Islanders don’t have to travel far to immerse themselves in Italian culture, delectable food and wine, Old World accents, personable service and a warm ambiance with creative homey touches throughout.

Gusto Ristorante creates a memorable dining experience nightly at the Fresh Market Plaza on U.S. 278. Gusto also offers a special Sunday brunch and nightly specials that also can be enjoyed al fresco on the patio.

Orchid PaulmeierA Hilton Head Island barbecue favorite has opened a new location in Bluffton. One Hot Mama’s opened late last month in a 4,300 -square-foot corner space adjacent to the Cinemark Bluffton move theater. The restaurant, known for its slow-cooked barbecue, is part of the Southeast Entertainment Restaurant Group (SERG) and is managed by award-winning chef Orchid Paulmeier.

Clayton RollinsClayton Rollins, the executive chef at The Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar, was recently featured on a Food Network episode of “Guy’s Grocery Games.” The cooking competition show featured Rollins’ creating a specialty dish for viewers.

A new Beaufort restaurant near USCB Beaufort is opening this month. Sand Shark Tank is in Newcastle Square off of Boundary Street. The space at 1211 Newcastle St. was previously occupied by Herban Marketplace.The cafe will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as coffee, owner Zack Manley said. A new apartment complex on the adjacent block caters to students, and more units are planned nearby.

Java Burrito — a restaurant known for its burrito bar, coffee selections and local ingredients — is planning to open a second location in Bluffton, according to a Town of Bluffton Review Committee meeting agenda. The new restaurant would be located at 1260 May River Road if approved. Owners have applied for the construction of a 4,400-square-foot building on approximately 0.4 acres of land, according to the committee’s agenda. Owner Frederika Fekete has said she hopes to open the new location sometime next year.

The Omelette Cafe has opened along Buckwalter Parkway at 8210 Pinellas Drive in Bluffton. The restaurant already has locations in Pooler, Richmond Hill, Rincon, Savannah and Hinesville, according to its website. The eatery is known for its extensive breakfast and lunch menus that include a selection of omelets, burgers, sandwiches and more. The restaurant, open daily from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., uses locally grown ingredients with minimally processed foods, according to its website.

daveBad Biscuit — a restaurant “dedicated to biscuits” — is now open. Owner Dave Peck also owns Lowcountry Backyard, a well-known Southern-style restaurant on Hilton Head’s south end that has been featured on the Travel Channel and in USA Today. Bad Biscuit is a fast-casual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating where customers order from a counter. It’s open for breakfast and lunch, serving Southern comfort food with a creative twist.

Tio’s Latin American Kitchen is now open in Shelter Cove Towne Centre. The new 4,000-square-foot restaurant features seating for 200 guests and a to-go area with a full second bar for pick-up orders. The restaurant will also include indoor and outdoor seating, plus a colorful mural created by Charlotte Ofee, a local high school student.

Hilton Head Brewing Company released Cackalacky Common in July. Based on a famous beer brewed in San Francisco, the amber lager is fermented at warmer temperatures. The beer is malty with a crisp, hoppy finish and 5.5% ABV.

AMERICA THE BURGERFUL

Today’s burgers are a far cry from the 5-cent square-shaped White Castle sliders launched in 1921 — the burgers that Time Magazine ranked No. 1 as the “Most Influential Burger of All Time.”

Today’s revolution is just proof that burgers never go out of style — they just keep getting bigger and better. And today’s bun busters aren’t limited to ground beef patties: ground chicken, turkey, shrimp, tuna, mushrooms, rice, beans and grains can make mean burgers, too.