As the holiday season approaches, Monthly reached out to certified sommelier Stephanie Skager of Rollers Wine & Spirits for some of her favorite wines of the season and what she’ll be sharing with her family at the dinner table this year. Here are a few choices that will surely help make the holidays special.

MARIA’S MEXICAN KITCHEN CELEBRATES GRAND OPENINGrestavrnews

Maria’s Mexican Kitchen in Beaufort opened in November. The locally owned-and-operated restaurant serves a variety of authentic Mexican dishes as well as Tex-Mex plates. Maria’s Mexican Kitchen was inspired by all of the Marias in the owner’s personal life. 

rockfishRockfish Seafood and Steaks is proud to call itself “Hilton Head’s Seafood Destination,” and locals and visitors agree. 

The menu offers fresh shrimp, oysters, shrimp and grits, triggerfish, salmon, lobster, seafood pasta and a wide selection for “land lovers,” including steak, southern fried chicken, ribs and burgers. You can find their full menu on their website at www.rockfishhhi.com

SUGAR COOKIES KEEP IT EASY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

You have them — friends that deliver beautiful cookie trays at the holidays, full of handcrafted delectable treats. You’d think that they spent hours sculpting each perfect cookie, all individually delicious. They might have, but there’s a secret method to success for a holiday cookie collection: a cookie base that can perform more than just one job.

There are many cookie bases, but for holiday decorating, you just can’t beat a sugar cookie. This recipe is delicious and versatile, able to be shaped into intricate cut out cookies or pressed into a cheesecake crust. Just don’t eat them all before it’s time to give them away.

UNIQUE, FLAVORFUL DISHES

A hidden gem located off the beaten path, Olive & Fig Mediterranean Kitchen offers a delectable menu of Middle Eastern, Lebanese and Greek cuisine.

Located in Moss Creek Village, Olive & Fig is not just a restaurant but an experience. The décor includes beaded lights imported from Turkey, a copper bar and authentic Middle Eastern music. A belly dancer performs once a month and on special occasions.

A FAMILY TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE

Crane’s Tavern and Steakhouse on Hilton Head Island has a pedigree that goes back for more than a century. Frank Crane, an immigrant from Ireland, founded Crane’s Tavern in Philadelphia in 1908 and ran it until forced to close during Prohibition.

After the restaurant reopened in 1933, his sons and a grandson continued to operate the tavern into the 1970s. His son Hank worked at the original tavern until 1969, when he opened a Crane’s Tavern north of Philadelphia, then bought and renamed the Surf City Hotel on Long Beach Island, N.J.

GREAT SEAFOOD IN A RELAXED WATERFRONT SETTING

Fishcamp on Broad Creek offers an extensive menu and has stunning views of Broad Creek. The venue is the same location of the embarkation dock that Charlie Simmons Sr. transported passengers and produce from Hilton Head to the Savannah City Market for nearly 30 years before the island gained a bridge in 1956.

A FAVORITE LOCAL’S SPOT

When Leslie and Paul Stewart opened Palmetto Bay Sunrise cafe in 2002 they committed to making great breakfast fare starting before the sun rises, from 6 a.m.

Known as the Islands’ “go to” breakfast spot, Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café’s menu offers traditional breakfast and lunch items with a Hilton Head twist: eggs benedict (homemade hollandaise sauce), the best smoked salmon bagel, she-crab soup, shrimp and grits with gravy, and crab cakes. There are variations of eggs Benedict, including city ham, crab cake, smoked salmon or shrimp and spinach. Quiches and stratas along with biscuits and gravy, pancakes, French toast and omelets. Specials offered include blueberry cream cheese and country fried steak.

Dining briefsVIRTUAL GRATITUDE – AND PASTA - EXPERIENCE

Hilton Head’s Chris Schembra, founder of 7:47 and a bestselling author of “Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection,” will host a virtual dinner 7:47 p.m. on Nov. 11.

Using its evidence-based framework, the 7:47 Gratitude Experience has sparked more than 500,000 relationships. The event aims forr participants to get to know their neighbors on a deeper level.

Salty Dog

JAKE AND THE SALTY DOG T-SHIRT HAS BECOME A LIFESTYLE LEGEND

The dream for the Salty Dog Café was simple: marry a picture-perfect waterfront location with delicious Lowcountry dishes and happy, soothing tunes played by local musicians.

Thirty-three years later, the iconic eatery at South Beach Marina has grown into a 350-employee business empire and is a hit with vacationers and locals alike.