Monday, December 24, 2007

Topdeck Restaurant

Atop Harbor Town Light House
Originally uploaded by daveterry.
Yesterday we toured (drove) only half of island. Today we drove the other half.

In order to get into the tip of Hilton Head you have to pass through a gatehouse and pay some money. A Lincoln will get you through to see the ocean. This is very foreign to us. Imagine charging for access to a public beach. It's crazy. In Hawaii it's a state law that you can't prevent or charge for public access to the beaches...I think. At least, we never paid anyone to get to any beach in Hawaii.

At the end of South Beach you'll find a red and white striped light house. It towers 60 feet in the air and gives a great view of the circular harbor of mostly muscle fishing boats. Some of the sea cruisers are 50-100 feet in length. The bay, lighthouse, and surrounding area was designed by Charles Fraser. He went through the trouble of sending his designers to Europe's ports and marinas to study the best features. Then he incorporated them into this world famous port. The lighthouse is in every Golf magazine as it lines up with the 18th hole of Harbour Town Golf Links.

Topdeck Restaurant
Originally uploaded by daveterry.
We toured some historic homes made of shell. Tabby (a cement made of lime, sand or gravel, and oyster shells and used chiefly along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina in the 17th and 18th centuries) homes were built from the materials at hand, in this case ocean shells. They are crumbling now after some 200 years. Still an interesting construction approach. After cleaning and rinsing, the shells were placed into a mud mix inside wooden forms. The forms had large dowels running across them to prevent the pressure from blowing out the sides, similar to the ties of concrete forms today.

The kitchens were a hassle though. They were built about 100 feet away. This prevented accidental house fires and unpleasant aromas permeating the home from slaughtered animals. No refrigerators in those days.

The highlight was Topside, a restaurant back at the lighthouse serving seafood of course. We were there as they opened and got a window table. We drank our Long Island Iced Tea and Rusty Nail as the sun set. We were early enough for the Early Bird special so that meant more cash in my pocket. I had the She Crab Bisque and sautéed prawns in angle hair pasta. Ruth the Passion Fruit BBQ Salmon. We enhanced the light flavors with a gentle New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Money can't buy happiness but it can certainly rent it for a couple of hours.