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juice hiveThe Juice Hive won first place at the Good Food Awards for its Magic Memory Ball. Each year, the national Good Food Awards honors those throughout the country who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment and connected to communities and cultural traditions. Juice Hive’s owner and chef, Leslie Rohland, describes the Memory Ball as a snack that is both tasty and that may enhance mental function and improve memory. It’s made with organic fruits and nuts, as well as a variety of herbal infusions.

MidiCi’s Italian Kitchen has opened on Hilton Head Island. The new restaurant is located in the former Hilton Head Brewing Company location at Reilley’s Plaza. MidiCi’s features specialty non-GMO pizzas. The menu also includes calzones, salads, cheese boards and pasta. There are multiple MidiCi Italian Kitchens throughout the country.

A new restaurant called Hook & Reel will open at the site of The Brick Chicken in Bluffton. A seafood restaurant with a Cajun twist, Hook & Reel will open in the shopping center near the intersection of S.C. 46 and U.S. 278 that also houses Best Buy and Five Guys. The franchised restaurant also has locations in New York, Massachusetts and Maryland, according to its website. Highlights from the restaurant include snow crab legs, shrimp, clams, mussels, lobster and crawfish tossed in sauces such as original Cajun, garlic butter, Old Bay seasoning, and lemon pepper.

Planning is underway for the seventh annual Taste of Bluffton, a festival celebrating the sights and flavors of the Lowcountry. This year’s event, to be held April 13, will include a cooking contest for people who aren’t professional chefs, a waiter’s race and a battle of the bands. It’s a day of fun for the whole family in Bluffton Village, sponsored by the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 843-757-1010 or go to blufftonchamberofcommerce.org.

Starbucks plans to open doors to their new storefront in Shelter Cove in March. The coffeeshop will be located near the Kroger Fuel Center. The new Starbucks will feature a 2,500 square-foot storefront and include a drive-thru.

LOCAL COFFEE ROASTERS

There’s a new trend brewing in the Lowcountry: A rise in local coffee roasters is creating a new wave of coffee connoisseurs. From Corner Perk and The Grind in Bluffton to School Grounds Coffee on Daufuskie Island, micro-roasters are filling Lowcountry cups and fueling a new appreciation for a good cup of joe.

“Fresh, fabulous and fantastic!” “Seek and you shall find!” So wrote online reviewers – the ultimate compliments for a restaurant, especially a new one on the hot Lowcountry culinary scene. Husband-and-wife team Munjid and Tammy Yousif opened Olive & Fig Mediterranean Kitchen in June and have quickly built up a loyal following with locals and visitors alike.

WHAT’S TRUE OF WHISKEY IS TRUE OF THE WHISKEY ROOM: PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

The thing about whiskey is that it needs to be aged properly. That slow buildup not only makes the flavors more robust and pronounced — giving them time to reach proper maturity and blossom to their fullest potential — but it also builds up anticipation for when the barrel will finally be ready. There’s a reason why just a little bit of time can make the difference between a good whiskey and a great whiskey.

MOCKTAILS LET PARTYGOERS ABSTAIN WITHOUT MISSING OUT

Want to cut down on your drinking in the new year? Many people are embracing the idea of a “Dry January” or “Sober Spring,” choosing to pass on booze either for health reasons — like medications that don’t mix well with alcohol or if they’re pregnant, for example — or to see life a little clearer, without so-called beer goggles. But your designated driver should have more options during a night out than a virgin bloody mary or sparkling water — and more and more restaurants and bars are happy to oblige.

Neapolitan Pizza

Another restaurant is joining the Reilley's Plaza lineup this month. MidiCi's Neapolitan Pizza at 7 Greenwood Drive will open in January at the former Hilton Head Brewing Company location outside the main gates to Sea Pines, according to a news release from Coastal Restaurants and Bars. At its restaurants across the country — including one in Mount Pleasant — MidiCi serves traditional Neapolitan cuisine; guests can order from the menu or create personalized Neapolitan pizzas. The Hilton Head location will employ about 30 people.