ELA'S On the Water

4.4
2101 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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Seafood, Steak, Wine Bar
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Hours of operation
BRUNCH: Sunday 11:00 - 2:00pm

LUNCH: Monday - Friday 11:00 - 2:00pm

DINNER: Daily 5:00 - 10:00pm

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT: Thursday - Sunday 7pm -10pm F
Thursdays 7pm - 10pm : HARRY SANTANA
Fridays/Saturdays 7pm - 10pm : JOHN WASEM
Fridays/Saturdays 7pm - 10pm : REID RICHMOND
Sundays 11am - 2pm: MARTIN LESCH
Sundays 7pm - 10pm : TIM MALCHAK

Private Party bookings available in our Penthouse Private Dining Room

Docking fees/ complimentary when arriving by boat with reservations
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Phone number
(843) 785-3030
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Ryan Alpaugh
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Private party facilities
Best Water View Dining on Hilton Head

Second Level private dining for Wedding & Private events for up to 80pp
Penthouse VIP Dining Room available for parties up to 20pp
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Private party contact
Lynn Malvasio : (843) 785-3030
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Catering
Second Level private dining for Wedding & Private events for up to 80pp
Penthouse VIP Dining Room available for parties up to 20pp
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Enter Shelter Cove Harbour and follow Shelter Cove Lane to the private parking for guests.

OMNI RESORT / MARRIOTT RESORT / WESTIN RESORT offer free shuttles to ELA'S

For directions call our concierge at 843-785-3030
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Public transit
OMNI RESORT / MARRIOTT RESORT / WESTIN RESORT offer free shuttles to ELA'S

Palmetto Dunes - DunesBuggy - free shuttle to ELA's
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Entertainment
Original Artist Productions, Classic Rock, Island Music

John Wasem every Thursday & Friday from 7 - 11pm

Reid Richmond every Saturday from 7 - 11pm

Bill Peterson every Sunday 11 - 2pm

Dean St. Hillaire every Sunday 7 - 10pm
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2101 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
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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JB
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

ELA's was outstanding in every aspect. Our server, David, was attentive and very pleasant. He was very descriptive when questioned about the menu.
The menu selection was outstanding. All four of us selected seafood and we were all very pleased with the presentation and most of all the taste. The quality was outstanding.
Have wanted to try ELA's for several years and we are glad we finally made it for dinner.
The ambiance of the dining area and the water view are outstanding.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Salmon overlooked- dry
Sea scallops fine but 3 for $34?? Seriously?

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DA
Charleston
43 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

always make Ela's a necessary stop when on HHI. Sunday Brunch is a real treat! Janice and I both chose the Smoked Salmon Benedict and were not disappointed. Service , as usual, was attentive. Only a few tables in use before 12:00, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Marina view is always a nice addition.

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BF
Baltimore
14 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best steaks I have ever eaten!

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JS
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, atmosphere and service was exceptional!

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R
Charleston
53 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Wonderful anniversary dinner, loved that they honored our request for special table,,welcomed us with a nice glass of champagne...best wine list I have found in years!! My wife's filet was outsatanding,,but my short rib was dry, and grits not so good,,but I think I just ordered the wrong thing...

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RW
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We tried ELA’s for our 40th wedding anniversary/birthday celebration. From the moment we checked in to the very end, our evening was special. The staff was great and the foood and ambiance was perfect.

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SF
Charlotte
5 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Holiday weekend brunch

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l
Savannah
5 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

AMAZING FOOD , MUSIC , BAR

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JD
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came from Iowa to Hilton Head for our 40th wedding anniversary and our resort recommended this place for supper. We got there on thanksgiving night and went to the bar and visited with the owner and he recommended the shrimp. It was not on the menu that night but he had the kitchen make for us anyway and it was great. Thank you we will return!!!

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j
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Beautiful spot on the water. As two chefs finally dining out for thanksgiving for the first time in 20 plus years, We were excited when we chose this restaurant based on the menu. Unfortunately, the food really under delivered that night.

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NE
Cleveland
4 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 1

Was excited based on reviews... went for brunch at 11:30 on a Sunday morning, felt it strange that we were the only group there but chalked it off to being in the off season.

Service was good, attentive and friendly. I ordered traditional eggs Benedict and so did my daughter. She hasn’t had Hollandaise sauce before so opted for it on the side. Our meals came out, my poached eggs were cooked correctly, her’s were poached over-hard and the hollandaise sauce was cold. How could 2 orders of the same dish ordered and presented at the same time come out so completely different? They redid her breakfast, this time the eggs were good but covered in hollandaise sauce. My wife ordered the lobster bisque which came out room temperature at best. They brought her a new bowl, hot but no noticeable lobster meat... kind of like a puréed sauce more than a rich and savory bisque. We ordered our pre-school son a Mac and cheese from their kids menu which came out swimming in a watery yet powdery cheese sauce.

They took my wife and daughter’s meals off the bill which was the right thing to do. After all of that we were still the only diners there and at this point it was nearly 1pm and neither of them had eaten... our brunch turned into both of them missing breakfast and lunch, resorting to chips and prepackaged guacamole from the local Publix.

Sad to have such a negative experience at a place we hoped had great potential.

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AL
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The veal ravioli was good but not crazy about the sauce. The flounder was excellent.

