Alexander’s Restaurant & Wine Bar: Now open at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: M.Kat Photography
On an island blessed with over 250 dining establishments, only a handful stand out. Alexander’s, located mid-island in Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort, is one of those few and has been on the tips of tongues since 1977—a favorite among Hilton Head Islanders and visitors alike. So, you can imagine the dismay when a recent headline pronounced this iconic restaurant closed forever.
But forever didn’t last long. Now under direct ownership and management of the resort, open for business in its familiar lagoon-front setting, Alexander’s is poised to surprise and delight with updated Lowcountry décor accented with paintings from local artists and a menu that is both a nod to the past and a step into the future of culinary excellence.
When Palmetto Dunes Resort’s executive chef Don Reinheardt was charged with reimagining the menu at Alexander’s, he took a judicious approach. With respect to the restaurant’s past, he kept perennial favorites such as crab-stuffed flounder, shrimp and grits, and wiener schnitzel, while refreshing the offerings to reflect his own vision and a slightly new direction.
“We took the menu that has been popular and successful throughout the history of the restaurant and then looked at ways to polish it and build upon it,” Reinheardt said. In collaboration with Sean Carroll, the talented new chef de cuisine from Williamsburg, Va., he has masterminded a bill of fare, perfectly blending the tried-and-true with fresh additions sure to please die-hard fans as well as newcomers to the restaurant.
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
Grilled and glazed with apricot and sesame seeds.
Perhaps the most significant menu change is a shift toward locally caught seafood, e.g. grouper, flounder, shrimp, blue crabs and oysters…as well as locally grown produce and seasonally available ingredients. “As a chef, I’m always striving for a tremendous guest experience, which involves many factors,” Carroll said. “My style of food is creative and approachable. I like to take high-end ingredients and make something special from the simple things. When prepared with love, the result is the guest tasting the passion in the food. That’s what it’s all about—making food that people can relate to.”
For Brian Couey, Palmetto Dunes Resort’s Director of Food and Beverage, the farm-to-fork principle is a no-brainer. “I like the local philosophy of the food, because it’s not only perception, but it’s also reality that the food is more fresh,” he said. “We’re definitely paying homage to what Alexander’s has been over the last 40 years, but at the same time, enhancing the quality on the culinary side and on the service side.”
Past patrons can expect to see familiar faces, as many longstanding employees are returning to the fold. “We’re very happy to have a lot of the past staff join our team, because they know the guests. It’s a friendly face at the door, and it’s nice to have their input during this transition,” Couey said.
Palmetto Dunes Resort’s executive chef Don Reinheardt
Adding to the fun and functionality of the space is a new stand-up bar alongside the existing bar, so that guests have more space to enjoy pre-dinner cocktails and conversation. Kaitlin Reed, beverage manager for Alexander’s, has been hard at work developing a selection of specialty cocktails and finalizing the wine list, which includes a variety of domestic favorites as well as international labels that people enjoy.
Additional perks include an electronic message board at the hostess stand to inform guests of recreational opportunities and resort activities, and several outlets in the dining room that include USB ports for charging personal devices—small details that add value to the overall guest experience. “It is about food and beverage, but it’s also about hospitality,” Couey said of the improved features, modern touches and local flavor.
“Consistency is our number one priority,” added restaurant manager, Guillermo Carrera, a 15-year veteran of the food and beverage industry, bringing a broad perspective regarding the diversity and sophistication of the clientele. “Many of our guests are not originally from the island. They come here from New York, Ohio, Michigan, L.A., and other metropolitan areas. They know what good food is and what quality is, and we will be able to deliver and meet their expectations.”
Topped with horseradish cheddar, crab and bacon.
Alexander’s distinguishes itself as an upscale seafood restaurant and wine bar, avoiding the term fine dining, which some people may perceive as stuffy or ostentatious, Couey said. The goal is to be a place where guests can unwind from a day of work or play—enjoy delicious food and friendly, attentive service in a relaxing atmosphere.
Whether it’s a family outing, a romantic date, a group event or special occasion, make Alexander’s your choice tonight for an unforgettable dining experience overlooking the tranquil saltwater lagoon inside Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort.
Alexander’s is located at 76 Queen’s Folly Road (the main entry road to Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort) on Hilton Head Island. The restaurant is open for dinner and early dining at 5PM seven nights a week. For more information and reservations, visit alexandersrestaurant.com. Reservations are suggested and are available on the website, or by calling (843) 785-4999.
Sunday, April 16
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Appetizer buffet, entrée to order, and dessert buffet
$32 per person, children 12 and under $16
Seating is limited.
Call (843) 785-4999 or reserve online at alexandersrestaurant.com.