FREE at more than 350 locations in the Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort and Savannah areas. Lowcountry Leisure Guide provides a comprehensive view of what Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort and Savannah has to offer in the way of Shopping, Dining, Activities and Calendar of Events. If you would like to preview the guides before your arrival, you can view the guide ONLINE.
872 Fording Island Road | Bluffton | (843) 706-9741
Longhorn Steakhouse Outlaw Ribeye RecipeTest
They say the Longhorn Steakhouse Outlaw Ribeye is so good it is criminal. If prepared right, this juicy marbling, perfectly seasoned and fire-grilled 18 oz. of bone-in flavor will certainly become a favorite.
• USDA Choice 18 Oz. Bone-In Ribeye
• Longhorn Char Seasoning
1. Prepare the open flame.
2. Char grill with a light coat of canola oil.
3. Season Outlaw Ribeye coast to coast, both sides, with Longhorn Char Broil Seasoning.
4. Grill steak to appropriate doneness.
5. Top with our Longhorn signature Lemon Butter Sauce.
Recipes Courtesy of Longhorn Steakhouse.
Choo Choo BBQ XpressTest
129 Burnt Church Rd. | Bluffton | (843) 815-7675
5 Facts About Old Town BlufftonTest
1. Old Town is a great destination for visitors.
Situated along a natural bluff overlooking the May River, Old Town Bluffton features historic homes converted into chic boutiques, treasure-filled antique shops, caffeine-rich cafés and colorful art galleries. Wander through Bluffton’s shady streets, play cornhole, sample happy hour specials and discover beautiful works of art by Lowcountry artists.
2. History lives on Bluffton’s streets.
Although some of Bluffton’s homes were burned in 1863 during the Civil War, the historic structures that remain offer insight into the mercantile society of river traders who once occupied them. Today, Calhoun Street has the community’s densest concentration of historic homes and art galleries.
3. Southern hospitality is always in style.
The historic Heyward House
The Heyward House, located at 70 Boundary St., is the Official Welcome Center for the Town of Bluffton, offering free maps, information and more. This historic home, built in 1841 and inspired by planters’ homes in the British West Indies, is open for guided tours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
4. Bluffton offers memorable
By Jay fraser4 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Popular annual events in Bluffton include Mayfest, which originally started in 1978 and unites local artisans and musicians to celebrate local culture, and the Historic Bluffton Arts & Seafood Festival, which features original art, kayak tours, a 5K run and plenty of fresh, local seafood.
Southern Barrel Brewing Co.Test
375 Buckwalter Place Blvd. | Bluffton | (843) 837-2337
Five Guys Burgers and FriesTest
1019 Fording Island Road Suite 101 G | Bluffton
Corks Wine Co.Test
14 Promenade St. | Bluffton | (843) 815-5168
4376 Bluffton Pkwy. | Bluffton | (843) 757-1999
Okatie Ale HouseTest
25 William Pope Dr. | Bluffton | (843) 706-2537
Burnt Church & Bruin Road | Bluffton | (843) 290-8585
1262 Fording Island Rd. | Bluffton | (843) 705-7001
Sigler’s Rotisserie & SeafoodTest
12 Sheridan Park Circle | Bluffton | (843) 815-5030
11 State of Mind Way | Bluffton | (843) 757-7427
The Cottage CafeTest
38 Calhoun St. | Bluffton | (843) 757-0508
Crab Cakes RecipeTest
Crab Cake 1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat
Handful of flat-leaf Italian parsley
Red pepper, diced small
½ cup Secret Imperial Crab Cake Mix
Handful of fresh bread crumbs
Remoulade sauce to taste
1 gallon mayonnaise
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. lemon pepper
1 Tbsp. curry powder
2 ½ Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 zest of lemon
3 dashes of Tabasco
1 red pepper to every 2 lbs. of crab meat
Put jumbo lump crab in a mixing bowl. Crack egg over the crabmeat and scatter parsley over the mixture. Add diced red pepper, Secret Imperial Crab Cake Mix, fresh bread crumbs (not too much) and mix gently by hand making sure the egg is well incorporated. Cover mixture and let it sit in the refrigerator for approximately one hour. Mold crab cakes into preferred size and brown on each side until done. Top with remoulade sauce to taste. Enjoy!
