A 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.
Taste the Lowcountry
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.
The 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.
Kroger on Hilton Head will now allow patrons to sip beer and wine while they shop for groceries. The store has opened a small bar with a selection of beer and wine that customers can purchase during their visits. The bar will be located between the grocery store’s deli and the Starbucks. Kroger plans to work with local breweries and wineries to stock the bar with Lowcountry beverages.
Mullets, a food truck that features ocean-to-table seafood dishes, will open behind Barnacle Bill’s Fresh Seafood Market on Hilton Head Island. The grab-and-go food truck received approval from the Town of Hilton Head Island’s Design Review Board in January. Greg Berkes, the owner of Barnacle Bill’s, created the food truck to serve islanders searching for a fast, fresh-caught seafood dining experience. The food truck is expected to hit the road in the spring.
Celebrity chef Sean Brock has debuted his newest Savannah restaurant spot, Husk. Husk is an Appalachian- and Lowcountry-inspired culinary experience that began in Charleston in 2010. Brock won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast in 2010 and is a four-time finalist for Outstanding Chef. He has competed on “Iron Chef America” and his cookbook “Heritage” is a New York Times best-seller. Husk’s menu will change daily and the restaurant is open seven nights a week. For more information, call 912-349-2600.
The Beard House Restaurant in Greenwich Village is hosting an event to showcase the culinary arts scene of Hilton Head Island, sponsored by the James Beard Foundation The “Hilton Head Surf and Sand” event will feature Andrew Carmines of Hudson’s Seafood House On the Docks, Clayton Rollison of Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar, Chris Carge of Poseidon, Brandon Carter of FARM, Tim Nelson of Beach House and Nick Unangst of SERG Restaurant Group. “Hilton Head Surf and Sand” will be held Feb. 7 and tickets are $175 each. For more information, call 212-627-2308.
A red-and-white striped craft beer can that features the Harbour Town Lighthouse is now being sold exclusively at Sea Pines Resort. River Dog Brewery’s Lighthouse Blonde is a light and crisp ale made specifically for the resort. It’s on draft at all Sea Pines Resort restaurants and can be purchased in six-packs at Harbour Town Golf Links and Plantation Golf Club.