Hilton Head Island Must-Try Restaurants: Skull Creek Dockside
It’s not an enormous secret that trying a new scrumptious entree (or two. Or three, in our case.) at a brand new restaurant in a new place is one of the best parts of a vacation. As long as we have been coming back to the Island, over 20-some-odd years later, we are still excited and finding new favorite places to eat all over Hilton Head. Most recently, we added the ever-increasingly-popular Skull Creek Boathouse as one of our new staples and must-do restaurants for every trip. It was just that good. And to our delight, just (literally) next door, we seemed to have struck foodie gold again. (Maybe even better.)
Skull Creek Dockside reopened after some heavy renovations following a devastating blow to the island from Hurricane Irma in late 2017. It’s truly a beautiful location right alongside its sister restaurant, the Skull Creek Boathouse. The view of the marsh, particularly near sunset, is spectacular.
Skull Creek Dockside
Owned and operated by the same restaurant group, “SERG,” we were hopeful that the food would live up to what we had come to love from the Boathouse, but in many ways, we were delightfully surprised that many of the options we got were incredibly different, and in some ways, even better. Skull Creek Dockside seems to combine the sophistication and flavor combinations of an exclusive fine dining experience, but with the beautiful bonus of the Boathouse’s generous portion sizes. Happy tears were cried. It was all delicious, and we could all taste and try a bit of everything and leave feeling full.
We started our delicious experience off with a ‘small’ portion of Nachos, which were sadly devoured before we could even get a good picture. They were that good, and with a distinct and unique smokey flavor. If you’re any kind of nacho fiend like we are, though, we’d definitely recommend ordering the large if you’re a family of 4 or more.
Fried Jumbo Shrimp
Fried seafood is never in short supply on Hilton Head, and while the Jumbo shrimp are an all-time favorite staple of ours, it was a particularly crisp and delicious bunch at the Dockside. Nothing too fancy, but hits the spot. Peep that generous portion, too. (We couldn’t finish ours.)
The best entree we’ve had, far and away, has been the Seared Salmon. It’s difficult to get anything else after trying it, as it is in all honesty, the best cooked fish we may have had on the Island. It is beautifully seared with a glaze on the outside and freshly made, it has a wonderful mix of Hawaiianesque flavor peeking through. Ugh. So good.
Vegetable and Farro Risotto with Portabella Schitzel
The Vegetable and Farro Risotto was a second choice to the amazing-sounding Lobster Mac N’ Cheese (they didn’t have it and were extremely apologetic. Next time, Mac N’ Cheese, we’re coming for you.) and was very delicious. It was far and away one of the more generous portions and we had to tap out before finishing the whole thing. I ordered the Portabella Mushroom Schitzel and it was very reminiscent of an expertly cooked Mushroom Tempura. Again, warning: Very filling. But very tasty and one of the best vegetarian meals we’ve encountered on the Island.
Remember the part we said we were full from the generous portion sizes? We were. We all were. But as someone wisely said, we are all somehow blessed at the end of a large meal with a separate stomach very particularly for desserts and ice cream. And, you know. We needed to try them. For the blog. Sure. Let’s go with that.
How can you go wrong combining two beautiful things like S’mores and Brownies? In the wise words (paraphrasing) of Joey Tribbiani.. “S’mores, Good. Brownies, Good.”
This dessert, however… wasn’t anything to ride home about. It was on the drier side (which may not be the norm?) and the flavors tasted like something you could find in the average Chilli’s at home. It was still something sweet and tasty, and there’s something to be said about the presentation of the food at Dockside. It’s all beautiful.
Our favorite dessert, though, blows the S’mores Brownie out of the water. Sorry, Joey.
The Lemon Pie could have held the torch with the Seared Salmon as one of the best we’d had. It definitely tastes freshly homemade (er. Kitchen-made) and with a beautiful balance of sweet and tang, it was a champion end to a fantastic meal. Definitely a recommendation.
Overall, our experience was incredible.
And, as silly as it is to even mention at this point, it’s very safe to assume that the Skull Creek Dockside will absolutely be another staple of our Hilton Head trips. High-quality ingredients and fine dining flavors with these glorious portion sizes? So. Good.