ELA'S On the Water

4.5
2152 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 2152 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RH
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Waiter was very informative on wine and meal pairing. Steak was cooked to perfection and was truly a great experience overall. If you’re planning a date night, this is a must!

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LC
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely to sit outside on the water at sunset. Food is very good, but maybe not worth the high prices.

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HC
Charlotte
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service was great! First time here and really enjoyed our meal.

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OT
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was amazing from the ambiance.. to the food .. to our very accommodating server.. to the rose that was given to each woman after she dinned. Just a overall wonderful unforgettable experience!!!

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FR
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We requested a table along the windows for the glorious water view and we got that even on Valentine’s Day. The service was superb. My Short Ribs meal was outstanding. My wife’s Filet was a little underdone but tasty. Highly recommended particularly for special occasions. In warm season request tables outside.

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CD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food was delicious! Made our Valentine dinner extra special.

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DH
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Good service. Great views of the waterway. Food was just okay. Limited lunch time menu.

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B
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal. Good menu selection Overall nice experience

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GC
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent place for dinner. We took guests from NJ who thoroughly enjoyed the the food, wine and ambiance. Great place, Highly recommend.

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OT
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Worth the walk. Bring your taste buds and your significant other for an evening of enjoyment away from the tourist crush.

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M
Charleston
33 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The meal was excellent and worth the cost. The seafood selection was also excellent and the crab cake is outstanding.

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OT
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for restaurant week and received more food than we could possibly eat.. an awesome value for what we paid! The food was excellent. We have eaten there many times before and will go again

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Honey and I were in HH and it happened to be restaurant week. Looking at the menu online, ELA’S seemed to be the most interesting with a five course meal and wine pairing. First course was shrimp with a honey sriracha + a tuna tartare. My husband liked both but I skipped the tartare. The shrimp were wonderful, close to a bang bang style. From there it just got better- we loved it! The wine pairing was spot on and our server explained them as he served. We sat by the window overlooking the harbor and they had a guitarist/singer in the bar who was loud enough to enjoy but not obtrusive. Wonderful end to our day in the sun!!

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CS
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always delicious!
The lobster with lobster risotto was wonderful. A lot of good lobster meat!
My husband said his pork chop could not have been any better.
A glass of Sancerre, made a perfect evening.

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JC
Richmond
44 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I ordered the grouper entree. It was over cooked and dry.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Will not be going back any time soon

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CM
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had a lovely dinner during Restaurant Week. My filet was outstanding. We also enjoyed being able to have a lovely dinner, nice view, and were able to hear each other! Will definitely return!

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P
Charlotte
5 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and atmosphere make this one of top faves on HHI. Everything was sensational.

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f
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service, great view! Perfect Friday night dinner!

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C
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ela’s Is always a great experience and well worth the trip. Service, food atmosphere and staff are amazing. Can’t wait to go back!

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CB
4 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

This was our first visit to Ela’s! We went during restaurant week and was able to do a five course meal with wine pairings. Great price for this option! Very good food!! We opted for the short rib/grouper meal and the fish was a little dry and a tad fishy so it wasn’t perfect but the short rib and rest of the food was very good. Looking forward to trying it again!!

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W
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fantastic Anniversary dinner at Ela's. The food and the presentation were outstanding, and our waiter; David, did a great job. The view of the harbor and wetlands was very nice. I would definitely recommend that you give this place a try.

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p
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a party of sux, and we were fortunate enough to eat on a night when they had the chef's tasting menu. Every bit of the food was outstanding and it was a great savings over ordering individually on the menu. It was quiet, we had the table overlooking the Marina and our server was incredible.

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AK
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Claire's birthday, special tasting menu, cocktails.... All extremely good, ambience always a plus, couldn't ask for more. Always a hit!

