Serving Up Fabulous Fare

These Lowcountry Food Pros are Dishing Out Deliciousness

November 2023 Issue

Food is the foundation for connection. The enjoyment of spending time around a table with family and friends is as old as time. It’s just a simple truth—life is better with good food. And behind much of the good food we enjoy here in the Lowcountry is someone who has a passion to please others through the hospitality and love of life’s favorite social pastime—sharing a meal with lovd ones.

Fortunately, we live in a restaurant mecca where chefs, cooks and epicurean entrepreneurs come to hang their shingle and turn up the heat—in the kitchen that is. Some people just have a gift to serve up deliciousness in their own style and at their own pace, and the rest of us feel so lucky and are always excited to indulge in things we could never match in our own kitchens.

Over the next few pages, you will get to read about five such businesses and the people power behind this passion. We sat down with several of our favorite foodies to find out more about how the world of food and beverage infiltrated their lives, what they love about it, and the secrets of their success.

Prepare your palate to get up close and personal with a few of our favorites. We promise you will enjoy their stories so much; you’ll be left wanting more. But that’s easy…just make a reservation or swing by and say hello!



Photography by FabulousFare1123 1
Cassidy Dunn Photography

Elaʼs on the Water
1 Shelter Cove, HHI |

Celeste Coastal Cuisine
20 Hatton Place, HHI |

The Pearl
Kitchen & Bar

55 Calhoun Street, Bluffton |

RoadHouse Ribs, Steaks & Seafood
7 Toppers Lane, Port Royal |

Marketing Team:

Maggie Karis, Erin Wasem,
and Sheryle Wolfe

Owner: Earl Nightingale
FabulousFare1123 2
Pictured: Sheryle (left) and
Maggie (right). Not Pictured: Erin,
(out of town on business)

Tell us how we have come to know and love these four restaurants so much:
For years, the Lowcountry has been under the influence of three women, persuading them both cognitively and emotionally. This is the marketing team of the Nightingale Marketing Group, owners of four successful restaurants here in the Lowcountry. Maggie Karis of Karis Art & Design, Sheryle Wolfe of Wolfe Creative and Erin Wasem of Erin Wasem Design have known Owner Earl Nightingale for over 15 years or more. Together this team, along with excellent products, have increased the awareness, interest, and loyalty for ELA’s, The Pearl, RoadHouse, and Celeste restaurants.

Directing and creating the print marketing is Maggie, the digital marketing is Sheryle, and the design, decor and ambience of each restaurant is Erin. This marketing team has kept the restaurants out front and top of mind for the Lowcountry helping to lead to their success. “Erin’s design leadership blended with Maggie’s and Sheryle’s marketing insights have created a comprehensive collection of hospitality favorites of the Lowcountry. We are blessed to have the talent of these professionals who support the success of our facilities,” said Earl.

Give us one awesome fact about each of Earl Nightingale’s restaurants:
“Each restaurant has a uniqueness to feature in addition to the food: ELA’s has a water view with beautiful sunsets; The Pearl is right in the heart of Old Town Bluffton; Roadhouse is known for mouthwatering Southern barbecue; and Celeste adds upscale dining to the Island’s north end.”

What’s your favorite part of marketing these restaurants?
“My favorite part of marketing these restaurants is the simple fact that I believe in what I’m marketing. When you have a quality product, it’s easy to market—great food, beautiful locations, and a wonderful family-owned business. I keep the marketing creative and consistent, which in turn, keeps our audience engaged.”

Erin: “As the lead designer for all of our restaurant venues, my list of facility enhancements, menu directions, and visual appeal is a work in motion which is ever evolving. One thing we have learned is the consumer’s evolving appetite for high quality facilities changes frequently, so we work endlessly to deliver.”

So, let’s talk food:
Well, no one does Calamari better than a Nightingale restaurant and the Key Lime Pie and Strawberry Cake are the best ever tasted! The steaks and seafood selections are deliciously unique at each restaurant, with scallops being a top choice at both The Pearl and ELA’s. Great appetizer selections and the best classic New Orleans Gumbo around can be found at Celeste, and no one beats Roadhouse’s barbecue selections, especially the burnt end Mac N Cheese.

Are you open for the holidays?
All of the Nightingale restaurants are open for the holidays on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, Easter, Mother’s Day, and of course, for all of your celebrations, too!

