In honor of Alice and Lloyd’s 32nd anniversary of the day they met, we went to dinner at one of Lloyd’s favorite restaurants in Hilton Head, Red Fish. Josh and I had eaten there once before, a few years ago, though I don’t really remember what we had. The restaurant has an adjoining wine shop where you can pick out bottles of wine at retail prices, and then pay a corkage fee to drink the bottle with your dinner. They also have a regular wine list, so I’m not sure what is the best deal, but prices in general seemed pretty reasonable.
After placing our orders, we were starving so we eagerly dug into the bread, which was a soft white bread with a chewy interior that had good flavor but wasn’t very crispy on the outside. Still, it was nice and warm, and it paired wonderfully with the accompanying soft butter and a tangy green chimichurri sauce that was a somewhat unusual but tasty offering with bread.
Bread with butter and chimichurri sauce
For our appetizers, Josh and I shared the BLT and the fried oysters. The fried oysters were served in an edible spring roll shell with a jicama slaw and tasso aioli. The oysters were freshly fried so they were nice and crispy on the outside. They didn’t have quite as much briny flavor as I would have hoped but they were still large and decently juicy inside. The aioli had a bit of a spicy kick to it, which was nicely tempered by the refreshing jicama slaw. It was a very nicely done appetizer, and a really large portion as well.
Fried oysters with jicama slaw and tasso aioli
The BLT was actually fried green tomatoes, prosciutto, spinach and goat cheese all layered and stacked into a tall tower. The tomatoes were also perfectly fried, and it was an unusual combination that really worked well together. The tomatoes were slightly sweet and slightly sour, the prosciutto was salty, the goat cheese tangy, and everything was bound together with a spicy adobo sauce underneath.
BLT – stacked fried green tomatoes, prosciutto, spinach, and goat cheese over adobo sauce
For our entrees, Josh and I shared the kobe beef burger and the lowcountry shrimp and grits. The shrimp and grits were served with chorizo gravy, fried okra, and sauteed kale. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and tender, and I loved the crispy little fried okra bites. The chorizo gravy was a bit heavy but it made the dish really hearty. While it wasn’t exactly summertime fare, it was still very tasty and well prepared.
Shrimp and grits with chorizo gravy, fried okra, and sauteed kale
I was really curious to try the kobe burger, which was also topped with foie gras. I’ve never had a “fancy pants” burger before, like the famous and uber-expensive DB burger by Daniel Boulud. Red Fish’s version featured ground kobe beef with foie gras, truffles, pepper jack cheese, and crispy onions. It also came with a port demi-glace on the side for dipping. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with this burger, as there was perhaps too much going on and all the flavors were muddled. I didn’t taste the foie gras or the truffles, which two of my favorite ingredients. The beef itself had a slightly funky flavor, more like a braised pot roast rather than a grilled piece of meat. The ciabatta bun also did nothing to help the burger, as it was dense and chewy and kind of overwhelmed the meat patty. I’m sad to say that I prefer a simpler burger without all of the fancy ingredients. The burger did come with truffled fries that were pretty tasty. The menu said steak fries but they were actually standard thin cut fries, which was a relief because I’m not a fan of steak fries. They were doused in truffle oil but weren’t so overpowering, which was good.
Kobe beef burger with foie gras, truffles, pepper jack cheese,crispy onions, and truffled fries
We got a side order of lobster macaroni and cheese for the table to share. The macaroni was chewy orecchiette pasta and it was covered in a rich, creamy sauce. There were visible chunks of lobster mixed in, and it was pretty decadent but not too heavy. This is definitely a must-order dish if you ever go to Red Fish.
Lobster macaroni and cheese
We all decided to split a dessert, which was called the Chocolate “Twix” Bar because it has similar components to an actual Twix bar. There’s a shortbread cookie base that’s covered in caramel and scoops of vanilla ice cream. Then the entire thing was covered in a chocolate coating. It was a simple flavor combination but the result was pretty fantastic, and very refreshing on a hot summer day.
Chocolate “Twix” Bar dessert
Overall we all really enjoyed our meal at Red Fish. From beginning to end everything was well prepared and well composed. The only dish I didn’t love was the kobe burger, but not because it wasn’t cooked properly, but because it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Josh liked it a lot and thought it was a great burger. Portions were pretty huge, and we were absolutely stuffed by the time we left. Service was fast and friendly. We told our waitress at the beginning of our meal that we were trying to make a movie (we went to see The Other Guys), and she made sure our dishes came out at an efficient pace. This is definitely a restaurant we will come back to the next time we’re in Hilton Head.
8 Archer Rd.
Hilton Head, SC