Bluffton will host its first-ever Coffee and Chocolate Fest on Dec. 8 in Old Town. The outdoor event will bring together many of the region’s leading coffee roasters, specialty dessert-makers and chocolatiers. Eight local vendors will showcase their product lines and give out free samples and gift packages. Leslie Rohland, owner of The Cottage Cafe Bakery & Tea Room, The Juice Hive and May River Coffee Roasters, is coordinating the festival. Other vendors include Savannah Square Pops, Palmetto Sweets and The Corner Perk.

Thai Smile Cuisine has opened in the Bridge Center in Bluffton. The restaurant features authentic Thai cuisine including curries. While most dishes are spicy, the menu also includes a variety of mild items. Thai Smile Cuisine is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Nunzio Patruno, a popular New Jersey chef, is opening a new Italian restaurant on Hilton Head Island in the site of the former Reebok CrossFit Gym on New Orleans Road. The building currently is being renovated and the restaurant expects to open in March. Patruno has owned Nunzio Ristorante Rustico in New Jersey since 2003. His new restaurant will feature lighter fare like homemade pastas and seafood. The space will include a 1,300-square-foot kitchen, a large bar area, two outdoor areas and seating for up to 175 people.

WINES TO GIVE AS HOLIDAY GIFTS OR TAKE TO GATHERINGS

The holiday season is upon us, and whether you are gifting to your friends, family or office colleagues or enjoying other traditions that remind you it’s “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” I want to share some tips that may come in handy as you select the perfect bottle of bubbly or other beverage to toast the holiday.

Hosting the holidays can be stressful, but with a beautiful table setting, good cheer and a few life hacks, you’ve got this!

Professional party planners live by a list, and using one will make your holiday celebration go more smoothly. Plan ahead, and don't be afraid to delegate.

LOOKING TO DEVELOP A TASTE FOR HIGH-END HOOCH? ENJOY THIS GUIDE TO THE GOOD LIFE.

There comes a point in life when it’s time to put behind childish things. In college, you may have pounded keg beer; in your 20s. you may have tried to get classy with exotic cocktails — usually house liquor mixed with cola. But eventually, you — and your palate — have to grow up.

TWO LOCAL CHEFS WILL COOK AT MUSIC TO YOUR MOUTH

Top chefs from all over the country will show off their talent at Palmetto Bluff’s Music to Your Mouth culinary festival this month. Two of them will be local — star chefs of Hilton Head Island and Bluffton.

A PERFECT HOLIDAY MEAL STARTS WITH GREAT INGREDIENTS

Heritage, heirloom, organic, kosher — these are types of fresh turkeys available in the Lowcountry. There’s a bird for every budget, sure to provide great-tasting meat from animals treated with dignity. Look for a turkey raised with no antibiotics and no animal byproducts in its feed and certified by a third-party animal welfare auditor. Turkeys labeled as organic have been fed organic feed, given fresh air and outdoor access, and raised without antibiotics.

From the deck of the Salty Dog — the big catamaran, not the restaurant — it’s possible to watch families on the outdoor patio at the South Beach Marina restaurant enjoying their dinners and live music. Some partygoers on a recent Salty Dog Happy Hour cruise even waved goodbye to them as the boat slipped away from the dock and the voyage got underway on Calibogue Sound. Now in its third year, the adults-only cruises are a hit with visitors and locals ages 21 and older.

BrauhausNEW GERMAN RESTAURANT A RETURN TO BROTHERS’ ROOTS

Brothers Alfred and Volker Kettering might have pursued different careers — Alfred is the seasoned chef and owner of Alfred’s, a popular Hilton Head Island restaurant, while Volker worked for a German corporation — but they have restaurants in their DNA. Their grandparents had a sizeable brauhaus, German for “brewery,” before the brothers were born, and their parents also ran a restaurant in their hometown of Kaiserslautern, Germany, from 1954 to 1960.