2020 Holiday Gift Guide

2020 DINING PLAYBOOK HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Looking for the perfect gift for your loved one? Look no further! Dining Playbook, Billy, and Jenny have put together a list of some of their favorite items from businesses big and small that you can support through your holiday gift purchases. Scroll through to see what your favorite Dining Playbook hosts will be adding to their shopping bags this year, and enjoy the exclusive Dining Playbook discounts offered by some of the businesses!

 

Jenny’s Picks:

 

BEAUTY ENHANCEMENT: Moko Beauty Studio

Ladies wouldn’t it be nice to get back the time you have spent over the years drawing in your brows? I can now say from experience microblading is a well worth it beauty splurge. Alexa Nika owner of Moko Beauty Studio left me with natural but distinct brows that perfectly frame my face. Get the gift or give the gift of Moko and for the month of December $50 off of a microblading appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

HOSTESS GIFT: Jill Rosenwald Studios

Jill Rosenwald Studios. Jill and her team of potteristas create bold and beautiful designs that are the perfect to adorn the new home renovations you did during quarantine! I’m scoping out this Monda Bowl in Gloucester Swoosh. If you’re feeling crafty, order a workshop kit- a screen-less craft to do with the kids when they are done with their virtual learning!

 

 

 

 

 

A DATE NIGHT IN: MIDA – Mangia Mondays 

Every day is a good day to eat Chef Douglass William’s pasta! BUT on Mangia Monday’s at MIDA you can order 5 entrée size pastas of your choice with salad and bread for just $70. A carb-o-licious way to start your week! Chef Williams was voted 2020 Best Chef by Food and Wine for good reason. And if pasta isn’t your thing, I promise you, you’ll find something on the menu that is.

Promo: Enjoy a FREE homemade gelato when you order using code DiningPlaybook

 

 

 

GIVE BACK: Lovin’ Spoonfuls

Sometimes, there’s no better gift than the gift of helping others. Lovin’ Spoonfuls is the largest food rescue organization in New England. They are feeding those in need with food that would otherwise go to waste. They work locally, immediately, responsibly and effectively to alleviate hunger. Please consider Lovin’ Spoonfuls as a non-profit to support this holiday season.

 

 

WINTER WARM: Third Piece 

Since we are all hoping to dine outdoors a little longer, let’s make sure our ears stay warm inside those igloos. The Third Piece creates some of the coziest and coolest knitwear. And if you’re looking for a new winter hobby, The Third Piece offers virtual classes and creative workshops where they send “knit kits” right to your door. My favorites are the Molly vest and The Fenway hat.

Promo:15 % off with promo code DiningPlaybook15

 

 

 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD GO TO: Mela Boston

Looking to spice up your supper? This neighborhood Indian restaurant knows how to satisfy your taste buds and the service is warm and welcoming. They are offering indoor, heated outdoor dining, delivery and takeout for lunch and dinner. Curry’s and Korma’s and Samosa’s OH MY! You’ll find my family here at least twice a week!

Promo: Take 12% off on takeout or delivery with promo code HOLIDAYMELA

 

KIDS: CouCou

My daughter Vienna has a better wardrobe than I do thanks to CouCou, the beautifully curated children’s store in Boston’s South End. Owner Astrid Motsenigos selects brands from all around the world to dress tots in. Since her closet feels full enough right now, Vienna will be getting the Loog Mini Guitar so she can rock out to some of her favorite songs.

Promo:  Receive 10% off with code DiningPlaybook  *restrictions apply

 

HEALTH & WELLNESS: Boston Ayurveda School

If you’re looking for a positive and long-lasting internal shift for 2021, consider looking into the Boston Ayurveda School. The cleanses, classes and bodywork offer a new and empowering way to consider your health. Ayurveda is India’s ancient healing system and is often considered the sister science to yoga. This experience has shifted me in ways that are hard to put into words but have felt unbelievably impactful.

Abhyanga Newcomer Special (60 mins for $100): Nourish your body with a warm medicated oil that is applied to various parts of the body, including the head and the feet.

40 Days to Personal Transformation with Claire Este McDonald ($360): Through a commitment to daily practices that include yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda you can awaken your inner fire and create revolutionary changes in your diet, energy levels, and vitality. This program that begins in January includes weekly webinars, unlimited yoga classes, and diet and lifestyle support.

 

FASHIONISTA: Flock

Maybe we aren’t shopping for sparkly New Years gowns this year, but a girl still deserves to freshen up her wardrobe. Flock in the South End is the perfect blend of boho chic with a fabulous assortment of gifts for the special woman or child in your life! It’s the perfect place to get everything from beautiful jewelry to funky trinkets to add to the home. I will be picking up this Lunar Phases Necklace to add to my collection of Flock jewelry!

 

 

 

SKINCARE: Follain

Recently I made the shift to clean beauty. I realize it made no sense that I was committing to organic eating and then lathering myself with a ton of chemicals, many of which are banned in other countries! Follain is comprised of a group of curators and creators focused on providing clean beauty products to their customers. This mask is one of my secrets for keeping my skin nourishes during our dry winter!