Recipes Courtesy of
1017 Fording Island Rd. | Bluffton | (843) 706-9222
Sunny Side Up: Where to grab Breakfast in BlufftonTest
Just like an omelet, Bluffton may not look like much from the outside, but is filled with some delectable ingredients. Bluffton may be quaint and small, but it houses some of the best restaurants and shopping around the Lowcountry, making it the number one place to retire, according to Forbes. With such a small community, there are bound to be amazing, locally-owned mom-and-pop restaurants that only the locals frequent, but are worth going out of the way for any visitor. Here few that you’ll definitely want to stop at for breakfast in Bluffton:
One of Bluffton’s staples, Cahill’s Market, has been around for years serving as both a fresh market for locals and tourists alike, and as a restaurant, serving brunch and lunch during the week and adding dinner on for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Famous for their deep southern food and country atmosphere, Cahill’s provides one of the best dining experiences in Bluffton, in a barn to boot! Checkered picnic table cloths and down home cooking make Cahill’s ones of the most unique and fun places to eat, not only in Bluffton, but throughout the Lowcountry.
During the week, Cahill’s opens their market at 9 a.m. where they sell fresh produce, dairy and meats. Some of the best organic products in the area are available year round. At 11 a.m. the restaurant portion opens, serving seafood grits, chicken tenders and of course eggs benedict, but with a twist of meatloaf. Everything is homemade, just as mama does. Their fried chicken and chicken tenders are made fresh from chickens they keep out back so you know exactly where your food has been, from barn to table.
Within the last year, the Corner Perk, Bluffton’s only locally-owned and -operated coffee shop and cafe, moved into a new location at the end of Calhoun Street in Old Town Bluffton. Since the move, they have expanded into a full fledged cafe and dessert bar and expanded their coffee menu. Whether you’re looking for a place to grab a quick cup of delicious coffee, or spend the morning relaxing outside while reading a book and enjoying a delectable breakfast, the Corner Perk is the place for you. By roasting their own beans, owners Josh and Kalli Cooke are able to control what kind of flavor they serve on a daily basis. With bags of coffee available for purchase, you can brew the same coffee at home or work.
Because service is so important anywhere you go, the Corner Perk has actually lowered their espresso machines so the baristas are able to talk to you while they make your drink, and also to provide a friendly smile. The inside of the Corner Perk is modern, but cozy with coffee bean bags lining the walls and all natural wood fixtures. Every last detail was thought out, down to the espresso arm handles on each of the doors leading into the Corner Perk. On the weekends they are the only dessert bar in town, with cakes, pastries and alcoholic drinks, ranging from wine and beer to liquor. The Corner Perk covers a little bit of everything; they even host Coffee and Canines so your pup can enjoy it with you!
The Squat ‘n’ Gobble is one of Bluffton’s most known restaurants. Everyone you talk to knows about their great food and also the fact that their kitschy sign is stolen on a regular basis. A great family friendly place, the Squat ‘n’ Gobble is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and is a favorite among the locals in Bluffton. The Squat ‘n’ Gobble has great diner fare that goes from straight off of the grill onto your plate.
Don’t expect anything too fancy, or anything that is very healthy, because that isn’t why the Squat ‘n’ Gobble is here. They are here for the wonderfully greasy, homemade breakfast food that is sure to make your tummy happy. They have the usual breakfast fare, such as eggs, pancakes and waffles, but also a southern breakfast with country fried steak, breakfast burritos and so on. They also carry a few Greek options as well as seafood. The Squat ‘n’ Gobble is all about southern comfort food and typical Lowcountry charm. Everything about the Squat ‘n’ Gobble screams local, and if you’re looking for a hidden gem off the beaten path, this is it.
25 Sherington Drive
If you love dining with Andy Griffith, I Love Lucy, the Little Rascals and the Rat Pack then Stooges Cafe is for you. Come in, sit at the bar to have a nice warm cup of coffee, most likely poured by one of the owners and enjoy a great home cooked meal with fun, and local, company.
Located a little off the beaten path, Stooges Cafe sits within a strip mall of all places, but the food and service are far from strip mall food. The waitresses are your typical small town, friendly diner staff. They know everyone and everything going on around town, as well as the best dishes to order. Stooges isn’t an in-and-out kind of place. You go and sit down and truly enjoy a meal in one of the three seating areas – the bar and one of the two dining rooms. It does take a little time to get your food, but that is because each dish is made from scratch, just the way it should.
