Hilton Head Overview
Paul V. Hartman

  Hilton Head Island is an upscale resort, and the restaurant scene is competitive. Places "not so good" soon disappear. Island visitors may find a free magazine useful, named "Hilton Head Island Restaurants", aka "Fork & Fun", which can be found in businesses throughout the island. All hotels/motels can provide you with a copy.

The magazine is free because the cost of it is paid by the restaurants listed. (Only a very few good restaurants choose not to participate.) So what do you get for free? You do not get food "criticism" since each owner would like to present the notion that they have the best place on the island. So the "reviews" contained within this magazine are pretty biased.

The reason it is useful is that most listings show the full menu and prices. If you have a group of four and three want seafood whereas the outcast is dying for a prime rib, you can scan this magazine and find a place that provides what everyone wants.

The reason it is NOT useful is because restaurants which do not pay for space in this magazine are treated as if they do not exist. It was not always so: there was a place in the magazine where every restaurant on the island was listed by name and phone number. No longer. Which is why you need this website more than ever. Some really high quality restaurants on the island refuse to pay the magazine and therefore go unlisted. They are in the phone book. And probably on this website.

I am a food critic, but not the traditional kind, who periodically visits a restaurant and then runs a column in a newspaper about the food, ambience, lighting, noise, parking, and so forth. That review appears for one day in the paper and then disappears - of no use to the island visitor who wants information about "all the restaurants" and "right now". (And the newspapers themselves are also disappearing.)

Which is where I come in. For what I do, no one pays me. This is a hobby. I "publish" on the Internet, and all the reviews appear here, all the time. I do not know any owner or chef, and thus play no favorites. What I have to say may be worthless, but at least you can be sure I was not influenced to run a good review on a mediocre restaurant.

Reviews are confined to what is generally considered to be the "top 50" at any given time on the island. I also offer a "graveyard" page for restaurants that went under (Here) in case you cannot find an island favorite from years ago. You will note that I regarded them favorably, but they died nevertheless.