Are any of your restaurants open for weekend brunch?
Celeste is open Sundays for brunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Features include New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp, Celeste Gnocchi with Crab, a variety of Eggs Benedicts dishes, Bagels & Lox, a full bar, and so much more. Ela’s is also open for Sunday Brunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Features include a variety of Omelets, Smoked Salmon BLT, the Blu Water Breakfast, Lobster Bisque, Fish & Chips, a full bar and that incredible view.

Plan your night out to include an evening with wonderful entertainment at ELA’s, Celeste and The Pearl and include and celebrate a new week with Sunday brunch at ELA’s and Celeste.



Photography by Cassidy Dunn PhotographyFabulousFare1123 3

Owner: Blake Wearren

32 Palmetto Bay Rd, HHI
Serving: Vegetarian Breakfast, Lunch,
Yogurt, Coffee & To-Go

The DelisheeYo’s: Front (L-R): Kelsey Dobyns & Haylei Torrao
Back (L-R): Alex Dafiedine, April Swanson, Blake Wearren,
Anna Sulek & Lauren Madden

Tell us about your passion for working in a healthy-food, vegetarian restaurant:
It's been a blessing to implement healthy habits into our own lives since working here. We are exposed to new superfoods, veggies, and herbs every day that grandly enhance our health and well-being—naturally and holistically!

Give us three awesome facts about your boss Blake:
He slays all day! He grew up on a farm and had a family produce stand. He is the example of what customer service should be—by using these words to live by that he engrained in each of us: patience, persistence, and perseverance. He lets us put our life before work (within reason).

What is a personal favorite item on the menu?
Lauren said her favorite is the Blueberry Pie Smoothie. "It fixes our sweet tooth and is loaded with antioxidants.” Kelsey said, "My favorite is the Yom Roll, but everyone knows that.” 

What are the 3 most ordered items on the menu?
1. SoCal
2. Massaged Kale Salad
3. Yom rolls.
See the menu at

What makes DelisheeYo unique?
The atmosphere and vibe of our space. We get told you can truly feel the positivity and love as you walk in. We are a family here and work as a team, which is reflected in our environment. Plus, the raw and clean food we provide leaves every customer feeling energized and ready to take on the day! This is something not all places do.

What keeps people coming back for more?
We make healthy food taste good. We have a friendly staff that loves to take care of our customers. We include you in our process of making the meals, and every customer is left learning something new about healthy living if they are open to it!

We love coffee and so do you! Tell us about your coffee.
We provide local coffee from Coffee Roasters of Charleston. We love their pecan roast, it's great on its own and very smooth.

Are you open for the holidays?
We typically are closed on holidays so we can rest or spend time with our families. Not many businesses offer this, so we are deeply grateful that Blake gives each of us that opportunity. During the warm seasons, we sell freshly juiced watermelon lemonade, which is a huge hit! During the cooler months, we rotate house made soups, which helps us through the chilly days. Plus, every now and then we may come up with a new seasonal treat or add a seasonal ingredient to our beloved dishes.

What’s the best review/compliment you’ve ever received
that has stuck with you and made you proud?

When people say they don't normally eat this kind of food and are skeptical, but they end up LOVING it. And a personal favorite is when customers say, it's the best thing they've ever eaten!

What person (living or passed) would you love to have dine in your restaurant?
Princess Diana, the absolute Goddess she was. Or local legend, Trevor Hall, to come back and dine! We play his music here daily.

What is one thing you chalk up DelisheeYo’s success to?
Communication rooting from our shared intention of unity. Understanding we are all human beings and even when we are having an off day, we give each other grace and compassion, or whatever we need every day.


Photography by Jacie Elizabeth MillenFabulousFare1123 Skillets

Skilletʼs Cafe & Grille
Amie Baima, Owner

1 North Forest Beach Dr., Coligny Plaza, HHI
Serving: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Serving the Lowcountry: 30 Years!

How did you get into the restaurant business?
It was my dream, even in high school, to own my own restaurant. After college, I sold real estate until I had enough money, along with a loan from my parents, to open Coligny Bakery. Then, I opened Just Pasta, too. Now, I have Skillets. Besides, anyone who knows me knows what a picky eater I am, so why not have someone to cook for me every day?

