Spring is in the air at TheDryDock Seafood, Grill &Spirits on Hilton Head Island,where live music is back onthe deck on Friday eveningsand the outdoor tables arepopular for lunch. On March 18,acoustic singer Joan Solleywill play, with musicianRich Graham.
Owner Rob Arbogast saidSt. Patrick's Day is "probably ourbiggest day all year" and thecelebration that began after theisland's annual parade stretcheson through at least tomorrow.Arbogast is serving homemadecorned beef and cabbage($9.99) today and Thursday,"and Friday if we have any left,"he said.
The DryDock has been astaple of the island bar scenesince 1994. Since moving in 2009 from its formerhome near The Sea Shack, the eatery's staff hasfocused on the food. The DryDock's thin, sweetonion rings ($4.50) served with Cajun remouladeget rave reviews, as an appetizer by themselvesor accompanying seafood sliders ($9). The slidersare three small sandwiches with your choiceof grilled mahi-mahi, fried clams or fried shrimp-mix them any way you want.
Both seafood and beef are done well atThe Dry Dock. Try the mussels or clams in garlicand wine sauce ($8), which are sauteed withbutter, garlic, wine and basil. Chef Al Howarduses grouper for the fish and chips basket, andthe fries are homemade from whole potatoes.
On the deck, John Detert tends bar every daystarting at 3:30 p.m. Also outside, Rob Arbogastsmokes Boston butts on a charcoal grill. Thenthe staff pulls the pork to make The DryDock'sfamous barbecue. Starting the weekend afterThe Heritage and running through the summer,The DryDock hosts Sunday afternoon cook outscalled "Beach, Music and Barbecue," serving ribs,fish and shrimp tacos, bratwurst and steak, allcooked on the grill.
The DryDock is a refreshing mix of regulars andvisitors at the bar, and diners who are there for atasty, affordable meal. These days, many patronsat the curved, copper-accented bar are focusedon NCAA action on the flat screen TVs. Near theeatery's entrance, a table shuffleboard gamedraws enthusiastic players who push metal-andplasticpucks down a long, smooth wooden tableinto a scoring area at the opposite end.
The shuffleboard game, which co-owner VickieArbogast estimates is about 40 years old, waslovingly restored by DryDock regulars who workin construction. The restaurant also has pool,darts and a separate dining room which is usedfor private parties and meetings.