Promo:15% off with code dineandmask

 

Billy’s Picks:

 

FURY FRIEND GIFT: Polkadog Bakery

Fur babies need some love during the holidays too! I’m grabbing my Bessie girl some Sugar & Spice Chicken and Cranberry treats from Polkadog Bakery, a local Boston pet store that is full of the purr-fect gifts for your four-legged friends.

Promo: Use the code Dining Playbook15 for 15% off!

 

 

 

 

 

TRIED AND TRUE: Dunkin’

I’m up pretty early every morning for work. Like, 4am early. To get me ready for the day, I stop by my local Dunkin’ location for a small black coffee. Who wouldn’t want to start their day with a coffee, donut, or another special treat!? Next time you’re at a Dunkin’, grab a gift card for everyone in your life because let’s face it- we all need a little extra caffeine to survive this winter!

 

 

 

BILLY’S BREWS: Dorchester Brewing Company

When I recently visited Dorchester Brewing Company I guzzled down the V1 Double IPA,  a fruit forward IPA with tons of citrus flavor. The team at Dorchester Brewing has put together a great gift buddle for the beer lover in your life. It includes a Dorchester Brewing Co. blanket, hat, limited edition holiday glassware, a shirt and playing cards and if they were extra nice this year you can add on a 4 pack of their favorite beer.

Promo: 20% off with promo code DiningPlaybook20 They cannot discount the beer.

 

WARDROBE: GIBLEES MENSWEAR AND TUXEDOS

You likely won’t be wearing a three piece suit this New Year’s Eve but if you’re like me, you’ll want to at least buy something new to celebrate the end of 2020! Shirts, pants, jackets, ties- you name it, they have it! My suggestion would be to purchase a new winter coat to keep you warm for all of those outdoor dining excursions. Alan Giblee has every brand from Canada Goose to Monclair for both men and women!

 

 

NON-PROFIT: NEADS

As a dog-lover, any organization that works with dogs has a little piece of my heart. NEADS is a nonprofit organization that breeds, raises, trains, and matches Service Dogs for people with disabilities and Assistance Dogs for hospitals, classrooms and courthouses. During the season of giving, be a part of this life changing experience by donating to NEADS or shopping at the NEADS Shop.

 

 

 

 

GIFT BASKET: Tuscan Kitchen

While we won’t be physically close to some of our nearest and dearest this holiday season, we still want to show we care. Tuscan Kitchen is doing everything that they can to make sure your loved one will enjoy some specialty culinary gifts to enjoy from the comfort of their own home!  I can tell you from personal experience that the gift baskets with some of the Tuscan Market Artisan Italian specialties make amazing gifts. Throw in a gift card because with five different locations, there is likely a Tuscan Kitchen or Market close to you!

 

 

 

 

SNACK TIME: Eastern Standard Pretzels

What’s your preference, Salty or Sweet? Why not both? This Boston-based gourmet soft pretzel company Eastern Standard Provisions Co. is cranking out incredible gourmet snacks. Check out their online shop to check out what goodies are available for you to snack on- um, I mean give as a gift!

Promo: 15% off when you use the promo code DININGPLAYBOOK

 

 

HOME DECOR: Table & Tulip

Last year Jenny got me one of the coolest holiday gifts; plant life from Table and Tulip! Once a quarter the talented floral masters come to my house with new arraignments to brighten up the house or my boat! I’m grabbing a few of the Festive Flower Lover Kits for some of our co-workers this year! It comes with a floral apron, garden shears, vase and a bundle of fresh floral for you to design and arrangement at home.

Promo: 10% off with code DiningPlaybook10

 

 

 

BOATERS DELIGHT: West Marine

It’s always a sad day when I take my boat out of the water but one thing that keeps me excited for the season ahead is shopping for new boating gear! If you have a boatman in your life get them a gift that will keep them dreaming of the open seas from West Marine! The of my favorite boating gear can go on and on, so you can make it easy on yourself by purchasing a gift card.

 

 

 

WINE PAIRING: Urban Grape

TJ and Hadley Douglas opened their award-winning wine shop in the South End of Boston and ever since I visited, I can’t stop talking about it! Urban Grape uses a technique called progressive shelving to categorize their thoughtfully curated wine selection, which arranges the wines by body rather than by region. This method truly helped me find the perfect wine for my pallet. If you’re interested in learning what type of wine best suits your pallet while also supporting one of Boston’s most popular minority-owned businesses, visit the Urban Grape to pick out a few holiday gifts!

 

 

 

COOKBOOK: Pastry Love by Joanne Chang

Sometimes, the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach! Instead of buying a delicious treat, go ahead and make something with them from the latest cookbook from Chef Joanne Chang! Chef Joanne is a James Beard award-winning pastry chef who is ready to share her pastry secrets with the world through her fourth cookbook. This book will make the perfect gift for the aspiring pastry chef in your life, and if you’re lucky they’ll treat you to one of the tasty goodies from the cookbook!