The Cottage Cafe
38 Calhoun Street
Residing in the original 1890 Carson Cottage in the middle of Old Town Bluffton on Calhoun Street, The Cottage Cafe, Bakery and Tea Room has provided Bluffton locals with delicious, healthy and homey meals since 2007. Nestled among the old mossy oaks, The Cottage is picture perfect, with outdoor seating along the old porch and small front yard and a pastry case that is refilled with fresh desserts and breakfast items daily.
More upscale than Squat and Gobble, The Cottage offers breakfast, brunch, lunch and early dinner, along with afternoon tea. They also cater and have a specific section devoted to weddings on their website. The Cottage is the perfect place to bring your mother for an afternoon lunch, or a relaxing after mass brunch. The beautifully quaint cottage and wonderfully light food, such as cilantro eggs, granola parfait, eggs Benedict, and of course french toast, all blends together for the perfect relaxing atmosphere. The Cottage also participates in the Bluffton Farmers Market, selling freshly baked loaves of bread and pastries. You can find their booth right outside of the restaurant every Thursday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
70 Pennington Drive #20
Right behind the Bluffton DMV sits the quiet and unassuming Walnuts Cafe. For over 10 years Walnuts has served up delicious fare with their own Bluffton twist. While most of the food is comfort food, the dishes pack a punch with wonderfully fresh ingredients, and made on the spot. Hidden within the Sheridan Park strip, Walnuts Cafe provides a quite and cozy atmosphere filled with rich colors, smells and flavors.
Taking classic breakfast dishes like eggs benedict, pancakes and hashbrowns, the certified executive head chef John Briody, brings fresh flavors making the food even more delectable. Famous for their benedicts and omelettes, Walnuts prides themselves on making all different kinds of Hollandaise sauce, used for many of their dishes such as the St. Patricks Benedict, English Man Breakfast and the Southern Lady Benedict.
Open for breakfast, brunch and lunch every day of the week, Walnuts Cafe has received so much good feedback that they have now decided to open for dinner every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The May River: A Shimmering TreasureTest
For generations, the May River in Bluffton has united Lowcountry residents who live along the shores of this shimmering estuary.
During the antebellum period, Savannah-area plantation owners brought their families to spend the summer under the shade of the live oak trees lining the May River. The breezes off the river prevented the intrusion of mosquitoes lurking on sweltering rice plantations and spreading diseases like malaria and yellow fever.
When Union soldiers drove Hilton Head residents out of their homes during the Civil War, they sought asylum in Bluffton, which earned its name from the signature high banks along the May River. That natural bluff made it easy for Confederate soldiers to spot an invasion attempt during the tumultuous Civil War.
South Carolina’s economic saving grace during the post-war Reconstruction Era, the May River was used to transport goods and summer vacationers between Savannah and other port cities.
By any measure, the most coveted resource sold along the water trade route were the oysters that inhabited the pristine river. South Carolina’s oysters, or Eastern oysters as they are called, continue to be in high demand for the authentic taste of the Lowcountry the bivalves provide. As the oysters clean and filter the water of the May River, they absorb some of the salty Southern flavoring that can only be found in South Carolina’s waters.
Home to some of the nation’s tastiest oysters, the May River also serves as an unofficial community gathering spot when the tides roll out. On any given summer day, the May River Sand Bar is lined with boats blasting music, mariners playing cornhole, the sweet smell of fresh food on the grill and kids chasing after newfound friends. The sunset version of this come-as-you-are party may be the highlight of any South Carolina summer.
A short walk from the shops in Old Town Bluffton, the May River can be accessed at the end of Calhoun Street or the sandy Brighton Beach. Tours of the Church of the Cross are available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Tours of the Garvin-Garvey Freedman’s Cottage are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 per person; free admission for children.
27 Dr. Mellichamp Drive #108 | Bluffton | (843) 757-0380
1 Village Park Square | Bluffton | (843) 706-6630
Baked Ravioli with Marinara Sauce RecipeTest
This is an easy recipe with very little cleanup that works well in a 5×7 dish for a dozen or two ravioli. All ingredients are available at The Village Pasta Shoppe.
16 oz. The Village Pasta Shoppe’s Homemade Marinara Sauce, plus an additional 8 oz. to top off
1 Dozen Fresh Ravioli (your choice of flavor)
¼ lb. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Pour a layer of about 8 oz. marinara sauce at the bottom of a 5×7 dish. Then place 6 ravioli of your choice on top of the marinara sauce. Cover the ravioli with another 8 oz. of marinara sauce. Add another layer of 6 ravioli. Top off with an additional 8 oz. of marinara sauce. Sprinkle a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese over the sauce.
2. Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 30-40 minutes.
*Additional layers of ravioli can be added. Each additional layer of 6 ravioli needs at least 8 oz. of house marinara sauce. Six ravioli equal one serving.
Recipe courtesy of The Village Pasta Shoppe
May River GrillTest
1263 May River Rd., Suite D | Bluffton | (843) 757-5755
1555 Fording Island Rd. | Bluffton | (843) 837-4647
The Flavors, Textures and Experiences of Red WinesTest
By Georgene Mortimer, Island Winery
If you’ve ever wanted to explore red wine, but didn’t know where to begin, here are some tips that can help.
Since there are thousands of different red wines, it can be daunting to try finding your preferences. However, the process can be simplified by understanding that most wine flavors depend on four basic attributes: acid, body, tannin and alcohol.
It’s also important to note the difference between Old World and New World wine styles. In general, Old World-style refers to wine produced in European countries where there are tighter restrictions on how the wines must be made. These wines tend to be lower in alcohol, lighter in body and feature more restrained fruit flavors. New World-style wine comes from countries that used to be European colonies, typically with warmer climates. They tend to be fuller in body, higher in alcohol and have bolder expressions of fruit.
Pinot Noir, preferably Old World-style, is the wine to help you isolate and understand acidity, since it is low in tannin and body. Usually light in color, Pinot Noir has an aroma reminiscent of tart red fruits, such as cherries and cranberries. An Old World-style variety will have muted fruit flavors that allow the bright acidity to shine through. If you enjoy this light fruity wine, you may also like Lambrusco, Gamay and Grenache.
Malbec is a great choice to help you understand body, because it’s a full-bodied wine with medium levels of tannin and acidity. Body describes the texture of a wine, and a full-bodied wine’s texture will coat your mouth and linger. A New World-style Malbec from Argentina, Chile or Australia really showcases the benefits of body, as you will surely note the bold berry and plum flavors as they linger on your tongue. If you like Malbec, you might try Syrah and French Rhone Blends.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular high-tannin wine. Tannin is the quality that makes a wine taste dry and allows it to be age-worthy. It’s also one reason why some don’t enjoy red wine. When tannin levels are too high, the drying sensation can be overwhelming. However, over time, tannins soften and add a pleasant, complex dimension to a wine. Old World wines typically need more aging time for tannins to balance out. Carmenere and Tempranillo are other great examples of world-class, high-tannin wines.
Zinfandel is typically a high-alcohol wine. Alcohol levels in wine range from 11% to 15%, with wines over 13.5% considered to be high alcohol. Almost all high-alcohol wines are from the New World, where hot temperatures allow the sugar levels to soar as the fruit ripens. High alcohol greatly increases the viscosity and makes the wine feel heavy in the mouth, while carrying the bold fruit aromas to our senses as the alcohol evaporates. Most wines from hot regions of California and Australia are high in alcohol.
The perfect bottle of hand-crafted artisan wine awaits at Island Winery on Cardinal Rd. Wine by the glass, cheese platters and $5 tastings are available Monday-Saturday from 12:30-5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12-4 p.m. (843) 842-3141 or www.islandwinery.com.
27 Dr. Mellinchamp Dr. Unit 101 | Bluffton | (843) 757-7200
Promenade Street & May River Road | Bluffton | (843) 816-5674
Old Town DispensaryTest
15 Captains Cove | Bluffton | (843) 837-1893
130 Plantation Business Park, Suite 208 | Bluffton | (843) 757-6688
Cahill’s Corned Beef Hash RecipeTest
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup cubed and cooked corned beef (I use Cahill’s homemade)
1 cup ½-square cubed potatoes (I like baking potatoes, but any potato will work)
Salt & pepper to taste (keep in mind, corned beef can be very salty.)
2 cups beef broth
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and onions and cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute while stirring. Add corned beef and cook for two minutes. Stir in potatoes and season with salt & pepper. Stir in beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until potatoes are tender (approximately 10-15 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand. Any leftover broth should be absorbed by the potatoes. To serve, add desired amount to a well-greased skillet and brown both sides. Serve on a platter topped with Cahill’s farm fresh eggs and toast.
