Are you ready to have an authentic Lowcountry dining experience, featuring bona fide Southern cuisine? A restaurant concept, based on owner Dave Peck’s nostalgic love for the experiences and tastes of simpler times and Southern heritage, A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant is a must try!
Meet the owner: Growing up on Hilton Head, Dave Peck has been an islander since 1977. He specialized in advertising before moving into managing local restaurants. After 14 years, he decided it was time to go out on his own, and bring his passion and knowledge of Southern cuisine to the island. Dave jokes that his culinary training was on the sandbar of the May River and in the woods of Sea Pines. He learned his technniques from local families who’ve been on the island for generations. “I grew up here having oyster roasts on the May River and cookouts under the live oaks. We had a great time back then. When I was 8 years old, I would cane pole fish with island Gullah natives in lagoons. I had my first taste of the island’s fresh fish with those Gullah ladies. I love these memories of the island and this is what our restaurant is all about,” said Dave.
Meet the chef: Growing up in Savannah, Mike Chapman’s culinary journey began at the tender of age at 13, working at iHop. It quickly became a life long passion, studying at Johnson Wales in Charleston and working in the Lowcountry’s food scene for nearly 25 years. His career mostly consists of cooking at country clubs, including Dataw Island, Fripp Island, Palmetto Dunes Club and Bear Creek Golf Club. Looking for variety and a creative outlet, Mike is now the culinary mastermind behind the scenes at A Lowcountry Backyard.
Chef Mike’s Favorites: Spice: Thyme—the flavor enhances anything savory.
Specials: Braised Short Ribs and Seafood Provencal
Flavor profile: Traditional southern comfort food with unique, high quality pairings.
Based on authentic Southern recipes owners Dave and Raina, Dave's wife, have accumulated through family and friends, the restaurant pairs the comforting soul food of the South with creative flair, like the Shrimp BLT salad—with a skewer of grilled shrimp impaled in a stack of delicious friend green tomatoes, layered with candied bacon on top of mixed greens. Dave brings island favorites to the table, while Raina brings a touch of her West Virginia heritage. In fact, Raina’s mother is the mastermind behind the dessert menu and specials.
Composed with the freshest, local ingredients, their made-from-scratch attitude brings new meaning to Southern cuisine. And the sauces...nearly every dish has an innovative, flavorful sauce that brings the entire dish together.
BEST SHRIMP AND GRITS IN THE PALMETTO STATE: Amongst the talented chefs across the Lowcountry, Dave’s family shrimp and grits recipe has held it’s own. This past July, Trip Advisor named A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant’s delectable shrimp and grits recipe No. 1 in the state! The pan sauteed shrimp, smoked sausage and shaved green onions is paired with an apple smoked bacon cream sauce and creamy grits. I have to admit, when I took a taste (because I had to of course) I was convinced, it was the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had, and I’ve had my fair share!
Most popular... Appetizer: Fried Green Tomatoes Stack, featuring fresh local green tomatoes, served with homemade ranch dressing and sweet pickles. Entrée: Potato Chip Meatloaf—a unique creation—with potato chip binder and brushed with moonshine bbq sauce. Dessert—Banana Pudding served in a mason jar, originally a dessert special, customer demand made this a regular treat.
The vibe: The atmosphere is one word—Lowocuntry. A casual, inviting and fun feel bring customers into the moment. The friendly, down-to-earth staff make everyone feel welcome like they are part of the family! And, don’t forget the ever-important backyard. The “patio” is covered in mulch, complete with a swing, creating the backyard scene. Covered with a huge 26-foot umbrella, it can be enjoyed in the heat of the summer and during a rainy day. The decor is unique too, featuring an eclectic mix—like the chandeliers made from pie tins and Bluffton oyster shells. Across the courtyard, the bar features funky beer bottle chandeliers and bar stools made from trees cut right here in the Lowcountry.
Part of the family: A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant’s sister restaurant, The Beach Bar, is a seasonal gem located oceanfront across from Coligny Plaza. It boasts one of the best burgers on the island.
When you go: A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant serves lunch and dinner Monday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m, 4:30-9 p.m and brunch Saturday 9 a.m. noon, Sunday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Log on to check out there menu: www.hhbackyard.com. Located at 32 Palmetto Bay Road in the Village Exchange on Hilton Head Island; 843-785-9273.
Cooking tip: Always taste your food before you plate it and pay attention to plating. You eat with your eyes first.
Live Music & Libations: Local musicians frequent the backyard. Dave enjoys bringing in unique music that everyone loves. Log on to see who’s playing next. And what’s music with out libations? The bar also emphasizes local with an assortment of S.C. beers, Daufuskie Rum and S.C. moonshine.