wine me, dine me’s (semi) local gift list

Last minute gifts?  I have a few recommendations (and then, later today, a review will be posted, I swear!) on how you can pick up some gifts and stay local (mostly…) at the same time.

Findlay Market Finds:

Findlay Market is open this week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

1. Herbs and Spice Gift baskets– they’re not customized, and are kind of expensive ($60-100), but a basket for the cook in your life who has everything from one of the finest spice purveyors in town is a good bet.  They’ve got one for grilling, one for salts– lots of great choices.

2. Taste of Belgium Waffle 4-packs ($12). Come on. You know I love ’em.  I didn’t know they froze well (and toasted well!) until my boss mentioned that he had put one in the toaster over the weekend.  He’s giving them as gifts, why shouldn’t you?

Other Local Finds:

1) Mica 12/v– check out their great home items, including tea towels from local artist Visualingual.

2) Gift Certificates!  Many local restaurants have gift certificates, particularly ones sold by a group like the Greater Cincinnati Independents (42 restaurants!), The Pub Group (Nicholson’s, Pub at Rookwood Mews), Relish (Lavomatic, Local 127), Jeff Ruby’s, and many others.  Just stop in and grab them or order online.

Want some that are easy AND a deal?  Go to and pick out individual certificates, or a “Dinner of the Month” club.  Some notable restaurants include ZZ’s, Mt. Adams Bar and Grill, Andy’s Mediterranean and a ton more.  You can get 80% off using the code SANTA (they have these 80% of deals every month).

3) Cincinnati Seasoned, the new local cookbook put out by the Junior League.  It’s got some great recipes, and would be a great gift for, well, just about anyone.  It’s available at Metronation and Joseph-Beth Booksellers.

4) Dinner and a Movie– grab a gift certificate for Tink’s,, Thai Cafe or Biagio’s and a gift certificate for the Esquire, or if you’re further east, Mio’s or the Quarter and the Mariemont and support both local food and local movie theaters (a dying breed).

My favorite gift this year?  I bought myself a Kindle(and I loved it so much, I got The Boyfriend one too).  Not local, but so great for travel, which I find myself doing more and more.  I’m still buying books– it’s not good for cookbooks, not a bit– but I’m certainly minimizing the number of physical books I buy (and sparing my back in the meantime!).

Any other suggestions for quick, food-related last minute gifts?