Antonio’s - Make it your Italian Restaurant
Author: Jean Wharton
“A bottle of red, a bottle of white
It all depends upon your appetite
I’ll meet you any time you want
In our Italian restaurant…”
Everyone knows the words to this classic Billy Joel hit. It’s a story told through song about a couple, their relationship throughout the years and one restaurant that stands the test of time, even when the love affair does not.
The search for a perfect restaurant with a diverse menu, pleasing atmosphere and excellent service is almost as elusive as the perfect person with whom to share the meal. A bottle or two of the right wine might make the company more appealing; however, no amount of wine in the world can feed your craving for good food with a personal touch.
During this month of lovers and valentines, few places on Hilton Head can get the romance bubbling like fine champagne as perfectly as the candlelit, piano accompanied Antonio’s, located in the Village at Wexford. A restaurant for all seasons, Antonio’s has been able to balance its atmosphere and menu carefully between fine dining and upscale casual, while maintaining a unique perspective on Italian cuisine. As one of only three Triple-A, 4-Diamond Award-winning establishments on the island, Antonio’s has been accommodating the diverse appetites of locals and visitors for the past nine years.
For many islanders, Antonio’s is a place to enjoy a specialty martini during happy hour or get their weekly dose of veal Parmesan while perusing the latest additions to the extensive wine menu. It is the locals who comprise Antonio’s base clientele, mostly because of the restaurant’s genuine hospitality. A smile at the door from manager, Vinnie D’Annunzio or John Fernandez, a greeting from each staff member throughout the dining room and, of course, the magical camaraderie induced by Josh Daugherty at the bar, make each guest feel as if Antonio’s is their Italian restaurant. Year after year, many visitors make it a point during their vacation to dine at Antonio’s—happily recounting a past visit, while recollecting with the server the specifics of their meal the previous year.
Keeping the cuisine authentic, yet innovative is Chef Frank Mottram. Classically trained at the Culinary School at Leigh College in his home country of England, Chef Mottram has been with Antonio’s for more than four years, working under the two previous chefs before taking the reins of the kitchen last year. Under his direction, Antonio’s has become more than just an Italian-themed restaurant, blending cuisines from across Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. Chef Mottram’s menu is a mixture of classic items, such as the famous spaghetti with meatballs along with original seafood dishes such as prosciutto-wrapped scallops and shellfish en brodo. In addition, Antonio’s is proud to offer USDA prime steaks, grilled Tuscan style, gently brushed with olive oil and fresh herbs. Chef Mottram’s menu has been carefully designed to complement Antonio’s extensive wine list, which earned Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. The staff is well-versed in Italian wine varietals and can recommend a glass or bottle to please the palates of both the novice and the most experienced wine connoisseur.
With Bob Alberti on the baby grand piano Mondays and Tuesdays, Josh Daughtery performing magic tricks behind the bar, and numerous experienced wait staff, like Stephanie Hessler, who has been with the restaurant for more than three years, Antonio’s is as close as you’ll come to finding your own Italian restaurant, just like the one in Billy Joel’s song.
Antonio’s Italian Restaurant
Village at Wexford
Hilton Head Island, SC