by Sarah Ellen Berman
Editor’s Note: Sarah tells IC she “thoroughly enjoyed” meeting so many members of the diverse group of advertisers featured in this Winter edition. Her mission was clear cut: to find out what gifts might fall into “the kind you can really treasure” category, whether it’s something that brings joy and meaning to your own life or to that of any loved one. We hope there are any number of ideas in these next few pages that will encourage you to shop local and engage with our great area merchants! And from this publisher: Thank you time and again for support for the pages of Inside Chappaqua, a publication delivered each time free and chock full of articles for the reading pleasure of over 6,000 area households. –Grace
At Bet Torah Nursery School in Mount Kisco, Mindy Citera suggests gift certificates to “give the gift of fun.” Grandparents may wish to give a mommy and me or mom’s day out class. Contributing toward tuition is another gratifying option.
For the quintessential New Year’s resolution. Maria Briones, M.D., has the answer. Her patients can attest to the efficacy of her weight loss program. Briones offers the support and guidance which are vital to success. Through a carefully planned diet and exercise program, she insures that the weight loss is permanent.
Ellen Koelsch of Club Fit recommends a gift card. She noted that the card contains, “The nice message that you care about their health.” Cards may be used toward anything at the club including massage, clothing, personal training, or a meal at the cafe.
A gift card or customized basket from Emmary Day Spa affords your friend the gift of indulgence. Hydrafacials are their most popular treatment. Emmary is the only spa in Westchester to offer this type of facial which is designed for sensitive skin.
Massage, soy candles, teas,
cleansers, and moisturizers are also available.
At Eye Designs, optician Jamie Herman noted that prescription sunglasses by Oliver Peoples and Tom Ford are popular gifts for the holidays. He also recommends digital progressive lenses. The advantage of these multifocal lenses is that they are easy to adapt to. Eye Designs also features optical fashion accessories. They carry eye-bobs (ready made readers) in funky shapes and patterns and la loop; eye catching eye glass holders seen on Heidi Klum.
At the dermatological practice of Lydia Evans, M.D., treats for a friend or loved one are copious. Dr. Evans suggests a gift certificate for a microdermabrasion or glycolic acid peel, facial, personalized skin care routine or the surprise of a pre-arranged procedure that one has longed for. Dr. Evans loves what she does and it shows. For those who are interested in cosmetic services, she eschews doling out recommendations, verbatim. When a client comes in to inquire, she listens intently to discern, “What it is they’re looking for,” and plans “what’s best for them.”
This year, put a gift certificate from Eye Gallery on your list. They showcase, “The most important accessory you can own,” according to co-owner Michael Rosen. When greeting someone, “Sunglasses are the first thing people see,” he noted. A fashionable look is not complete until the latest in eyewear is added. Eye Gallery carries Robert Marc worn by Nicole Kidman and Barton Perreira sported by Brad Pitt. Styles by Chanel and Oliver Peoples are also on hand. While looking good, your loved one will be protecting the health of their eyes year
round from omnipresent ultra violet rays.
At Family Britches, altruism reigns supreme. Co-owners Barry Mishkin and Rick Buggee are soliciting donations of suits and sport coats. These garments will be donated to Twigs Thriftree Thrift Shop which benefits Northern Westchester Hospital. “What shouldn’t get lost in the holidays is the spirit of giving,” Mishkin noted. This idea may provide the impetus for a husband or partner to give away clothing that is no longer cherished. In return, customers will receive a discount of $50 off toward the purchase of a new suit or sport coat.
Gail Patrick’s Cafe has gift baskets, “full of epicurean delights,” according to co-owner Gail Filacchione. Gift certificates are great for teachers and middle schoolers (who just can’t get enough of those dumplings.) Highlights from their extensive Chanukah menu are: latkes, matzoh ball soup, brisket, and rugelach. The Christmas and New Year’s menu includes: Italian Wedding soup, roast rib eye of beef, whipped sweet potatoes with brown sugar, and cookies galore.
