ELA'S On the Water

4.4
2310 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Featured in Bon Appetit and the winner of numerous Open Table awards, ELA'S On the Water is a shining star on the Hilton Head scene. Fresh catch seafood and prime cut steaks of the highest quality, artfully prepared by our culinary team of experts, compliment the extensive boutique wine selection. Located at Shelter Cove Harbour overlooking the marina and Broad Creek, ELA's is known for the best water views on the island. A casual intimate interior, wrap around dining patio exterior, and nightly entertainment provided by local recording artists sets the perfect dining experience or location to host special events, private parties, or rehearsal dinners.
What 2310 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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F
Charleston
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

The food was good but should have been great for the cost compared to the quantity received.We will stick to Old fort pub for the water views and delicious gourmet cuisine. Service was sub par for the quality establishment it presents itself to be. Can’t recommend.

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DM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The appetizers were excellent and the entrée was very food. Vanessa, our server, was friendly and was well versed in the menu. The view is excellent and a great place to dine.

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K
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Was looking forward to a celebratory dinner. Not offered a table on the upper patio even though they knew we were celebrating. Ordered Old Fashioned cocktail- watery and not very good. Ordered cheese/meat platter for appetizer. No descriptions from wait staff or food deliverer of the kinds of cheese and meat. Ordered whole flounder entree- asked for no wild rice. Came with rice anyway and no substitution. Fish was dry and not enjoyable. Only enjoyable moment was the hush puppy.

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DC
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently great every time we visit Ella’s year to year

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JW
Savannah
4 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 5

Have been there several times and this was the first time there was a problem. Service was slow and my steak was over cooked and just warm at best.

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JA
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely delicious! We visit Ela’s every time we come to Hilton Head, and we are never disappointed.

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C
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The food is delicious, there were 6 of us. The six different dishes were superb. Go enjoy!

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J
Savannah
38 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We dined during Mothers Day and at Ela's for the first time. Our overall experience was excellent, especially the ambience as we were seated with a great view of the waterfront. Our server, Mosia, was very helpful and attentive. I had the salmon rockefeller and it was exceptional. The Caprese salad was also a great choice. My wife liked the lobster but said that it was a bit on the bland side although dipping it in the drawn butter made it much more enjoyable. The cocktails were very good, especially the berry fizz that my wife said was excellent. We would recommend Ela's for any special occasions or just for an evening of fine dining.

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DB
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening. Antonio and David took great care of us!

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m
Charleston
39 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

We have frequented Ela’s and it had been our go to place for guests so we picked it for Mother’s Day. What a disappointment! Didn’t get our outside table as requested. Given a second floor table which was a challenge to get to for my 87 year old mother-in-law. Seated next to a loud table of 14 who arrived after us and received their appetizers and then their food before us, as did the table next to us also seated after us. An hour after being seated and speaking to the manager, we were finally served our food. Our check was adjusted slightly but certainly not sufficiently based on the experience.

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was fantastic. We celebrated our 12th anniversary there. Wonderful dinner and the staff was great. They even gave us champagne to toast our special night.

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LJ
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 3

My wife ordered the lobster and it was over cooked. I had the sea food scampi and my noodles was over cooked. But our appetizers were good. We was there to have a nice romantic meal for our anniversary and there was a live band downstairs that was to loud for a high end restaurant. Really Disappointed with our experience there.

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DT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

55 minutes from placing order until food was served. Always a screw up with my reservation and seating I requested (4 times in a row). Food is always good but this place lacks in execution.

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M
Vancouver
6 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant. Of the 7 restaurants we went to on the Island, this was one o the top Two. Great service, view and food. Thank you for a great night. Bob

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OT
Anchorage
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service was awesome.

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B
Montreal
3 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

We had a very poor experience here. We made reservations months ago. When we got there, we were treated like we just strolled in off the street. The woman at the host stand acted like a real pill. She took us upstairs clearly to an overflow area to a table with no view. The view was why we went there! When we got up there, we said we would really prefer to be downstairs. Her reply was,”You won’t care about the view when you get your food.” We were celebrating a birthday with a guest so this set the tone for a very disappointing evening and we were also embarrassed we took her there. The girl who was our waitress was fine and the food was fine, but it really put a damper on our whole evening being put where she seated us. $300.00 for a VERY disappointing experience. That host should be replaced with someone friendly and nice. Can’t recommend this place.

