Chef David Vincent Young transformed an area along Marshland Road on Hilton Head Island, SC into an uncommon dining venue for locals and tourists alike to experience his Low Country Gullah cuisine, which carries with it a distinctive Caribbean flair. Roastfish & Cornbread is brimming with artistic connotations everywhere one can look. From the location of the eatery, nestled beneath hovering protective mighty oaks overhead to the simple style of the white stucco exterior of the establishment enhanced by the outdoors to to the brilliant colors housed inside just through the front door to Chef David’s thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable cuisine, this is the place to find comfort, good times and a feeling of home. There’s no pressure here. Just a great culinary experience with generous portions, hushpuppies and sweet potato cornbread you will not soon forget and a friendly environment that will only set you at ease the moment you arrive.
The approach to the restaurant is pure Lowcountry. Gravel parking beneath massive oaks trees, a pathway of paving stones leading to an arched, wooden, carved front door, a charming picnic-bench-appointed outdoor patio, tiki torches to set the mood and that great inviting feel of the south. This is definitely a place you’ll want to visit. Since it’s opening in 2009, this dining establishment has been renowned for its mouthwatering selections and it’s popularity. From day one, there’s literally been a waiting line to get in for dinner. And that still holds true today. We promise, however, that it will be worth the wait to sink your teeth into Chef David’s culinary creations. And the way his staff cares for patrons is uncanny. Their devotion to guests and kind friendly demeanor has proven continuous and is always well-appreciated.
Once inside, the colors are vibrant, exciting and Caribbean-inspired. In-wall shadow boxes are enhanced by golden lights which show off the various art and shells for the viewing pleasure of appreciative patrons, while walls colored in intense hues of oranges and yellows draw attention to original artwork displayed. The interior seating is welcoming, intriguing and eclectic, and feels a bit as thought you’re at a friend’s island home to enjoy dinner together as the sun sets beyond the horizon.
Below, we were treated to a viewing of the artistic brush manipulations of a very talented painter. Here, at our table, we had a front-row view of his artistry. Such an amazing thing to witness as you dine…
Gullah cuisine maintains its emphasis on tradition. Most of the time, Gullah recipes are those that have been passed down from generation to generation…sometimes unwritten. Such examples of typical Gullah foods include yams, rice, peas, and many more items most would tend to think are ‘Southern’ delicacies. Always exploding with flavor and unique in its own ways, Gullah cuisine can be enjoyed by most anyone.
Below, my husband ordered a seafood plate which included Grilled Mahi Mahi, grilled shrimp, grilled scallops and three out-of-this-world hushpuppies garnished with a sprig of parsley and a lemon wedge. The scallops were tender and flavorsome with just the right amount of seasoning on them without being too salty or spicy. The shrimp and fish were juicy and served at a perfect temperature, while the hush puppies contained small bits of corn throughout their tender savory texture.
Seafood Plate With Grilled Mahi Mahi
I made my decision and chose the seafood plate with fried oysters, grilled flounder, grilled scallops, macaroni and cheese and a piece of Chef David’s amazing sweet potato cornbread. Tasting more like a dessert than cornbread, I could easily see this side item being served with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream for dessert! It was sensational, as were our entrees.
Seafood Plate With Fried Oysters
All in all, we enjoyed our entire experience at Roastfish & Cornbread. Do we recommend it? Yes, we do. Will we return for more of Chef David’s intriguing culinary artistry? Most definitely.
- ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Caribbean-style paintings and colors prevail indoors at Roastfish & Cornbread. Comfortable family-style seating indoors, while picnic benches aligned atop a patio surface are available for dining al fresco.
- FOOD / DRINK: Nicely-seasoned, not-too-salty seafood, meat dishes and vegan dishes are also available here. Chef David should really market his Sweet Potato Cornbread and hush puppies! They’re THAT good!
- LOCATION: Roastfish & Cornbread is located at 70 Marshland Road on Hilton Head Island, SC 29926.
- HOURS:Monday through Saturday from 11 AM – 9 PM. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.
- SERVICE / STAFF: Our waitress was kind, friendly, kept a smile on her face at all times and genuinely seemed as though she loved being employed at Roastfish & Cornbread. It was refreshing to see that.
- PRICE / VALUE: We were happy. A great locale with terrific Gullah-style Low Country cooking and a friendly efficient staff. Is there really more than that?
- CORKAGE FEE: $10 per bottle.
- CONTACT INFO: Phone: (843) 342-2996, Website: www.roastfishandcornbread.com
- PARKING: There is ample parking right in front of the restaurant beneath the oak trees hovering overhead.
- TOTAL BILL: Our total bill was just under $50 (including tax) for our two entrees and a few beverages.
* Menu and prices subject to change without notice.