Chef Ryley McGillis
Lobby bar at The Sanctuary Hotel
There’s no better way to start your day then with a hearty southern breakfast. I feasted on buttery biscuits, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, grits, apple smoked bacon and sweet local berries. ited by both residential communities and touristy properties. Originally a farm and plantationdriven parcel of land fought over by the fabulously dysfunctional and famous Vanderhorst family throughout the mid-1800s and well into the mid-1900s, the island was eventually developed by Kiawah Resort Associates. Today Kiawah Island is a PGA tournament destination, a family friendly getaway and a five-star resort where locals and visitors enjoy kayaking with the dolphins, biking throughout the lush sweet grass and oak tree lined pathways, and frolicking along the soft sandy beaches. Our visit to Kiawah found us
at The Sanctuary Hotel, a great Gatsby’esque seaside estate with plush room accommodations, a peaceful spa retreat, and some more of that rich lowcountry cuisine. Chef Ryley McGillis spearheads the hotel’s Jasmine Porch, a three-meal a day restaurant that highlights coastal cuisine amid an Atlantic Ocean landscape view. There’s no better way to start your day then with a hearty southern breakfast. I feasted on buttery biscuits, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, grits, apple smoked bacon and sweet local berries. Indulgent? Oh yeah. But I considered it fuel for our active outdoorsy days of cycling, swimming, walking and rowing. Nighttime at Jasmine brings out the restaurants charming and stylish décor. Exposed brick walls, wicker seating and oak-plank floors add to the lowcountry experience. Silky she crab soup is laced with sherry and a generous amount of flaky sweet crab. Fried green tomatoes are tart and juicy enveloped by a crunchy coating of buttermilk and cornmeal. Local beets were in peak season when we visited and presented beautifully roasted in a salad of mixed greens, local feta, bacon, curried walnuts, preserved fruit, radishes and an aromatic vanilla vinaigrette.
Chicken pot pie hushpuppies were a surprising treat, reminiscent of the real thing and covered in rich roasted chicken gravy. Our version of surf and turf consisted of whole Carolina flounder, deep fried and served with a light lemon beurre blanc, offsetting the decadence of the fried preparation. The outer crispy layer protected the moist meatier fish inside. Carolina pork was braised and pulled and served with a cauliflower puree over al dente papardelle pasta. This was a creative dish, while continuing to utilize straightforward preparations and local resources. Bourbon continued to be en vogue, a la dessert, via bourbon sauce atop