At Grappolo Locando we love the holiday season! We can help you plan an exciting and festive intimate at-home wine tasting dinner with family and friends. Chef/Owner Thomas Cuomo will personally go to your home with his sommelier. (Think Prosecco with a wild mushroom bruschetta, luscious braised short ribs and creamy mascarpone polenta with a hearty Moltepulciano and biscotti with Vin Santo!) Another idea might be to book an at-home cooking class for you and your friends – a great way to enjoy a sumptuous and scrumptious meal while learning how it’s done!
At Hilltop Wines and Spirits, describe the type of wine you’re looking for and owner Peter Costello will find the ideal match or assemble a customized gift basket. Additionally, Costello recommends offering a membership in his Wine Club. Members receive a case of wines selected by certified sommelier Costello, delivered to their home each month. On Saturdays from 2-6, he hosts wine tastings from different regions and producers. All featured wines are on special during the tastings. Costello’s top picks for this holiday season are the: 2009 Bordeaux, vintage ports, single malt scotch, champagne, and prosecco.
For timeless gifts, visit ICD Jewelry. The staff is truly passionate about jewelry and provides invaluable assistance in the selection of the perfect piece. Designs by Varda feature 22K gold medallions with 2nd to 4th century ancient coins, geodes, and many other gemstones. Matching earrings are also available. Marco Bicego’s semiprecious 18K gold creations are adorned with amethyst, peridot, and blue topaz. Penny Preville’s line sparkles with diamonds. Israeli designer Marika’s artisanal works include a delicately crafted cuff. For children looking to shower their friends and relatives with jewelry, there is a full array of moderately priced items. Gift certificates are also available.
At Ivana Denniston Aesthetics, gift certificates and gift boxes contain the keys to beauty. Ivana is renowned for her skill in brow shaping. She focuses on the natural shape and insures a “perfect, glamourous look.” Ivana also offers makeovers, the Decleor skin care line, and makeup.
Holiday camp will be offered at Jodi’s Gym during the December vacation. Here kids will learn the basics of gymnastics on balance beams, bars, rings, vault, tumble track, and the space bouncer. The fun never ends during camp. Music, art, story time, games and lunch are on the menu!
Consider a gift card for a Nutritional Consultation with one of Westchester’s best nutritionists, Dina Khader in Mount Kisco. Her individualized plans help individuals with various weight loss and medical conditions–whether it’s eliminating pain or getting cholesterol under control or losing 75 pounds via state of the art testing to streamline nutritional requirements. During a visit, you can also create an individualized gift basket of skin care or food items, all organic, including Dina’s signature box of 16 dark chocolate truffles, extra virgin olive oil, healthy jams and snacks.
Gift certificates at Le Jardin du Roi are welcomed by teachers, friends, and family. The cozy ambiance at this bistro is particularly appreciated during the wintry, holiday season. The menu at Le Jardin du Roi is replete with favorites and new additions. Send those on your list here for hearty soups, cassoulet, coq au vin, mixed berry crumble, and tarte tatin.
Rosemary Devlin at the serene
O2 Living Holistic Wellness Center in Cross River suggests a gift certificate “for a holistic well-being and healthier 2011.” Along with tantalizing spa treatments and award winning yoga classes, O2 carries the Dr. Haushka line of skin care products, juices and delicious smoothies.
Visit Loungerie for intimate wear apparel and for special picks perfect for the season, such as the b.tempt’d by Wacoal fashion line made popular by the beautiful up and coming recording star Esmee Denters. Also check out the store’s special holiday time promotion: Purchase any two items of the same style, different designers, and buy a third item for half
At New Castle Physical Therapy, co-owner Adam Pliskow recommends the gift of health. He is offering an orthopedic or fitness assessment for $50 from now until the end of March. He sees many people who relate that their spouses suffer from back or neck pain but are not inclined to seek treatment. A gift of an assessment will facilitate the road to recovery. Assessments “can lead to either physical therapy or personal training,” Pliskow observed. His location offers a pristine, relaxing environment. Everyone receives individual attention and only one person is booked per hour.
