Live Oak {lowcountry-inspired cuisine}

live oak

 “Live Oak is a fresh culinary experience showcasing Lowcountry-inspired cuisine and locally sourced produce and products. Completely redefining traditional clubhouse fare, the restaurant’s menu is infused with fresh, local offerings providing guests with an opportunity to eat healthy while enjoying the tastes and flavors of the Lowcountry.”

A few months back the Chef at the Country Club (him and his wife are also good friends of ours) decided it was time for a change.  While we were sad to see him leave we knew he was going to do amazing things in what ever kitchen he “stumbled” upon.  He left us for a new venture in Hilton Head at the Plantation Golf Club and last Thursday I had the opportunity to dine at his new restaurant, Live Oak.

Of course I had to start the meal (and spontaneous weekend) with a glass of bubbles.

champs live

The restaurant is absolutely beautiful.  I was obsessed with the wood floors and the expansive porch on the back of the restaurant.  From where I was seated, I had sunny views of the golf course and knew I was in for a treat.

Chef Ryan wished we could have come for dinner but honestly, I thought lunch was pretty fantastic.  So now I just have a reason to return.

Before ordering, we were presented with a taste of what was to come.

pimiento

The pimiento cheese was perfectly spreadable and one of the best I’ve ever tasted.  It’s exactly what you want pimiento cheese to taste like.

menu

As we chatted with Chef Ryan about the menu, I quickly decided that the Lunch on the Live Oak Porch was the way to go.  He himself claimed that the crab cake was the best crab cake he has ever tasted.

But first, he brought me something not on the menu.  A gorgeous heirloom tomato and pickled watermelon salad.

heirloom

The pickling of the watermelon was very faint and I probably wouldn’t have detected it had I not known but the flavors married stunningly with the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.  Watermelon and tomatoes were meant to be together.  The plate was studded with chunks of salty feta and made each bite pure heaven.

He also treated us to a little bite of another Southern treat – fried green tomatoes.

fgt

Perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft and delicate on the inside.  The sauce made this plate.  So good!  I had to have restraint because I knew there were more plates to come.

crab sam

Y’all!  This plate…  It was so good.  The crab cake was, in fact, the best crab cake I’ve ever had.  Hardly any filler and the pillow-like bun made this one of the best sandwiches I’ve tasted.  I devoured the sandwich without letting Big Guy get a bite.

I did share the gumbo though.  Unlike any gumbo I’ve had, it was topped with fried okra (yes, it was) and served over the perfectly cooked bed of rice.  I shared this dish with Big Guy and even then it was just too much to finish.  Incredible depth of flavor from a homemade stock.

Sadly, I ignored the fries.  There was just too much other stuff going on.

Chef Ryan, this meal made me miss you and your wife even more.  But it also makes me want to come back soon and dine with you for dinner.

Until next time…

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