What do you love most about it?
Every day is different—from the customers I meet, to my staff’s personalities, I get to be around many wonderful people.

What is your personal favorite item on your menu?
The items I have still cooked the way I want—my specialty requests.

What are the 3 most ordered items on the menu?
1. French Toast: Made with Italian bread baked fresh daily. Three thick slices of bread, batter dipped, grilled golden brown, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and topped with honey butter.
2. Kitchen Sink: A short stack of pancakes, bacon, sausage, Skillet potatoes or grits, topped with two poached eggs* and a biscuit.
3. The Beach Skillet:
Skillet potatoes, chopped bacon, diced ham, onions, mushrooms, sausage gravy, topped with two poached eggs.

What keeps people coming back for more?
I hope that it’s the family environment that we’ve created and the food…and my charming personality, of course!

We hear Elvis has been in the building,
tell us more!
Well, he was here once for a Pink Partini, and he showed up a few weeks ago for our 30th anniversary! I mean, who else would I want to feature for a 30-year celebration? But of course, he once again has left the building!

Are you open for the holidays?
Yes! We are open Thanksgiving day for breakfast from 7:00 a.m. to Noon, and for traditional Thanksgiving fare from Noon to 3:00 p.m. We take reservations for turkey dinner dine-in, and take-out pre-orders need to be in by Monday, November 20. We close at 3:00 on Thanksgiving so my staff can enjoy their families, too. See our ad on page 19 for details.

What are you most proud of in your business?
We are a family-run business. My Father and sister help regularly, and my son now runs the kitchen after graduating college!

What one thing do you chalk up your
success of 30 years to?
Family and great staff!

What’s the most important thing
that makes it all run smoothly?
Does a restaurant ever run smoothly?


Photography by Lindsay GiffordFabulousFare1123 Leslie

Board Babes

Owners: Heather and Savannah Hylton, Mother/Daughter Team

Contact: (843) 415-1588 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Custom Charcuterie Boards—single serving to 1000

Tell us how Lowcountry Board Babes was born?

The idea was born after we went to a friend’s bridal shower in Alabama. When we walked into the event there was a fabulous grazing table. Savannah instantly turned to Heather and said this is what Hilton Head needs. Once we got back to Hilton Head we began our adventure. We started it as a hobby and made boards for our family and friends, but it quickly took off.

Tell us three advantages to being a mother/daughter team?
1. We are truly best friends. Anyone can tell you that when they meet us.
2. Each of our weaknesses is complimented by the other one’s strengths, which works well in life and in business.
3. We never have to question the other’s intentions. We know the other is always looking for ways to better ourselves and take great pride in the experience we provide for our clients.

What’s the largest or most memorable charcuterie spread you’ve tackled so far?
Our most memorable charcuterie spread was probably the first grazing table we did. We did a grazing table for our friend’s Bridal get-ready brunch, and we both remember being so scared and nervous to do it. After we finished it, everyone was so amazed at what we had just done, including us. In that moment we knew we would be able to do anything that was thrown our way, and we have done just that.

Charcuterie is perfect for parties, but what are other instances
when charcuterie can be enjoyed?

We have made charcuteries for all kinds of events. Teacher lunches are fabulous because they are single-serve and a great surprise for our hard-working teachers. Charcuterie is also fabulous for a boat or a beach day. We focus on charcuterie boards, but we also love making different types of boards like s’mores boards, hot cocoa boards, and popcorn boards. We can provide charcuterie for most any themed party or event. It is so great because there is room for creativity on a charcuterie board.

Are you booking for the holidays?
Yes, we are booking for the holidays! Our holidays are already booking up fast, so we do ask for about one week’s notice in advance. We try to accommodate as many orders as we can but being a small business, it is a little tougher. We are excited to start our holiday season!

Is it important to you to team up with local artisans?
Absolutely! We just teamed up with Little D’s Treats, they make our cookies for us on our boards. Because we are a small business, we love teaming up with other local small businesses. Teamwork makes the dream work!

What’s the best review/compliment you’ve ever received
that has stuck with you and made you proud?

We actually have made clients cry once our grazing tables are finished. It has blown both of us away seeing our clients in awe over our work. We love making people feel good in everything we do, so it means so much to us when people love our finished product.

