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EATERY OF THE WEEK

A reverence for Lowcountry cuisineaccompanies traditional steakhouseofferings at Crane's Tavern Steakhouse& Seafood on Hilton Head Island. In additionto the prime grade beef -ribeyes,filet mignon, prime rib and sirloin- thathave earned the restaurant its greatreputation, Southern recipes give thefood a local flair.

Patrons can experience the best inlocal culinary traditions at this unassuming,comfortable tavern on New OrleansRoad, where Beth Anne Crane and herdad Hank have been serving locals andvisitors since 1999. The owners and stafffocus on quality and creativity throughoutthe menu, which includes appetizers,salads, main courses, and desserts. A barmenu also is available.

As an appetizer, the fried green tomatoesare superb. Buttermilk-battered andlightly fried, they're made with locallygrowntomatoes and garnished with ahomemade roasted corn relish.

Shrimp, a Southern staple, anchors several outstandingdishes at Crane's.

"Shrimp is what people want, and the southerncuisine built around shrimp has a comfort element,"Beth Anne Crane said.

The restaurant serves a decadent take on the classicCarolina dish "shrimp'n grits." Fresh shrimp arelightly sautèed and served over flavorful cheddar gritswith creamed corn, bacon and touch of green onion.

Some Southern touches in traditional recipes atCrane's include pecan-encrusted boneless chickenbreast with andouille sausage, grits and peach chutney;Mahi Mahi grilled and served with a chipotle puree,and cornmeal-encrusted catfish (on the early faremenu). For the steak lover, Crane's "Gentleman Jackmushroom sauce" is inspired by the whiskey from Tennesseeand can accompany any cut of beef.

Crane's is a wine lover's dream-the wine listincludes more than 500 thoughtfully chosen bottles.Many bottles are showcased in the dining room,where dark wood tables covered with white linentable cloths beckon hungry diners to sit down. Withsummer approaching, guests can choose from anincreased selection of white wines including MohuaSauvignon Blanc. From New Zealand, this bright winehas a tropical citrus base and will compliment manyLowcountry dishes.

The Crane's staff is excited to welcome vacationingfamilies.

"We enjoy seeing people we know return everysummer," Beth Anne Crane said.

A children's menu is available with entrees startingat $5.

Also value priced is Crane's early fare menu from5-6 p.m. daily, which features a house salad, a choiceof four entrees and a glass of house wine for $16.95;or a prime rib dinner for $20.95.

At the cozy English-style bar, patrons can orderfrom the full menu or a bar menu with sandwiches,salads and "the best burger ever".

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