1 lb. Package Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa
4 Ears of Fresh Corn, broken in half
8-10 Small Red Potatoes
2 lbs. Fresh, Wild Caught SC Shrimp, shell on
J & O Seasoning (available at Bluffton Oyster Factory)
1. In a large pot, bring around 1 1/2 gallons of water to a rolling boil. Cut sausage into 2-inch pieces and add to the water; steam for about 10 minutes. Add corn and potatoes and cook just until potatoes are fork tender. Add the shrimp to the water and tumble with other ingredients to ensure shrimp are covered in the water. Steam for around two minutes or so until the shrimp are pink. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp.
2. Drain all ingredients and spread out onto a large sheet pan and sprinkle with J & O Seasoning to taste.
3. Serve with cocktail sauce, melted butter and your favorite beverage. Dig in and enjoy!
1476 Fording Island Rd. Suite B | Bluffton | (843) 837-2426
The Bluffton RoomTest
15 Promenade St. | Bluffton | (843) 757-3525
5 Foods You Must Try in The LowcountryTest
From traditional Southern meals to sugary sippin’s and late night nibbles, the Lowcountry’s culinary scene is vast and growing immensely nationwide. But you don’t have to spend a fortune at restaurants to sample some of the South’s specialties.
Fried Green Tomatoes:
This simple golden side dish peaked in popularity when the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” came out in 1991. Though considered Southern fare for years, this dish has its own secret backstory, emerging from Jewish immigrants in the Northeast and Midwest before becoming a star of the South. Some of the first recipes found published on this traditional American tomato dish were in Jewish cookbooks, before showing up in cookbooks in the Midwest and newspapers. No matter where they’re from, we’re just glad they’re here and you can find them on menus all over the Lowcountry from Charleston to Bluffton.
Shrimp & Grits:
A staple on any Southern table, Shrimp & Grits is another hot dish you won’t want to miss. This regional specialty hails from the Lowcountry, with origins in the Native American Muskogee tribe who ground corn in a stone mill, giving it a gritty texture. It wasn’t until 1985 when Craig Claiborne of the New York Times visited North Carolina and published a recipe about them, that the Shrimp & Grits we know today gained widespread popularity. From hole-in-the-wall diners to upscale eateries all across the South, this plate is made many different ways, each pleasing palates of many different people.
Sweet tea is regarded as an important regional staple in the cuisine of the South. It is
most commonly made by adding sugar or simple syrup to black tea either while the tea is brewing or while still hot. Sweet tea is almost always served ice cold. It may sometimes be flavored, most commonly with lemon but also with peach, raspberry, or mint. Unlike the northern states,when one orders iced tea at a restaurant in the Lowcountry, one is more likely to be served sweet tea instead of unsweetened.
Photo: The Chocolate Canopy, Hilton Head Island
When strolling by the candy kitchens and confectioners in the Lowcountry, you can’t help but smell the sweet aromas sifting through the air of fresh pralines. Though they’re known for their caramel color and crunchy pecans in the United States, these delights actually hail from France, where they’re much firmer, made with almonds and caramelized sugar. When they were brought over by French settlers to Louisiana, local chefs substituted the ingredients for the ample pecans and sugar cane. They’re in abundance here in the Hostess City of the South, so be sure to grab some sugar when you’re in Savannah!
Georgia may be called the “Peach State,” but did you know that South Carolina actually grows more of this sweet, succulent fruit? As of 2017, the state of South Carolina produced 11,000 tons of peaches. Whether you’re in the mood for peach ice cream, peach cobbler or just some fresh peaches from a roadside stand, be sure to get some of this fuzzy fruit while you’re here!
Succulent Seafood Appetizer – May River Grill!Test
Chef Charlie Sternburgh could be the poster child for enthusiasm and determination.
Years ago, Chef Sternburgh was working in an area restaurant. The head chef left the job unexpectedly before opening night. Without any formal culinary training, Chef Sternburgh courageously walked into the kitchen and set up shop.
What he brought to the table was a love for cooking. His father, a butcher, and his grandmother instilled this love in him. He honed his skills and developed a following. He decided to open The May River Grill.
The May River Grill opened in 2007, transforming what was once a gas station into a cozy, uncluttered and inviting room with an open kitchen. The tables are far enough apart that you couldn’t straighten a fellow diner’s napkin even if you felt the need to do so.
The real estate mantra “location, location, location” is not lost here. Streets lined with enormous trees, dripping with Spanish moss and history, adorn the historic town of Bluffton, with its galleries, antique shops, historic homes and churches. The downtown section sits on a high bluff overlooking the pristine May River. Picturesque is an understatement. Majestic comes closer to describing the view.