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Z
Minneapolis
8 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

The food was mediocre at best and the service was awful. We were seated upstairs with a rather large party who got all our servers attention. We waited well over half hour for the check which came with a very cursory half baked apology. We would never recommend this restaurant.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Excellent calamari appetizer but very timid Shrimp and grits. Service slow but very pleasant waitstaff

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KM
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Everyone loved their meal...fresh fish, steaks, scallops....only one drawback was the short ribs (wouldn’t order again more starch than meat on the plate)

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OT
Indiana
16 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, the service, the view! Everything was excellent!

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BB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The patio has incredible views of the river, marsh and marina. Our waitress was attentive, courteous, knowledgeable about the meals and drinks. Food was brought at a good pace and was excellent.
They had a wonderful selection for desserts and aperitifs. We highly recommend this restaurant.

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

ELA’s was unfortunately very disappointing. The service was terrible - it took more than 1.5 hrs to get our main courses. The server kept asking if we wanted more drinks. I had the lobster - overall the food was eh. The ambiance was very lovely - great music and overlooking the harbor.

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LJ
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Service was a little slow but waiter was so nice it was okay. While the food was excellent, it wasn’t very hot.

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LN
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After a disappointing visit to Ela's a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try again. This time the weather was perfect for sitting outside overlooking the beautiful boats bobbing in the harbor. I chose a cup of gumbo and Ela's crab stack. Both were perfect. My friend ordered shrimp and grits, an old southern favorite. She thought the dish was "divine!" All in all Ela's was a wonderful prelude to our evening at the Arts Center, which is located near-by.

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BM
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of 4 and all enjoyed a different delicious meal. Beautiful setting on the out door deck overlooking the marina. Prompt friendly attentive service. Perfect for our last evening on HHI

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c
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful view of Harbor in Shelter Cove. Food and service great. Ask for window table.

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CD
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

The view and location are fantastic and if you can get a table outside it’s lovely, but unfortunately the food fell flat. The crab stack appetizer was tasty but was described as having mango but was canned peaches; the wedge salad was chopped pieces of bagged romaine lettuce (not the Bibb lettuce described) ; the caprese salad was drowning in dressing. We tried two different risotto side dishes which were barely warm and tasted like a box mix and came in a tiny dish. At $14 per side dish it was ridiculous. All of the portions were very small and not worth the price. Finally we had two fish entrees that were over cooked and dry and a kids Mac and cheese which tasted awful. Other than the view we won’t be rushing back!

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OT
Orlando
12 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great atmosphere outside. Quite noisy inside because of a large party !
The crusted ahi tuna was superb and my husband got the short ribs and said they were excellent

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TS
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We had a very nice evening sitting outside and overview the Waterfront. The recommended Snapper was a little bit dry, but overall the food was excellent. Unfortunately two different red wines from the menu were sold out. The singer made this evening a wonderful one with her soft voice and the selected songs!

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OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Had the table upstairs by the window in the alcove...fantastic view of the marsh! Delicious food and wine.

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CB
Tunisia
5 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

This was my 2nd visit to Ela’s as the first was very good. They must have been either very busy or very short staffed. We had a reservation at 7:30 and we’re seated promptly. It took us 15 minutes or so to get our cocktails and we ordered no appetizers. When our first drinks were empty we waited quite awhile to be asked if we needed a refill. Our dinners didn’t arrive until 9:15. I had the fish special and it had no flavor. It had 2 tablespoons of rice to go with it so I’m not sure what happened there. My husband had the filet and he said it was pretty dry. The two guests we brought with us said their food was good but I’m not sure if they were just being polite. I will try them again and hope this was just a one time occurrence.

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JM
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a window table which had beautiful views. The food was excellent as always! The restaurant was full yet our dinner felt intimate.

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KB
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

service was good, just slightly too fast. Food was excellent.

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KP
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an awesome water view, friendly wait staff and excellent food.

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OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Lobster Bisque we have ever had.

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TM
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely experience all around. The view is fabulous. The food also. And very amenable service.

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DG
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on May 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

The waiter/server could have been a bit more friendly, the lobster was very chewy for $40. I wouldn't return, not for us.

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CF
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Service seemed rushed for no apparent reason, perhaps restaurant was short staffed but not evident to this dining patron. Rosé ordered was different than one billed and at higher price than either choice on menu stated. When ordering by the glass seems one never knows what he/she is truly served. Saved this venue for our last night of vacation but experience was less than expected.

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OT
Miami
6 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beautiful evening,view of Maria and sunset perfect. Staff,friendly,helpful menu varied also out on the deck there is a nice tavern menu. If you Sakakiney for it. A lovely evening I know we will be back,soon

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j
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was fabulous. The maitre d was a bit curt but our waiter made up for it. Food and view are teriffic.

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