September 2018

Octagon Porch

Author: Becca Edwards | Photographer: Photography by Anne

You do not need to drive a Honda Odyssey to know that date night is important. My husband Lee and I, who by the way do not drive a Honda Odyssey (cue Seinfeld’s, “Not that’s there’s anything wrong with that”), recently ventured out to Palmetto Bluff’s Octagon Porch via motorboat. The premise: If we are going to a destination that celebrates the Lowcountry (in high style), why not start by immersing ourselves in it (in quasi-high style).

When you boat to Palmetto Bluff, your day—whether it was filled with work, kids or just mind noise—will have a molecular change from something dense to something fluid and invigorating. With the water still warm here until mid-fall, you will see big-grinned children bouncing on inner tubes, the colors of the Lowcountry shift with the colors of the day, and a cross species of wildlife doing what they do best here—thriving.

And you will engage other senses as you hear the sound of pelicans “kerplunking” into the water, smell the briny Lowcountry air, feel the wind against your skin, and—wait for it—taste your first glass of [insert drink of choice here] as you embark on your adventure.

It is a sensorial overload of the best sort—as is dining at Octagon Porch. But before I describe the meal we had and you start salivating, let me tell you that the walk to Octagon is also quite tasty.
After we docked our boat, we strolled toward the Inn. Between the well-groomed landscape, the quaint coastal cottages that make you want to lounge in a cozy robe on a porch and read a book, and the occasional golf cart driven by either an employee ready to help or a guest or resident saying, “Evening,” you instantly feel transported into a Big Chill meets Great Gatsby moment.

You get the sense that time doesn’t matter here. And neither does anything that could possibly weigh you down—including calories. In short, Palmetto Bluff is to adults on date night as Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory was to Charlie Bucket.

After a cocktail at the Inn, we headed over to Octagon Porch. Speaking from cherished experience, if (or rather when) you go, expect to be greeted with a smile and a genuine willingness to give you an evening you will not soon forget. The atmosphere here is celestial coastal. And the staff, from your waiter to your sommelier, is there to enrich your experience—and not in a robotic way, but rather in a Southern hospitality way. Everyone is conversational, well-trained and helpful.

Now for the meal! The menu reads like a foodie’s bible—even for people seeking cutting-edge, healthy options. (Note: When I say cutting-edge, I do not mean fad health food, but rather well-researched food that has proven health benefits.) Admittedly, I am Sally in When Harry Meets Sally when it comes to ordering except in places like Octagon. I, as well as you, can trust they’ll get it right.

From the BE WELL BY KELLY menu, I first ordered a cocktail: the turmeric ginger margarita. Who knew an alcoholic beverage could include digestive and anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric, ginger and black pepper? I then did my research to learn more about this Kelly character. Turns out, Kelly LeVeque is a holistic nutritionist, wellness expert, and celebrity health coach based in Los Angeles, California. In April, she partnered with Montage Hotels & Resorts and, because Montage is committed to providing guests and travelers with offerings to live healthy, fulfilling lives, the partnership is a match made in culinary heaven.

Next, my husband and I ordered the squash blossom starter. All you ladies out there, raise your hand if you like adorable food. That’s what I thought. This dish is equal parts precious and palatable with the balanced flavors of the sweet squash blossom, the creamy goat cheese, and the spiced honey.

Then we ordered our entrées. My husband ordered the catch of the day with dirty rice grits, piquillo pepper and sherry emulsion, and I went back to the BE WELL BY KELLY menu and ordered the shrimp Louie salad with grilled shrimp, butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, egg, and classic Louie dressing made with Primal Kitchen avocado mayonnaise. It took amazing restraint, but we ate slowly and savored every bite.

Though we rarely get dessert, my husband was so inspired by what we had already tasted that he went on a food bender and ordered the beignets with bourbon milk-jam and mixed berry compote and the s’mores pot de crème with house marshmallows and graham cracker. All I could think was, “Food coma, here we come.”

I joked earlier about date night (and maybe the Honda Odyssey, which quite frankly several of my friends drive and love), but truly and statistically-speaking, date night is important. I know our night out at Octagon Porch allowed my husband and me to really get away from our day-to-day stressors and back to why we married each other in the first place. We also enjoyed the fact that it was not just about the food—although the food was amazing. We liked that, by boating there, our date was interactive. As my husband and I motored back home that night, we brainstormed about other ways to “romance the stone” at Palmetto Bluff. Here’s our list:
• “Porching it” at the River House
• Playing bocci at the court near Buffalos
• Eating s’mores at the River House
• Drinking mimosas on the May River aboard the yacht Grace
• Hooking in with Outside Hilton Head and getting on the water via paddleboard or kayak
• Walking and biking the property
• Getting a spa treatment
• Kicking it back at the swimming pool (only for guests of the resort)

You can also time your date night to Octagon Porch with some of Palmetto Bluff’s upcoming events like Music to Your Mouth November 16-18. With the Whole Hog & a Bed package, you get a two-night stay in an Inn room, suite or cottage and an invitation to myriad culinary experiences. Montage also offers several new Palmetto Bluff packages you can learn more about from their website.

Octagon Porch is located at 477 Mt. Pelia Rd, Bluffton, SC 29910. For information or reservations, visit https://www.montagehotels.com/palmettobluff/dining/octagon-porch/about/ or call (855) 264-8705.
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Go Whole Hog for Music to Your Mouth
Why not extend your date night and make a weekend of it? Indulge in the ultimate MTYM experience with an event-packed weekend, November 15-18. The Whole Hog package (tickets only) offers a myriad of culinary experiences to fill your weekend (and your belly), while still allowing time to explore all the Bluff has to offer.

The package ($1,400) includes: Rock the Dock, Southern Supper Club, Hair of the Dog 5K, Culinary Festival, Kiss the Pig Oyster Roast, The Pig Event, Biscuits & Jam Breakfast, and a Swag Bag.

Whole Hog + A Bed
Make it a sleepover and enjoy two nights at Montage Palmetto Bluff, where Southern hospitality and dreamy decadence converge for the ultimate in Lowcountry luxury. The package is based on double occupancy and includes all the above-listed festival activities plus accommodations.

Pricing starts at $3,730 and is based on double occupancy. A variety of accommodations are available. To book your stay, call Montage Palmetto Bluff Reservations at (855) 417-5799.

Taste of Music to Your Mouth
It’s always important to taste test while cooking, so why not do the same for Music to Your Mouth? See what all the buzz is about with the Taste of Music to Your Mouth package, which includes two tickets to the Culinary Festival only and a two-night stay at the luxurious Montage Palmetto Bluff. You can choose from a variety of accommodations to ensure your weekend stay is just right—kind of like Goldilocks, but with much better food (and wine). Pricing starts at $1,630 and is based on double occupancy.

For more information, visit www.musictoyourmouth.com or call (855) 417-5799 for reservations.

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