For upscale Italian, try Bistro Mezzaluna (55 New Orleans Rd., 843/842-5011, daily 5–9:30 p.m.). Known far and wide for its osso bucco as well as its impeccable service, there’s also a great little bar for cocktails before or after dinner.
Staying with that Southern European vibe, you might also like Vassili’s Mediterranean Tavern (11 Lagoon Rd., 843/842-4033, www.vassilisofhiltonhead.com , lunch daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m., dinner daily 5–10 p.m., $15–40), owned by the locally revered restaurateurs of the Maniotis family. At this friendly place near Coligny Plaza you’ll find all the high points of a typical Greek menu, including calamari, spanakopita, and of course a Greek salad. There are some great non-Greek items on the menu as well, including crab-stuffed grouper and a fine chicken piccata.