A walk around Boundary and Calhoun streets, and all the tiny side streets inbetween, is a good way to work up an appetite for Chef Sternburgh’s menu. The fresh seafood offerings are many: Shrimp aglioe olio (garlic and olive oil), crispy oysters with horseradish cream, seafood curry, and seafood-stuffed salmon. The restaurant’s oyster supplier is the Bluffton Oyster Company, which has been shucking oysters for nearly a century. The classic dishes we are all a little hesitant to admit we enjoy are not forgotten on the menu. The veal Marsala, crispy duck and sautéed calf’s liver have a safe haven here.
Quality service is another reason the regular clients return time after time.
“They appreciate having a rapport with the same wait staff person they had on their previous visit,” Chef Sternburgh says. “Teamwork is key.” Friendly, attentive and knowledgeable seem like essential attributes in a wait staff, yet many restaurants don’t seem to meet the criteria.
The favorite dessert at May River Grill is chocolate mousse in an oatmeal crunch basket. All the desserts are made from scratch daily, and I’m happy the mousse is presented in a basket, which makes it easier to take home an extra one!
CARRIE B. HIRSCH of Hilton Head has broad experience in the culinary arts. Carrie wrote this article for South Carolina Living Magazine, October 2009.
SHRIMP AGLIO E OLIO
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
5 basil leaves, julienned
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup water
In a small bowl, combine to create:
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon paprika
In a large skillet, heat olive oil (not extra virgin as it can be too sharp) and minced garlic. Sauté on medium-high heat until garlic begins to brown. Add shrimp and sauté one minute. Add tomatoes, basil, chicken broth, water, then sprinkle with seasoned salt; bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Divide portions equally between four small bowls. Serve with crusty bread for dipping. To create ample portions to serve as a main course, double this recipe, then serve over angel hair pasta. Serves 4 as an appetizer.
Here’s to a Healthy Valentine’s Day with Wine and ChocolateTest
By Amanda Surowitz
For many couples, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without the traditional red wine and decadent dark chocolates. But did you know that there are many heart-healthy benefits that go along with delicious icons of romance? So when you’re enjoying that toast with your sweetie this year, be sure to raise your glass to everything they do for you.
The hardest working compound in wine, resveratrol, decreases LDL (the “bad” cholesterol). Meanwhile, the ethanol alcohol in wine improves your HDL (the “good” cholesterol). It’s easy to convince yourself that a glass of wine a day—defined by the United States Dietary Guidelines 2015 to 2020 as 5 oz.—is all you need to keep the doctor away. However, you still need a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s wine, not ambrosia.
At first glance, the high calorie-count and the saturated and unsaturated fats in chocolate may not look good for your heart. The darker the chocolate, the more flavonoids it will contain. Those flavonoids help lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising HDL cholesterol levels. Still, you’ll want to indulge in moderation to avoid excessive sugar consumption.
Resveratrol does much more than affect your cholesterol levels. It’s also the compound that makes you feel relaxed by lowering your blood pressure. At the same time, resveratrol boosts the omega-3 in plasma and red blood cells, making them less sticky and prone to clotting, and activates a protein that works as an anti-aging agent.
While wine has a stronger impact on lowering blood pressure, chocolate isn’t slacking off here. The flavanols in dark chocolate help stimulate and relax the lining of the arteries, lowering resistance to blood flow. It probably won’t do much good if you have dangerously high blood pressure, but who isn’t relaxed even a teeny bit by a bite of chocolate?
Red wine and chocolate are often praised for their antioxidants, joining the ranks of “superfoods” we happily consume, but have little to no idea what they do for us. That’s O.K.; all the free radical-fighting action is happening on a molecular level anyway. A free radical is a molecule with an unbonded electron, making it unstable and highly reactive around neighboring molecules. That reaction is what causes cell damage. It’s like when one child in the back seat gets bored and starts a game of “I’m Not Touching You” with the others.
An antioxidant is a stable molecule that donates an electron to the free radical molecule and neutralizes it. This would be like telling the kids you will turn this car around if they don’t knock it off right now. Whether the free radicals are rampaging around your molecules or just your back seat, a glass of wine or a bite of chocolate could do you some good.