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VS
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Enjoyable and would return to Ela's again in future. Beautiful setting on the marina, nice ambience in restaurant. Appetizers included : Fried green tomatoes, beet salad, Caesar salad, and gumbo. Fried green tomatoes were excellent. Beet salad - while beets were very good, there were only a few. Fried goat cheese seemed to predominate. Did not enjoy as much. Caesar salad was fine. Gumbo was OK but mildly disappointing because I had anticipated it to be more spicy. Scallops entrée was very satisfying. Felt that waitress was attentive but a little overbearing, pressuring my wife to order a second glass of wine and urging us to order desserts to be packaged for home take-out (since we were too full to eat desserts in restaurant)

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PR
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

We were celebrating a birthday, anniversary and new baby. Elas didn’t offer a compliment dessert or anything! Too expensive 200+ for 4, just meals. Food wasn’t anything special. Service wasn’t great. Won’t recommend or be back. We were the only table occupied at 6:00 pm in the whole restaurant.

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RB
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Moisee?(if the spelling is right) was an exceptionally good waitperson.
Her recommendations and service were spot on.
The only negative was the crab cakes had an odd flavor and not enjoyable.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service. Very good food.

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B
Minneapolis
27 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

5course meal with matching wines was great!

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OT
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Vacation with my husband.

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CM
Atlanta
16 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always enjoy Ela’s and especially when they have live music. I also reserve as early as possible to enjoy seating in the corner table to view the sunset.

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FB
Charleston
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server was fantastic, very friendly and attentive. It was very quiet and the food was excellent. Great wine selection.

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LD
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Upscale dining on the beautiful Shelter Cove Marina. The waiter was wonderful making lots os suggestions on the features of the night. Thank you for staying open in the winter months. It is always nice to drop in Ela's!

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D
New York Area
97 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We enjoyed the food and view at ELA’S. Tuna steak was thick cut, and seared and seasoned right. Salmon also very good.

Here’s the huge downside...They make a ridiculous fuss over wheelchair seating (quiet whispers about where to seat us), even though the restaurant is fairly easy to navigate unless you’re sitting in the narrow step down balacony.

Manager deserves an enormous thumbs down for later approaching my husband (not me, whom he pretty much ignored when I spoke to him although I was sitting right there at the table!) to instruct my husband to specify wheelchair access in our open table reservation - “if we ever go out in a wheelchair again” omg!!! He said he only used two tables for wheelchairs (whyyyy???) - even though the restaurant has many easy access tables.

I’m in a high tech power chair and yes we go out - a lot, thank you very much. What an insulting remark. And I deliberately do not specify I’m coming in a wheelchair when I know the layout of the restaurant and don’t want to be treated like a third class citizen, e.g. the way the manager behaved. All I specify for known restaurants on open table is “please no tables near heavy foot traffic” (because I dislike being jostled).

After the hostess tried to put us at a busy entryway table, I made them move us to a quieter table. Duh. Like our reservation said. Sure it was New Years Eve and they were crowded, but there were two available tables when we arrived - one underfoot and one that was not.

You honor my reservation request, period.

Don’t ever ever tell us what to specify on open table, if you even bother to address the wheelchair user. I was so offended that I almost left, but my husband wanted to eat there. And like I said, the food was excellent.

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OT
New England
9 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Wonderful New Year’s Eve dinner and music. Our second year in a row. Server was a little stressed and was not willing to take separate drink orders. May have been because of second floor seating. But we love this place so I will give her a pass tonight

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J
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great way to enjoy waterside NYE! Beautiful!

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l
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

New Year’s Eve celebration

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TM
Nashville
3 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

ELA's always has great food and fantastic views. Definitely one of our top 3 restaurants on the island.

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LZ
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

NYE 2018! Wonderful evening. We sat in an open area way over to the left that had a vaulted ceiling. I think this area was loud because of the ceiling. Beautiful outdoor space overlooking the water and boats. Food was amazing. Would HIGHLY recommend.

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KL
Savannah
18 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first time there and very impressed. It was New Years Eve menu so it was limited but they did well and the food was exceptional. A great place for one of those special nights.

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