What are some of you favorite things about charcuterie?
Family! Even though we make charcuterie for just about every family gathering we attend, it is special every time. Our favorites include Brie cheese, cranberry cheddar cheese, and pepperoni. The beautiful thing about charcuterie is it brings people together—that’s why we love sharing with family!

What three things should people know about charcuterie?
1. There is no instruction manual for a charcuterie board, so it can be anything
you want it to be!
2. Above all else charcuterie boards should be a fun expression of yourself!
3. Just call Lowcountry Board Babes—we’ve got your board covered!

Photography by Jacie Elizabeth MillenFabulousFare1123 Leslie

Palmetto Bay
Sunrise Cafe

Leslie Stewart, co-owner with husband Paul (Stew) Stewart

86 Helmsman Way at Palmetto Bay Marina, HHI
Wednesday-Sunday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Serving: Breakfast and Lunch
Serving the Lowcountry: 21 Years

How did you get into the restaurant business?
We moved to HHI in the ‘80s, working food and beverage jobs. While Stew was working at Long Cove, he enrolled in a work-study program to become a chef. After working for others to open their restaurants, we decided to do something of our own. We looked into moving to Florida, but an opportunity arose to start a breakfast restaurant in Palmetto Bay Marina. Many people supported our decision and helped us get started, especially my parents, Jack and Carol Armstrong, and Stew’s parents, Bill and Barbara Stewart. In 2020 my father passed away from cancer, but Carol, Bill and Barbara are thankfully still doing well.

What do you love most about it?
We enjoy making people happy and try to make everyone feel a part of our “little” community.

What is your personal favorite item on your menu?
Any of our Benedicts are fabulous because the hollandaise is excellent. Another personal favorite is our sausage gravy; it would make cardboard taste good!

What are the 3 most ordered items on the menu?
The Eggs Benedicts, the Shrimp Hash, and any of the French Toast (plain, blueberry cream cheese stuffed, and peach and pecan on Thursdays).

What keeps people coming back for more? 
The atmosphere and the staff are the two biggest reasons people come back. We have patrons who have come all 21 years. We have served little children who are now grown and bring their own children.

The Sunrise staff is known as one big family. You have employees who’ve been with you for years, what’s the secret?
The  secret is we have them chained up most of the time and pump in “happy gas” all day. LOL! Actually, we’ve known each other for years, and a lot of us “grew up” (or never grew up) together on the Island. There is a fantastic work ethic within the building that is passed on to our newer people, as well. We try to take care of our people, and in return, they take care of us.

Y’all are known for being fun and zany from time to time, such as your staff working in Halloween costumes all through October. What’s your next big, fun thing?
Our next big “dress up” event occurs all through December, as we deck out in the most “Christmasy” attire we can find. We have a big pajama party every year, usually on New Year’s Day, but this year it will be on New Year’s Eve. We come in our jammies and invite our patrons to do so, too—such a fun day! We’ll serve from 6:00 a.m. to Noon that Sunday morning, so join us early in your favorite jammies for a delicious Bloody Mary and a nice breakfast to start off your New Year’s Eve partying early!

Are you open for the holidays?
We’re closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and this year, on New Year’s Day, too. We will reopen at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 17.

What are you most proud of?
Our ability to overcome adversity. We have endured hurricanes, no marina, cancer, Covid, death, and kept the machine going. During Covid, we got dressed every day, came to work, and tried to come up with new ways to put food in “To-Go” boxes. We worked together in a fashion that kept “normalcy” as much as possible. Everything we have experienced, has taught us to “Get up, dust yourself off, and start again!” 

What person (living or passed) would you love to have dine in your restaurant?
Hands down, my father and mother together eating breakfast one more time. They are the reason I have a strong work ethic, a need to do the “right” thing, self-confidence, and my sense of decency (sometimes). Dad was very proud of us, and Mom still is. I most certainly credit my parents for my success.

What’s the story behind the happy, voluptuous mermaid hanging from the ceiling?
She’s been hanging in our place since day one. She has an incredible number of fans and inspires some of our favorite expressions, especially among 8- to 10-year-old boys. (They have even come back as adults looking for her.) We have been offered several thousands of dollars for her “release”. Even during Covid, I did not budge. She belongs here!

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