If you’re getting your antioxidant bump from chocolate, remember that darker is better. Unprocessed cocoa beans contain loads of antioxidants that get stripped in the refining process. Also, manufactured chocolate has sugar added. Too much sugar will outweigh any other nutritional benefits, so keep an eye out for chocolates with 70% or higher cocoa content.
When adding antioxidant-rich items to your diet, the Mayo Clinic advises that you not focus on one food or food group. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes into your diet to get the most out of your antioxidants.
Oral and Digestive Health
Red wine has a solid record of reducing harmful bacteria in the mouth and the rest of your body. It helps remove dangerous chemicals in red meat, aiding in digestion and preventing food poisoning. So, if you happen to reach for the steak tartar hors d’oeuvres one night, unaware or unafraid of what you’re about to eat, a glass of red wine could help make sure your evening remains pleasant.
As strange as it sounds, dark chocolate can do your teeth some good. We all know that sugar promotes dental decay. Thankfully, since you’re now buying really dark chocolate that contains less sugar, you can help ward off cavities while satisfying your sweet tooth. The theobromine in chocolate actually strengthens tooth enamel, which is a nice added benefit.
The Bottom Line
Remember to get the good stuff: 70% or higher cocoa content. Steer clear of sweet dessert wines—which have a higher calorie count due to their sugar content—and opt for something with more health benefits, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Enjoy this Valentine’s Day and many more by indulging in a healthy holiday tradition.
Montage Palmetto BluffTest
477 Mount Pelia Road | Bluffton | (855) 264-8705
70 Pennington Dr. | Bluffton | (843) 815-2877
Visit the Pinckney Island National Wildlife RefugeTest
The Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, located near the bridge to Hilton Head Island, offers an ideal place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Lowcountry.
By James Earl (d. 1796) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
From 1937 to 1975, when it was donated to the Fish and Wildlife Service, Pinckney Island was privately owned and managed as a game preserve. Established in 1975, the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge features more than 4,000 acres of wild Lowcountry beauty, including Pinckney Island, Corn Island, Big Harry Island, Little Harry Island, Buzzard Island and numerous small hammocks.
Nearly 67% of the refuge consists of salt marsh and tidal creeks, which support a diversity of bird and plant life. Wildlife commonly observed on Pinckney Island includes waterfowl, shorebirds, bald eagles, wood storks, wading birds, raptors, neo-tropical migrants, white-tailed deer and American alligators, with large concentrations of white ibis, herons and egrets.
The refuge offers ideal opportunities for hiking, bicycling, photography and wildlife observation.
Suggested Hiking/Biking Trips:
All trips begin and end at the parking area located half a mile from the refuge entrance; distances are round-trip.
Ibis Pond: 1.2 miles
Shell Point: 4.6 miles
Starr Pond: 2 miles
Osprey Pond: 3 miles
Nini Chapin and Barker Ponds: 3.6 miles
Bull Point: 5 miles
Dick Point: 7.4 miles
Clubhouse Pond: 6.2 miles
White Point: 7.8 miles
1 Village Park Square | Palmetto Bluff • Bluffton | (843) 706-6630
Hilton Head Island beaches are some of the finest and most pristine in the Southeast. And since summer is in full swing and they are just a few miles away from Bluffton, now is the time to take advantage of them! Here’s all that you info you’ll need to know before you go.
Public Beach Access:
Alder Lane Beach Access, off South Forest Beach Dr.
There are 23 metered spaces at Alder Lane, 54 metered spaces at Folly Field and 13 metered spaces at Burkes Beach Road. The parking fee is a quarter for each 15 minutes.
Additionally, there are 207 spaces at Driessen Beach Park for long-term parking. The fee is a quarter for each 30 minutes during the week.
The majority of parking spaces at Islanders Beach Park are reserved for annual beach passes, but there are some metered spaces.
Parking at Driessen Beach Park for annual beach passes is reserved from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Parking is FREE at Fish Haul Park, Mitchelville Beach Park, Coligny Beach Park and at Chaplin Community Park, adjacent to Burkes Beach. Handicap parking is available at no fee at all parks.
Restrooms, changing areas and sand showers are available.
Turtle nesting site and warning sign. Photo: Amber Kuehn.
Possession or consumption of alcohol
Glass (bottles, containers, etc.)
Indecent exposure or nudity
Disturbing the peace
Fires and fireworks
Horseback riding or motorized driving
Removal, harming or harassment of any live beach fauna (sea turtles, sea turtle nests and sand dollars, etc.)
