Thanks to the droves of visitors that come during vacation season, Hilton Head Island and nearby Bluffton have more than 300 restaurants to choose from. Here is the skinny on recently opened establishments.
New Restaurants on Hilton Head
Olive & Fig Mediterranean Kitchen
Olive & Fig, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, opened its doors in Moss Creek this June at the former location of NEO. The menu has been carefully curated by owner and chef Munjid Yousif and will be incorporating many gluten free and vegetarian options to properly accommodate customers of all kinds. Yousif has 24 years of experience in the food industry, working in restaurants around the world, such as in Kuwait and Canada. He received his culinary degree from The Royal Academy of Arts in London, adding to his international culinary experiences.
“His parents are from the Middle Eastern culture,” his wife and co-owner, Tammy Yousif, said of her husband, “He has grown up with Mediterranean cuisine and has perfected his home dishes over the years.”
Though the inspiration for the menu is regional Mediterranean cuisine, there will also be a focus on Lebanese and Greek dishes, including falafel, stuffed grape leaves, souvlaki, shish kabob and shawarma, along with assorted lamb and seafood dishes.
"We will serve imported Lebanese wine and beer that will compliment the dishes," Yousif said. "In addition, we have on our bar menu, local and other imported wine and beer."
Prior to the restaurant’s opening, the couple spent months renovating the Olive & Fig’s Bluffton location to give it a distinctly Mediterranean atmosphere. The renovations include gold trim in the dining room, a cooper bar and Turkish hanging lights. The location of the restaurant was strategic, as it is place directly off of a main thoroughfare that catches tourists, islanders, and Bluffton residents alike.
Located at 1533 Fording Island Road, Suite 326, the Olive & Fig promises to be a unique Mediterranean treat.
Brothers Alfred and Volker Kettering pursued different career paths — Alfred is the seasoned chef and owner of Alfred’s, a popular Hilton Head Island restaurant, while Volker worked for a German corporation — but both have restaurants in their DNA. Their grandparents had a sizeable brauhaus and their parents also ran a restaurant in their hometown of Kaiserslautern, Germany.
So it’s only fitting that the brothers continue the family tradition, opening the new Bluffton Brauhaus.
The brothers’ new restaurant will offer some German classics, like Wiener schnitzel, sauerbraten, roasted duckling with spaetzle and red cabbage. There’s also a “Bratwurst Experience” section with Thüringer-, Nürnbergerand Müenchner-style sausages, as well as salads, vegetables and fish dishes.
There will also be a selection of decadent desserts. “We’re going to have a strudel, a German chocolate cake and a few more desserts,” Volker said. “We’re talking to a couple of very talented bakers.”
And the “brauhaus” part? The beer selection will include 20 beers on tap and bottled beers.
The Bluffton Brauhaus is located at 68 Bluffton Road in Bluffton, SC. www.blufftonbrauhaus.com, (843) 757-3334.
Gusto Ristorante To Open At Fresh Market Plaza
Gusto Ristorante is a new Northern Italian restaurant recently opened at the Fresh Market Plaza on Hilton Head Island. The executive chef and owner, Giancarlo Balestra, and his wife Nancy bring the vibrant flavors of his native hometown of Rome, Italy to Hilton Head. The couple who met and fell in love in Rome 28 years ago discovered their shared passion for food and adventure and have since owned and operated restaurants in Aspen, Colorado, Winter Park, Florida and Saratoga Springs, New York.
They fell in love with Hilton Head while visiting the island serendipitously at the moment the former 843 restaurant location became available. They also happened to be staying at the Marriott Resort in room #843! They decided to jump into this new exciting culinary adventure, hence the name Gusto, which means flavor and taste in Italian but also means a zest and enthusiasm for a delicious taste of life.
The restaurant has a full bar, extensive wine list and will offer al fresco dining on their garden patio. The Italian born chef’s menu stays true to his roots with classic Roman dishes but includes other regional favorites as well.
Open Sun, Tues, Wed, Thurs, 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM; Fri and Sat 4:00 PM - 9:30; CLOSED MONDAY. 890 William Hilton Parkway (Fresh Market Plaza) 843-802-2424 www.gustohiltonhead.com