The Cypress Room—Fine dining at Island Vista Resort

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A sophisticated menu and old-fashioned Southern charm are the hallmarks of The Cypress Room Restaurant at Island Vista Resort.

Service French-inspired new American cuisine, The Cypress Room is the elegant on-resort  restaurant with reasonable prices and a casual, friendly feel that represents the best of low-country dining. Cypress panels harvested from local trees line the ceiling and walls, giving this lovely restaurant its name, but it's the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the sea that will knock your socks off — the ocean view can't be beat, unless you choose patio seating so close you can hear the waves break while you enjoy your meal.

At The Cypress Room, chef Michael McKinnon has created a menu of innovative seafood dishes using the freshest local ingredients. The she-crab soup is a perennial favorite, offering the rich flavor of blue-fin crab with a finishing touch of sherry. Other appetizers on the menu include smoked salmon terrine served with pickled red onion, watermelon radish, celery and basil oil, or the Berkshire pork belly, served with cauliflower-pistachio golden raisin couscous and popcorn sauce.

For entrees, only the freshest seafood is offered: seared diver scallops, or citrus-crust grouper. But non-seafood lovers will be pleased too. Herbed roasted chicken, braised beef short ribs and roasted pork shops are all on the menu. The sides shine, too: roasted shallot whipped potatoes, wilted kale, white cheddar cheese macaroni, sweet potato fingerlings, and more.

The Cypress Room sources many of its menu items locally — mushrooms from Mepkin Abbey Farms, near Charleston; rice and heirloom grains from Anson Mills in Columbia; seafood from Seven Seas Seafood in Murrells Inlet. This level of attention to detail and quality is apparent on every plate.

A children's menu ensures the younger members of your party will leave satisfied, and for adults, an excellent wine list and full bar is available.

Don't forget: The Cypress Room is also open for breakfast, with a menu full of favorite breakfast selections. Hot cakes, waffles, grits, eggs bacon, fresh juice, hot coffee —  everything you love for breakfast.

The Cypress Room is open daily for breakfast (7:30 to 10 a.m.) and dinner (5:30 p.m. to close, with last seating at 8:30 p.m.) Daily happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m.

(posted 6/26/14)