Removal, alteration or damage to dunes, sea oats or other indigenous dune flora
Operation, launching or landing of unauthorized motorized watercraft
Unauthorized commercial activity
Sleeping on the beach between midnight and 6 a.m.
Unauthorized wearing of life-guard emblems, insignias, etc.
Solicitation or distribution of handouts
Kites not under manual control
Additional Prohibitions In Designated Swimming Areas – Peak Season: (Between sunrise and sunset, April 1 – Sept. 30):
Fishing or surfcasting
Surfboards, boogie boards, etc.
Frisbee or other sports involving a ball
Games with metal components
Stunt kites and sand sailing
Designated Swimming Areas:
Official swimming areas have been designated for the Alder Lane, Coligny, Driessen, Folly Field and Islanders Beach Parks. The boundaries will be clearly marked on the beach and in the water. Lifeguards are stationed at these designated areas for assistance and beach information.
Beach Marker Signs:
Hilton Head’s beaches are marked near the dune line with signs to let emergency responders know where assistance is needed. They are also useful as a reference point if you or your group should become lost.
Animals are NOT permitted between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. Animals MUST be on a leash between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., April 1 through the Thursday before Memorial Day and the Tuesday after Labor Day through September 30. Pets must be on leash or under positive voice control at all other times. Persons in control of animals on the beach are required to remove and properly dispose of excrement. Ordinance signs are posted at most beach access points.
Please take care of our beaches and leave only your footprints!
Wild Wing CafeTest
1188 Fording Island Road | Bluffton | (843) 837-9453
Guiseppi’s Pizza & PastaTest
25 Bluffton Rd. | Bluffton | (843) 815-9200
R&D Wine BoutiqueTest
1011 Fording Island Rd. | Bluffton | (843) 837-3747
13 State of Mind Street | Bluffton | (843) 757-9190
25 Sherington Dr. | Bluffton | (843) 706-6178
133 Belfair Village Dr. | Bluffton | (843) 815-8226
The Downtown DeliTest
27 Dr Mellichamp Drive | Bluffton | (843) 815-5005
Squat N’ GobbleTest
1231 May River Rd. | Bluffton | (843) 757-4242
91 Towne Drive | Bluffton | (843) 815-5551
1008 Fording Island Road #B | Bluffton | (843) 815-5555
The May River Shrimp Festival promises fun for the whole family!Test
July 19 – 20. 5-9 p.m.
Oyster Factory Park, 63 Wharf St.
What It’s About:
May River Shrimp Festival will return to the Oyster Factory Park from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday and 4-9 p.m. on Friday with live music, an arts and crafts village and a food court full of our delicious seafood from local restaurants! A part of the Bluffton Sunset Party Series, the May River Shrimp Festival welcomes the community to celebrate local foods, vendors, craft beer and homegrown music in a kid- and pet-friendly environment. Tickets for the Bluffton Sunset Parties are $5 at the entrance, while children 12 and under get in for FREE. Everyone is welcome. Come by boat, bike or golf cart. Lawn chairs and leashed pets are permitted, but no outside food or drinks will be allowed.
For more information about the May River Shrimp Festival, go to blufftonsunsetparty.com or call Bear Foot Sports at (843) 757-8520.
Shrimp Aglio and Olio over Angel Hair Pasta RecipeTest
Enough angel hair pasta for 2
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lb fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (local is best!)
1 vine-ripe tomato, diced
6 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp fresh garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
1/4 tsp ground garlic
1/4 cup strong chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato sauce (Prego or similar)
1/3 stick of butter
1. Cook pasta, rinse and set aside.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat oil until hot. Add shrimp, fresh tomato, fresh basil, fresh garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add salt, pepper and garlic. Mix well.
3. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce and butter. Bring to a semi-boil. (Don’t overcook.)
4. Run angel hair pasta under hot water to loosen and drain. Put pasta into bowl and top with sauce. Serve with crispy bread and top with parmesan cheese, if desired. Pair with a nice Pinot Noir and enjoy!
Recipes Courtesy of
48 Burnt Church Rd. | Bluffton | (843) 706-9907
91 Towne Dr. | Bluffton | (843) 815-5551
Bluffton restaurants truly offer something for everyone. Whether you’re in the mood for gourmet cuisine, fresh seafood or casual pub fare, you’ll find it all in Bluffton. Bluffton’s dining scene has grown dramatically in recent years, offering a fresh taste of Lowcountry living at its finest. Bon appetit!
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