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Dinner at Gruby's is a treat for the senses

The grilled salmon fillet at Gruby’s in Okatie is pan seared, then covered in a rich, nuanced sauce of lemon, garlic butter and a touch of cream.
The grilled salmon fillet at Gruby’s in Okatie is pan seared, then covered in a rich, nuanced sauce of lemon, garlic butter and a touch of cream. Carol Weir/Special to the Packet and Gazette

To do salmon right requires a subtlehand, because bold sauces canoverwhelm the firmly textured fish.To taste salmon done to perfection,head to Gruby's in Okatie Villagenear Sun City Hilton Head. There,dinner entrees include a salmon filletpan seared and lightly seasoned withlemon and garlic butter. Flaky andabsolutely fresh, the salmon is accompaniedby crisp steamed vegetables,rice and a crunchy-on-the-outside,fluffy-on-the inside dinner roll.

While the salmon will please anypalate, transplants from the Northeast,especially New York, wax enthusiasticabout the stuffed cabbage,potato knishes, and matzo ball soupserved by Steve, Scott and BrianGruber. Not widely available in theLowcountry, these foods are enoughto make even the most cynical NewYorker grin.

"They're used to having a good Jewish deliand around here, we're it," said Scott Gruber."It's like a slice of home."

From bagels on weekend mornings to NewYork style cheesecake and deli meats by thepound, Gruby's serves quality food based ontraditional recipes. Brothers Steve and Barryopened the first Gruby's on Hilton Head Island in1986, and later expanded to Atlanta and recentlyto Okatie. A close family, they're proud of theirroots in the Bronx.

Gruby's is decorated in a contemporary stylewith original pieces by local artists. The NewYork City skyline is dramatically etched in glass,and the booths are deep and comfortable. OnSaturdays and Sundays, several large flat screenTVs above the bar at Gruby's show NFL andcollege football, and on Monday nights, a platterof 10 wings and a pitcher of Bud Light orYuengling is only $17.

Monday is also lobster night, with an about1.5-lb. lobster accompanied by roasted potatoesand drawn butter for $16.99. Reservations arerequested, because as Scott Gruber says,everybody loves the lobster."

Gruby's also offers onsite and offsite catering.Platters can include corned beef, pastrami,chopped liver, smoked salmon and house-maderoast turkey, roast beef and brisket.

For first timers, the most economical way totry Gruby's is breakfast-two eggs any style, achoice of bacon or sausage links, home fries orgrits with toast and coffee is $4.99 (Mon.-Sat.8-11 a.m.). And because they're grateful to bethriving after 24 years in business, Gruby's isserving food at 1986 prices from 2-4 p.m. Mondaythrough Saturday through October 31, inBluffton only. The family saved a menu fromwhen they opened, so know exactly what foodcost back then, Scott said. Their customers areenjoying the trip down memory lane.

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