but also traditional favorites such as bacon, eggs and grits. Fresh-squeezed juices are also offered. This is the restaurant's first location in South Carolina. The nearest First Watch is in Jacksonville, Fla.