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Mar 31, 2024

Truffles: Great Food for Generations, Now With a New Vibe

Cheryl Ricer

Photography By

M.Kat
“We are so thankful to have such amazing people help us serve our guests each and every day,” Price said. “We fully acknowledge our team as the facilitators behind our 40 years of success.”

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In any town, especially a resort town like Hilton Head Island, restaurants come and go, some not even surviving a year. For restaurateurs, it’s a tough business requiring selfless service, unwavering commitment, and a willingness to work long hours. Few establishments experience longevity of more than a few years. However, with more than four decades in business, Truffles Café at The Shops at Sea Pines Center is an iconic dining destination. Its younger sister location in Belfair Towne Village in Bluffton is fast joining those ranks.

When Price Beall opened the Sea Pines location in 1983 with his brother, Sandy, and sister-in-law, Kreis, the initial concept was a full-service restaurant and bar along with a bakery, and deli cases filled with meats, cheeses, prepared salads, and a specialty foods market. They soon realized that this concept was ahead of its time and transitioned the space to focus entirely on being a restaurant and bar.

Truffles Bluffton’s newly renovated dining room. 

Sandy and Kreis moved away in 1985, and Price along with his wife, Karen, whom he met at the restaurant, continued to run the business. In 2000, they opened the second Truffles location in Belfair Towne Village in Bluffton. In 2014 they, along with brother Sandy, opened their first Chow Daddy’s on Hilton Head and in 2015, a second location in Bluffton. Along the way, longtime managers Fernando and Heather Lossada became business partners.

Today, Price acts as CEO, Karen manages marketing and directs interior design, Fernando runs the day-to-day operations of the restaurants (along with Jeannine Gleason in the Belfair Town Village location), and Heather oversees administration.

“We are so thankful to have such amazing people help us serve our guests each and every day,” Price said. “We fully acknowledge our team as the facilitators behind our 40 years of success.”

A busy evening at the Truffles location in Sea Pines Center. 

For their 40th anniversary, the team has marked the milestone with an aesthetic renovation at both Truffles locations.

While the original restaurant has undergone a few minor facelifts over the past 40 years, this transformation was meant to evoke a whole new vibe while nodding gently to the past. To assist with the restaurant re-vamp, Karen enlisted her good friend Joni Burden, owner of J. Banks Design Group, who connected her with designer Melanie Congdon. They started with the wallpaper that became the inspiration for everything that followed.

“While traveling, I had seen the wallpaper in a different color way. We used that to lead us to the new tabletops, chairs, and lighting,” Karen said. “Previously, we had white tablecloths with butcher paper, but with the new look, we decided to go a bit more casual. We opted for light-colored wood tops with the goal of creating welcoming and warm spaces.”

The tomato dill soup, baked French onion soup, pot pie, and the curry chicken salad have been on the menu since they opened, so you know they are scrumptious

The lighting, especially in the Sea Pines location, is a much bigger change. While everyone loved the basket-covered ceiling, it was time to improve upon that look. The solution was to create the same kind of aesthetic by using light fixtures to emulate the baskets. 

Melanie recommended Arteriors for all the new fixtures which are different shades of black and natural, and, while they are all round, they are all different diameters and heights. The effect is warm and brand new, yet reminiscent of the former baskets.

The logo, too, has been elevated. The challenge was to make changes to a recognizable logo, while creating something more current and exciting. The block letters remain, but the colors are more fun – different shades of green with a hint of blue – and play nicely off the new wallpaper.

Happily, the delicious food Truffles Café is known for hasn’t changed, except for a few notable additions. Both the lunch and dinner menus are wide ranging for a variety of appetites. For lunch, you can still get the classic soups and sandwiches, burgers, quiche, and the amazing jumbo lump crab cakes. The tomato dill soup, baked French onion soup, pot pie, and the curry chicken salad have been on the menu since they opened, so you know they are scrumptious. A new favorite on the lunch menu is the Greek salad, which you can have with chicken, shrimp, or fish.

Also, the dinner menu has mouthwatering appetizers like tuna wonton, mushroom crostini and those to-die-for parmesan fries served with white truffle aioli. Don’t worry, the baked brie is still there. 

Many of the famous familiar entrées, such as baby back ribs, meatloaf, and fried coconut shrimp, will tempt your tastebuds, along with some noteworthy newcomers. For instance, there is a roasted mushroom pasta, made with shiitake, cremini, and baby portobello mushrooms infused with white truffle oil, and oven roasted with fresh herbs over linguine, then tossed with homemade Alfredo sauce. Each entrée is offered with the smoothest, creamiest of mashed potatoes or aromatic basmati rice and vegetables du jour.

From the bar, order a glass of your favorite wine (you can’t go wrong with the house sangria), a craft cocktail, or an ice-cold brew. For dessert, share a piece of the original, house-made key lime pie AND the blondie, also on the menu since Day One.

So, what’s next for the Bealls and their family of Lowcountry restaurants?

Roasted mushroom pasta, made with shiitake, cremini, and baby portobello mushrooms infused with white truffle oil, and oven roasted with fresh herbs over linguine, then tossed with homemade Alfredo sauce. 

“We are in the process of renovating Chow Daddy’s in Bluffton,” Karen said. “Last year when we relocated Chow Daddy’s from

the old Pope Avenue location to The Shops at Sea Pines Center, we updated the concept with a fresh new look. Now, we’re doing the same for our Bluffton location.”

Truffles award-winning baby back ribs, house smoked with tangy barbeque sauce, homemade coleslaw and shoestring fries 

Karen and Price love to cook, entertain, and be entertained. They understand that when friends and family gather, it’s a celebration. 

“Many of our favorite recipes have come from these occasions,” Price said. “You can trust that all our menu items are prepared daily with the finest ingredients, utilizing farm to table freshness and locally sourced (whenever possible) and responsibly raised ingredients. We hope that you enjoy every visit to Truffles Café.”

To experience all the old favorites and the fresh new vibe, visit Truffles Café in Hilton Head at 71 Lighthouse Road, or in Bluffton at 91 Towne Drive, or online at TrufflesCafe.com. 

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