Nothing heats up the winter menu on Hilton Head Island like Chamber Restaurant Week, which brings local diners out in droves to enjoy value-priced menus at their favorite eateries or explore new ones.
Chamber Restaurant Week returns for the eighth year from Jan. 23-30 with a wide array of Lowcountry restaurants participating in hopes of filling their dining rooms during the island’s quieter season. For one week every January, local restaurants put the offseason on the back-burner as business picks up to levels typically expected only during the high tourism season.
“It has a great impact,” said Chris Katon, director of restaurants at the Sea Pines Resort. “Traditionally it’s when all the locals come out to visit our restaurants and we love to have them.”
Sea Pines has two restaurants participating this year – Coast at the Sea Pines Beach Club and Links American Grill in the newly-renovated Harbour Town Golf Links clubhouse – and both are offering two- and three-course prix fixe menus.
“We always get a great response from it,” Katon said. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase our chefs and give a sampling of what they can do in the kitchen.”
Katon admits he often finds himself on the other side of the Chamber Restaurant Week experience, too.
“Personally, I take advantage of the program just as much as everyone else,” he said. “If I have the night off during Chamber Restaurant Week, my family will go out to dinner on a night we otherwise might not and go somewhere we wouldn’t normally go. It’s a great week to get out and try something different.”
Modeled after similar popular events held in New York City and Los Angeles, the annual event continues to grow locally. More than 75 restaurants participated last year, and that number figures to rise even higher in coming years. Some of this year’s participants include island favorites Charlie’s L’etoile Verte and ELA’s Blu Water Grille and Bluffton hotspots May River Grill, Truffles Café and Red Fish Bluffton.
“Chamber Restaurant Week provides a great opportunity for restaurants to bring in business during the winter season,” said Dorothy Guscio, chamber events manager. “Growing every year in popularity and participation, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
From waterfront dining at Skull Creek Boathouse or island icon Hudson’s On The Docks, to Italian cuisine at OMBRA Cucina Rustica or Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana, or even barbecue at The Smokehouse or One Hot Mama’s, there’s something for every palate.
Diners can make reservations now to ensure their opportunity to check out the special menus at their favorite spots or make sure they get a table at the hot new restaurant they’ve been waiting to try. See which restaurants are participating and what they’ll have on the menu at www.ChamberRestaurantWeek.com.
Big Bamboo Cafe
Black Marlin Bayside Grill
Charlie's L'etoile Verte
Coast, Oceanfront Dining
Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse
Crane's Tavern Steakhouse & Seafood
ELA'S Blu Water Grille
Hugo's Seafood & Steakhouse
Links, an American Grill
Marley's Island Grille
May River Grill
Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana
Nicks Steak and Seafood
OMBRA Cucina Rustica
Old Oyster Factory
One Hot Mama's
Red Fish Bluffton
Red Fish Hilton Head
Sea Grass Grille
Skillets Cafe & Grill
Skull Creek Boathouse
The Jazz Corner
Truffles Cafe Belfair
Truffles Cafe Sea Pines