Oasis Day Spa is an award winning spa recently named favored day spa in the country by American Spa Magazine.Their array of services includes facials, massage, manicures, yoga, yoga wear by Lululemon, and personal training. Co-owner Bruce Schoenberg related that anyone who
comes in for a service will walk out “six inches taller.” “What you’re giving is not just the gift of wellness, we’re bringing out the inner you,” he added. This oasis of tranquility has special offers on the first 25 days of December. Each day a different product or service is discounted.
When it’s time to celebrate, call the party planner par excellence. Monique Ross Banks is now the event planner and coordinator of Party! By Monique. She recommends giving the gift of a celebration this holiday season. “I’ve always loved gifts that you wouldn’t necessarily go out and get yourself,” she said. When there’s a reason to fete a friend or relative, Monique is the go to gal. Ever since Monique planned bar and bat mitzvahs for her three children, she has been receiving compliments and requests for advice from friends and family. Today she plans a myriad of events including bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, and corporate events. From cocktail and dinner parties to lavish affairs, Monique does it all, with inimitable flair. When planning a bar or bat mitzvah she related that her goal is, “to make this event the most memorable event of a family’s life.”
The Rosenthal JCC is promoting their Chanukah Gift Factory & Shalom Sesame Launch Party on December 5th. This is a family friendly event where children create gifts such as keychains, picture frames and menorahs to give to family and friends. The program “Can Grover find the missing menorah” will be screened. Children can also make and eat dreidels made out of marshmallows, Hershey kisses, and pretzels. Latkes will be sizzling for hungry artists and their families. The Rosenthal JCC also offers gift certificates for programs such as mommy and me classes, drop-in childcare, or nursery school.
At Squires, one will find a trove of Hunter boots in a wide array of colors as well as coordinating, “welly” socks, for added warmth. Owner Michael Kushner is restricting sales of this hot item to local residents who come into the store. No orders are being shipped. Other attractive gifts include the ever popular, cashmere sweaters in v-neck and shawl collar cardigan models. He also has trendy, Volcom sweatshirts which are sure to please even the most discerning teenager.
At Steffi Nossen School of Dance, Judy Ross recommends a gift certificate for “grandparents, aunts, and uncles to support their dancing child.” Additionally, she advocates coming in for free dance week from January 10-15. Dancers may try as many classes as they would like, sans obligation.
At The Perennial Chef in Bedford Hills, presents abound. The gift of having food appear on the table effortlessly is sure to please during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Turkey, ham, filet mignon, brisket, salmon, latkes, chestnut stuffing, and cheese platters are on the holiday menu. The real creme de la creme are the desserts created by chef Michael. French macarons –not to be confused with coconut macaroons–are his delectable pastries which begin with a crunch and end with cream. Cookies are fashioned in the shape of Santas and dreidels. Proprietor Francoise Jarry has selected herb mills, (for grinding herbs) hors d’oeuvres sets, truffles, plates, and stemware. Her gift certificates and baskets will bring holiday cheer to the foodie in your life.
Wags and Whiskers has presents for the family dog as well as their owners. They are touting truly durable toys including balls; made of recycled seat belts in the shape of a spider and bear and rabbit shaped toys (sans stuffing). “We have pet beds with the most gorgeous fabrics,” owner Christine Meyer noted. Marble topped pet dishes are designed to compliment the kitchen. And of course, Fido may be treated to a luxurious shampoo and cut.
At World Cup Gymnastics and Nursery School, gift certificates are available for giving holiday cheer. The kids’ night out program provides fun for kids and fun for parents. Kids are entertained for four hours while parents are free to catch a movie and have dinner. Grandparents may also be interested in purchasing a session of nursery school, enrichment, gymnastics, or a junior scientist class for the light of their life. Jeannine Johansen of World Cup is a huge proponent of gymnastics. “When you leave gymnastics, you always feel like you’ve accomplished something,” she said.