You’ve got a problem. And frankly, so do I. I’m hopefully going to take care of both of our issues in one post. That’s the goal anyway.
Here’s the situation in a nutshell. It’s holiday time. It’s also crunch time. Santa pretty much has his list and checked it twice. Unfortunately, you may still be trying to figure out gifts for the last few Sarasota food lovers on yours. Don't despair. I think we can offer you a few ways to solve your problem without bothering the big guy up north.
GIFT CARDS OR CERTIFICATES
The first solution is the most obvious one. A Sarasota restaurant gift card. This is a gift that even the most difficult to buy for person will love. I mean, everybody likes to eat. And as long as they’re going to be eating, it may as well be at one of their favorite Sarasota restaurants!
Now far be it from me to suggest a restaurant to buy that gift card from. You know your people so much better than I ever will. But there are a couple of ways you can go with this.
First option. I’ll call this the “special occasion” gift card. That might be from a restaurant that your recipient would love, but either just hasn’t had the chance to get to yet, or maybe it’s just a touch out of their regular price range. They’ll love that you went a little above and beyond for them.
Option Two. Put together a package of 2-3 cards from different places that they like to frequent. Maybe a three meal assortment covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’ll be super happy that you’ve remembered some of their favorite spots. If you're on the nice list, you may get to tag along for one of those meals!
SARASOTA FOOD GIFT BASKETS
So, you want to be a bit more personal. How about a fantastic local gift basket featuring some of their favorite foods?
Lots of choices with this one. Morton’s Gourmet Market (1924 S Osprey Ave., (941) 955-9856) can put together a nice selection of foods to satisfy any taste buds. They’re great at selecting just the right things to go with all of the other right things in the basket. They always have a fantastic selection of interesting food items on hand, so you can be sure they’ll put together something extra special for you!
Most people love cheese. How about letting the Cheesemongers at Artisan Cheese Company (550 Central Ave., (941) 951-7860) construct a personal cheese tasting for you? They can hand curate all of the cheeses and accompaniments that will delight your fromage loving gift recipient (I know I would personally love this one!). Oh, if you’d like that gift to last all year long, Artisan Cheese Company has a Cheese and Wine of the Month Club! That would be an excellent gift!
Last, the brand-new breakfast and lunch spot, Breakfast at Victoria’s (4141 S. Tamiami Trl., (941) 923-6441) has its own private label organic olive oil. They’re featuring it in their holiday gift baskets. Stop by and they’ll make one up for you!
THE GIFT OF PRIVATE DINING
OK, this one is definitely reserved for the super special person on your list. How about a small dinner catered in their home? Or maybe an at-home wine tasting? Those sound pretty indulgent, right? It’s also something that anyone would love to receive as a gift. Here are a couple of possibilities for that.
Michael’s Wine Cellar (1283 S Tamiami Trl., (941) 955-2675) They have all of the wine and wine expertise that you could ask for to make a great gift like this a reality. Putting together an assortment of wines for a tasting is an art. Their knowledgeable staff will happily walk you through the drinking order for the evening. When it comes to wine, this is the right place! They also can arrange for some delicious food to accompany the wine selections.
Mattison’s Catering ((941) 921-3400) How about a catered lunch or dinner for 4 to 40 people? This is a pretty unique gift for a Sarasota foodie. Mattison’s can put together a lunch or dinner menu to suit each individual's tastes. They’ve been at this a while, so you can rest assured that they’ll cover every detail.
So, let’s just say you know someone that would want to wear their Sarasota food emotions on their sleeve. Then this is your lucky gift giving day. What could scream I LOVE FLORIDA FOOD more than a wearable gift from The Florida Flavor? Nothing, right? This Sarasota local clothing brand has shirts, hats, and more that will delight anyone on your holiday gift list. The website info is below. If you want to walk in and check the selection in person, you can do that at Beach Bazaar in Siesta Village, Compound Board Shop, Economy Tackle, and CB’s.
Some popular place-specific clothing gifts can be found locally (especially on Siesta Key). These places usually have Tees, hats, hoodies, and more in stock.
Here are some ideas: The Old Salty Dog, Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB), Captain Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar, and Island House Tap and Grill all have wearable gifts for that special someone on your list. Also, Screaming Goat Taqueria and Knick’s Tavern and Grill can hook you up too!
The Sarasota-Manatee Originals sells tee shirts and tote bags online with “Eat Like a Local” and “Be Original” slogans emblazoned on them. All of the proceeds from those products go to benefit the work that they do to support our local independent restaurant community.
And lastly, we couldn’t possibly forget our 2022 Little Sarasota DINING Book! Yes, it’s ready for you to buy and is crammed full of information on over 200 Sarasota restaurants. Unique QR codes link you directly to hundreds of restaurant menus. Of course, it also has some local recipes and articles from culinary experts in our Sarasota food community. You really need one of these! They’ll have them soon at Barnes and Noble (both the Glengary Plaza & UTC locations) and downtown at Bookstore 1 Sarasota. You can pick one up online right now. HERE’S A LINK FOR THAT.
There you have it! I don’t think that Santa himself could do much better than that. So, now you’ve got YOUR list. It’s time to fill that pack! Enjoy your holiday season, and don’t forget how important it is to support our Sarasota restaurant community. They will appreciate it all year long!
Here are some links that we think you might find useful
SARASOTA FOOD EVENTS CALENDAR
We’ve done all of the heavy lifting for you! All you need to do is make that reservation. Here are some upcoming local food events that we think you might find interesting…
LOCAL FARMER’S MARKET INFORMATION
EVERY SATURDAY – Sarasota Farmers Market (Lemon & Main – Downtown Sarasota)
EVERY WEDNESDAY – The Phillippi Farmhouse Market (S. Tamiami Trl.)
EVERY SUNDAY - Siesta Key Farmers Market (Davidson’s Plaza, Siesta Village)
Can’t get enough of dineSarasota and Sarasota Bites??