Monday, August 24, 2009

Road Trip: Kingfisher - Hilton Head, SC

18 Harbourside Ln., Hilton Head, SC

Last week Kyle and I vacationed in Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA. We chose Kingfisher Seafood for our first dinner in Hilton Head. Our hotel, the Marriott Resort, recommended it, and it was located practically across the street in an attractive harbor. The Kingfisher was also a convenient choice because we dined there on a Tuesday night, and the city hosts a fireworks show on Tuesdays during the summer just outside of the restaurant. At 9pm we literally walked out Kingfisher's back door and down to the bridge, above which the fireworks were set off. Location-wise, it couldn't have been better.

Another advantage to the Kingfisher was its happy hour, which ran from 5 to 8pm. (The website says it begins at 4:30, but the menu said 5pm, so I'm going with that reference.) Many other restaurants on the island offer happy hour specials, but they typically only last until 7pm at the latest. Although the restaurant was pretty crowded and at least four families were waiting for tables when we arrived, we had no problem grabbing a seat at the bar and availing ourselves of the $2 Kingfisher drafts (very similar to Budweiser) and 1 pound of snow crab for $11.99. This is the best deal I have seen on snow crab recently.

The snow crab did not disappoint. It had been a long time since I had enjoyed this dish, mainly because Atlanta restaurants rarely offer it, and when they do it is expensive and poor quality. The snow crab at Kingfisher was juicy and delicious. I received two big sections with large, meaty joints and knuckles, accompanied by the usual seasoned drawn butter. Since this was Kyle's first snow crab dinner I included him in the picture above. While he usually steers away from seafood he complimented the crab.

Our service at the bar was outstanding. Our bartender, Tina, was a pistol (I mean this in the best way possible). She was quick with our food, drink refills and witty commentary. We requested that the Braves game be shown on one of the bar's two TV's and she accommodated us right away. She also gave us tips on more dining and activities on the island. Finally, she mixed me up a delicious cocktail with Malibu rum that just made sense after our day at the beach.

If you've ever been to Hilton Head then you already know it's swarming with families and elderly people. It's not a hangout for the young and wild. Many restaurants close early (9pm in some cases) and it's nearly impossible to find a liquor store that's actually open at any time of day. Most of the establishments specifically cater to people with multiple small children, and dining rooms can get loud and hectic quickly. The lounge area at the Kingfisher appeared to be a little more adult-oriented, a blessing for me and Kyle.

Verdict: Although it's touristy, Kingfisher offers great service and happy hour specials. A nice way to spend a relaxing evening.

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