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A
Columbus
96 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a last minute decision after looking over the menu and it was a wonderful surprise. We’ve been visiting HHI since 1994 and had never visited this part of Shelter Cove. The weather was too cold to sit outside but I can only imagine how perfect it must be in the summer. Our waitress was very helpful and informative about the menu. They have a wonderful wine selection but we brought our own which she kindly decanted and served for a small corking fee. The crab cakes were made with lots of crab and very little breading which is how they should be! The lobster risotto was buttery and rich with a delicious flavor and texture & plenty of lobster. The short ribs were fall off the bone tender and the best my son had ever had. The tuna was sashimi grade and served rare as it should be. We wished we had room to try the dessert but that will wait for our next visit. Only complaint my husband had was the old fashioned drink was watered down with too much ice and not enough bourbon or rye (our son). This was our favorite meal and place during our week in Hilton Head.

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DB
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ela’s is one of my favorite restaurants in Hilton Head. The food is consistently good and beautifully presented, outdoor seating on the water is stunning in the evening and owner and staff are attentive.

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E
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved Ela’s. It was the best restaurant experience all around while at Hilton Head. Great food and great views.

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MJ
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Did not meet expectations. Staff was much too slow to manage an over-served bar patron and a great musician was over amplified for the room size. The service was mechanical and the food good but not remarkable. Half empty on a Friday before a holiday, clearly it’s not what it may have once been.

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OT
Charlotte
9 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice outdoor porch overlooking the marina

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RL
Atlanta
11 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The service and atmosphere were superb. Our server brought us complimentary champagne for our anniversary, and the view from our patio table was exquisite. My only complaint was that the Thai fish was described in the menu as "lightly fried", and came out deep fried such that the "fry" taste overpowered the fish. But my husband's steak was delicious. I would return again, and simply order something else.

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GG
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a wonderful dining experience.

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o
Fayetteville
48 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First visit and it was excellent. Right on the water, overlooking the marina and condo units in Shelter Cove. We shared a crab claw appetizer that was perfect. Slightly cracked but worth the extra work to enjoy the meat. Salmon Rockefeller was a big portion but done perfectly. Scallops over risotto were cooked just as they should be. Mid week, not crowded as I suppose it is in the summer months. Great time of year to sample new places on the island.

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GG
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The hamburger was a home run: juicy, well seasoned, topped with fried onion strings and bacon. The chicken salad wrap was just the perfect size for lunch and the veggie wrap was exactly what the vegetarian members of our party wanted: full of yummy veggies and creamy avocado. Excellent views of the cove and surrounding marsh enhanced the meal.

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CR
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrating our Wedding Anniversary . Great service, food and atmosphere

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S
Greensboro
31 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dinner, excellent service and incredible view in Shelter Cove!! The crab cake, ahi tuna, and whole scored flounder were all excellent!! David was very attentive during our dining pleasure...I would recommend him to anyone!!

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SG
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place - waitress was amazing- Mosea

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r
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

this truly was a delightful dinner... great food and a wonderful waiter - piano music was great
the food was good quality and creatively prepared.

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OT
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Food was almost inedible! Service also subpar. We had to flag down a waitress and there were only 6 people in the restaurant!

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FS
Savannah
6 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

We walked away with the impression that this restaurant has not yet figured out what it wants to be - a fashionable watering hole or a mid to high end eatery. Food was, at best, average and definitely fully priced. Atmosphere in the dining room was not particularly relaxing because of the noise from the bar one floor down and the openness of the layout.
Server was very attentive and knowledgeable.

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OT
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Restaurant with delicious and decent sized meals. Staff was attentive, timely, knowledgeable and friendly. It's location right on the harbor added interest to the creative nautical interior decor and style of the building. Wish the noise level wasn't quite as loud, but the place was really busy on this particular Saturday night.

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MG
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Great location but food just okay for the price. My fish was dry and not seasoned.

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OT
Atlanta
142 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Part of food order wasn't delivered until we notified our server. All in all neither the service nor the food was anything special for the price. Nothing special on the wine list either.

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b
New England
12 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was delicious as was the ambience. Our server was wonderful and made great suggestions. The negative was that we were seated next to the bar with an extremely rude gentleman talking on his phone and quite drunk. The mouse level was a bit too much for what I consider fine dining. Once he left it quieted down. Otherwise I would recommend this restaurant. We were not disappointed

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MM
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 2

We made a reservation for outside on a cool night, knowing they had heaters. They put us (2 of us) at a small table for two all the way at the end of the outside seating, barely near the heater. We moved the table a bit to be closer. I will note, there were other tables that were empty that we could have had which were closer to the heaters. It was not a busy night.
The waiter was functional, at best.
The food was good, but not exceptional.
Ordered fries, and were presented with truffle fries, which was an assumption on the waiter's part...not what i wanted nor what I ordered.
It was an ok night. Certainly not what I expected--I expected better, Ela's.

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SC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Overall dining experience was nice. Food was good but not great. Server rather unhelpful and no personality. Ambience very nice.

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SB
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal, dirty martini, wait staff. Loved the live music at the bar. Lovely place.

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W
Charlotte
50 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We usually end our vacation at Elas. We look forward to saving the best for last.

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GT
Mississippi
8 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Excellent food and reasonably priced for the market. Ordered a Grey Goose martini but received a Tito’s martini but received no notification/explanation from server.

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c
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated our anniversary at Ela’s. We were treated very special with complementary champagne. The service, drinks, ambiance and food were very good.

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TM
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 1

Maitre d insisted we requested a table in middle of bar. We never made such a request on the app. Claimed it was only table available when we objected . I made reservation 2 days in advance. Service was poor and bar was extremely noisy. Ruined our dining experience.

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DR
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat at the bar and were well taken care of by the bartender and staff. Food was excellent!

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