 

 

 

 

 

Dining Playbook’s Picks:

 

HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING: Wegmans

Wegmans has always been a favorite of ours, and now because we’ll be doing a lot more in-home entertainment, we’ll be visiting their stores even more! Besides having all the essentials you could possible need (ahem, wine), Wegmans is making Instagram-able charcuterie boards even easier for those cozy nights at home. You can grab all the ingredients you could possibly need for the perfect board, or you can grab pre-made boards for an even easier appetizer. We’ve got our eye on the Danny’s Favorite Cheese & Charcuterie Tray, which includes cave-ripened Brie, red wine & black pepper salami, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and more!

Promo: $10 off $40 purchase of Danny’s Favorite Cheese & Charcuterie Tracy (see below for product details).  Promo code FAVORITE for $10 off $40, one time use, expiring 1/3/21 on Wegmans Meals2Go – both app or website of meals2go.com.  Customers must be signed in to redeem the promo code.

 

KITCHENWARE: MKS Knife

As a chef, James Beard award winning bread maker, physicist and blade-smith, Adam Simha is the Jack of all trades. His custom made knives are in the hands of some of Boston’s best Chefs such as Will Gilson, Jody Adams and Douglass Williams, and they should be in your kitchen too! Shop for yourself or shop for a loved one, but whatever you do just make sure someone in your life has these beautiful kitchen tools.

 

 

 

 

DONATE: Greater Boston Food Bank 

Many of us are fortunate enough to continue working through the pandemic to put food on the table, but many of us have not been so lucky. If you are able to donate during this holiday season, Dining Playbook recommends donating to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Their Hunger Free Holidays Campaign is working to provide a holiday meal to a family in need. The campaign runs until December 31st. A $25 donation purchases a healthy holiday meal for a family in need. During this season of giving consider filling plates with healthy meals and donate to The Greater Boston Food Bank!

 

 

 

DESSERTS: Summer Shack Lobster Pies

Nothing says New England like lobster, so why not try a lobster pot pie for the holidays! The Summer Shack has just launched online delivery for their Lobster Pot Pie to be shipped anywhere in the US So pick one up in store or ship in to loved one and treat them to this New England fan favorite.

Promo: Receive $5 off with code DiningPlaybook5

 

STAYCATION: The Lenox Hotel

If you’re in need of a little getaway you don’t have to go far. Picture this- you have a beautiful room with a fireplace overlooking Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Room service treats, a crackling fire, and holiday movies fill your day. Making special memories these days is the perfect gift for your loved one, so book a room at the Lenox Hotel today!

 

 

 

Brown and Coconut

New England winters can be rough of your skin, but Brown and Coconut’s Hydrating Face Oil can help fix all of your winter skin troubles. Brown and Coconut is the passion project of sisters Letisha and Zeena Brown and they pride themselves on making luxurious botanical skin care that you simply can’t wait to come home to! Start stocking up on these perfect little gifts now before they’re gone!

Promo: 10% off with promo code NESN10

 

 

 

GIFT BASKET: Mayhew Wine Shop

If you a lover of great wines AND supporting New England-based companies, consider checking out Mayhew Wine Shop’s holiday gift set. The gift set incudes Castleton Crackers, Blythedale Farm Brie Button, Fastachi salted cashews, Chequessett chocolate, and Champy Sparkling Wine.

 

 

 

CHEERS: Jameson Black Barrell Whiskey 

Let’s face it- we all could use a stiff drink right about now. Why not gift your favorite whiskey-drinker with a bottle of Jameson’s Black Barrel whiskey? On top of giving them one of America’s favorite whiskeys to enjoy, you can also enter them into the Jameson Black Barrel Whiskey sweepstakes to win a $500 gift card for a Friendsgiving dinner to your favorite local restaurant! A bottle of the good stuff and the chance to win a $500 dinner- there’s no better gift than that! For a chance to enter the contest yourself, click here. 

 

 

 

 

BEAUTY: G2O Spa & Salon

G20 keeps Billy and Jenny nicely quaffed all year long, and they want to take care of you too! All of their staff is ready to get you feeling and looking back to your best, so pick up a gift card for the beauty queen (or king!) in your life to treat them to a spa or salon treatment. If you’re not up to venturing out quite yet, they have pooled some of their best products together for you so you can enjoy some selfcare at home.

 

 

 

GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK: Bruins Proshop

The Boston Burins Proshop has so many great options for gift for a diehard Bruins fan, so why not buy something that will also benefit two charities this holiday season? The 2021 Pucks & Pups calendar features the black and gold posing with their four-legged family member and proceeds benefits the MSPCA. This year the Bruins have also partnered with Beantown Blankets to create locally sewn, Bruins-branded blanket. For each blanket you buy, one blanket is donated to Bridge Over Troubled Waters Boston.

 

 

COOKBOOK: The Everyday Ayurveda Guide to Self-Care: Rhythms, Routines, and Home Remedies for Natural Healing

What is all this Ayurveda talk about? Jenny recently started studying this ancient Indian form of healing and we want you to be able to follow along. This book helps with self care which we all could use a solid does of these days. Not to mention, the author is a New Englander!