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Great Gifts for Food Lovers

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Well, it’s December, and our thoughts have turned towards gift giving…and receiving! We wanted to give you a gourmet tour of some really cool foodie gifts this holiday season, and we found some great stuff to impress even the toughest person. Check out these six cool gift spots for the food lover in your life…

The Savory Grape, East Greenwich

One of the great innovations of the past decade is the craft wine shop. We always had great liquor stores and were able to get good wine but we didn’t have a place to share our love of wine. Foodies in the central part of the state were sure glad when Jessica and Nino Granatiero decided to settle on East Greenwich as a locale for their passion project, The Savory Grape. This is everything a good wine shop should be…comfortable, informative, well-stocked and reasonably priced. We’re always amazed that we can locate a delicious, interesting bottle to go with just about anything we happen to be enjoying. The Grape has

great gift baskets for your gift needs but we also highly recommend the Savory Sipper Wine Club. The club features different price points and types of wines to satisfy all wine lovers from novices to serious collectors. Each month two wines will delivered to your door along with tasting notes and food pairings and recipes. Everything the growing oenophile needs! 1000 Division Rd., Unit 120, East Greenwich, 886-9463, www.thesavorygrape.com

Farmstead, Providence

In a world of uncertainty you can count on one thing: for a truly artisan experience go see Matt and Kate Jennings at Farmstead and your secret Santa will love you forever. Since 2003 when they opened their cheese shop, the Jennings’ have been on the cutting edge of the “food with thought” movement and during the holidays you can count on them to fill all of your gift needs. Farmstead features an array of pre-made gift baskets that make great gifts for just about any taste…selections of cheese, cured meats and all the needed accompaniments are included along with instructions and descriptions. Another option for a cool gift would be a ticket to Fondue Fiesta, which will be held on January 29th from 4 to 6 p.m. and will feature all things melty cheese and beer. It is a great way to learn about an underrated party food just before Super Bowl Sunday. 186 Wayland Ave. 274-7177, www.farmsteadinc.com

Virgin and Aged, Newport

As we become more aware of where our food comes from and what’s in it, we think of every part of the dish and that includes the condiments. Foodies and people who love them got a cool new store in Newport this year called Virgin and Aged, featuring an incredible selection of oils and vinegars. Fine olive oils should never be used in cooking; the smoke point of the oil is too low for cooking and can scorch and leave a bitter taste. These oils should be used “raw”…a drizzle over a finished pasta will add a fruity note to the pasta, on a salad it can balance out all the competing flavors or just get yourself some crusty bread and dip away. Virgin and Aged features flavored oils, aged vinegars including pumpkin spiced white balsamic vinegar and organic oils of all flavors. They feature somewhere in the range of 50 oils and vinegars to choose from. For the holiday season, they have very nice gift baskets that you customize by choosing the oil or vinegar. The baskets come with two bottles, two spouts for the tops of the bottles and a bowl for dipping…or drinking! 395 Thames St. 849-3029, www.virginandaged.com

Pot au Feu, Providence

Opened in 1972 by local restaurateur Bob Burke, Pot au Feu was a favorite destination of chef Julia Child and the place that made her pine for Paris. When we crave crepes and crème brulee, we always find our way to this little bistro. Beginning on January 15th Burke and his restaurant staff hold one-day cooking schools. The participant gets a personalized Pot au Feu chef coat and a full day of intensive and hands-on prepping and cooking in a professional kitchen, including a working lunch with the chef. Each person then gets a wine pairing class and to invite three guests to dinner that night -- this serves as the final exam for each chef-in-training. Now, faithful readers, this is the best self-serving gift ever because in all the years they have been offering the classes the gifter has ALWAYS been invited to be one of the guest judges. So it’s a win-win…a class for a friend and a dinner for you! Call the restaurant for pricing and schedule. 44 Custom House St. 273-8953, www.potaufeuri.com

La Maison De Coco, Newport

Few things in life are as sure as chocolate when it comes to making a gift recipient smile. We all have gotten that box of perfect chocolates that makes you forget all those awful trips to the mall. We are lucky in a state as small as Rhode Island to have a few top-notch chocolate shops and chocolatiers working here. One such shop is La Maison De Coco on Bellevue Avenue, in Newport. Native Rhode Islander Michele De Luca-Verley fell in love with chocolate and pastry while living in New York and, after a stint in France, she returned here to share her love of chocolate and tea. Most chocolate makers stick to fruits, nuts and similar flavor profiles but Michele loves tea and she has combined these loves to make some incredible chocolates. She makes some tasty biscotti and tarts but we are here for the winter collection. Truffles are sold in boxes of two, six or ten-although, we really think ten is the number-and feature great warming flavors in the winter collection. Whether it’s ginger, Indian spice or the otherworldly plum oolong, you will be completely sated. Gifts baskets galore here, too. 28 Bellevue Ave, 845-2626, www.lamaisondecoco.com

Roma, Providence

When you live this close to Federal Hill, preparing a gift basket replete with Italian delicacies is a tempting gift for any food lover. We love that Roma puts custom baskets together with all-Italian items, and to make matters sweeter, they're running a holiday special through December 4. Purchases of more than $250 or more win you a $25 gift card to the tasty Trattoria Roma, right on the premises ($500 of purchases earns you $50 credit). 310 Atwells Ave, 331-5000, www.romaprov.com

For more on holiday food, follow GoLocalTV fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.


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