Every moment the spring sun shines, fresh produce for Catch 22 on Hilton Head Island grows a little taller.
Ingredients for the eatery's wonderful seafood dishes, appetizers, salads and sides come from gardens cultivated by owners Penny and Gary Duren and Daisy and Bryan Bobinchuck. Catch 22 also participates in an organic vegetable co-op near Charleston. In addition, the restaurants' buyers scour farmers markets around the Lowcountry and in Columbia for the freshest tomatoes, berries and more.
On a recent evening, South Carolina asparagus was part of a spectacular nightly special. Caught-that-day local cobia was sautèed with fresh domestic shrimp, tomatoes and basil in a white wine lemon butter sauce, and served over asiago risotto. The asparagus perched atop the whole creation. ($30)
Chef Bryan Bobinchuck receives many compliments on his creative interpretations of creamy, classic Italian-style risotto, which he makes with chicken stock and cream.
"I used a lot of heart of palm in this risotto, and tomato because it gives a spring and summery taste," he said.
Cobia is in season now, so this tasty fish will be part of many nightly specials at the award-winning restaurant on New Orleans Road.
"Cobia are in shore for the next three or four weeks. Then they go offshore later in the summer and are a lot harder to catch," Bobinchuck said.
One of the few restaurants on the island to buy fresh catches from local fisherman, Catch 22 also recently sponsored a creative event to help Lowcountry non-profit organizations. In celebration of their tenth anniversary, the restaurant's owners donated $22 from each table's dinner check in February to the patron's favorite non-profit organization.
"Customers wrote the name of the group they wanted the money to go to on their dinner receipt," said Daisy Bobinchuck.
Hospice Care of the Lowcountry came in first with the most supporters, and Catch 22 donated a wine-and-appetizer event for eight people to the organization. This fundraiser was such a success that the restaurant plans to repeat it next February.
Catch 22 also has one of the best appetizer deals on Hilton Head Island, at the bar. For $6, bartender Danny Hatch serves two pounds of "crab fingers"- single Alaskan snow crab legs that have fallen off their cluster. Formerly, staff members threw the broken crab legs away, but bar patrons convinced them to serve them at a discount.
Finally, Daisy Bobinchuck said, "We want to give a huge shout out to our local supporters who have kept us in business for more than 10 years," adding that she is grateful to PGA pros and staff, and members of the CBS media, for recommending Catch 22 to Heritage participants.