The Ultimate Father's Day Gift Guide
Baseball player Nick Punto, chef Matt Greco, and newsman Frank Somerville show us how to do Dad’s Day in style.
Who’s the hardest person to shop for? For us, it’s definitely Dad. We’re a little tired of the necktie and personalized golf balls. This year, we sought out expert advice from some of the East Bay’s most well-known dads—and from a professional stylist, who suggests gift ideas for the dads on your list.
Part One: The Profile
Breaking news: The anchor of the 10 O’ Clock News needs a new iPhone.
What does Frank Somerville want for Father’s Day? One might think the classic necktie would be high on his list, as he needs to wear one every night on KTVU-2’s 10 O’Clock News. But Somerville prefers to pick his own ties, and he recently loaded up at Barneys at the Livermore Premium Outlets, during a shopping trip with his daughters.
How about a high-tech gadget? Somerville could definitely use a new iPhone. He gets hand-me-downs when it comes to prized smartphones.
“Don’t laugh: I have an iPhone 3,” Somerville says, waving a techno-relic with a scuffed screen. “My daughter got the new one, and I got this. If I called you, your caller ID would still say, ‘Sydney Somerville.’ ”
Frank Somerville does have some handsome hardware, courtesy of his kids: There’s a handmade World’s Best Dad trophy in the living room of his Oakland hills home. It sits prominently in the middle of a shelf packed with Emmy Awards for his work as a journalist.
“This was a great Father’s Day card,” he says, showing a page covered with handmade coupons for “dinner at restaurant of your choice, with no complaining” and other services to be performed by Sydney, 14, and Callie, nine.
Finding the perfect gift for Somerville comes down to something simple: quality time. The Somervilles pack weekends with family activities: racing go-karts, watching Cal football, and finding restaurants that have a vegetarian option, as Somerville gave up meat at age eight, when he had chickens as pets.
Frank’s Gift List
Football Helmets “We can always get Frank another helmet,” says Somerville’s wife, Donna, noting shelves filled with 60 college and pro helmets that decorate the garage and various rooms in the house.
Auto Racing Somerville is a huge Formula One fan. “Frank loves to watch racing, with the sound turned up loud,” says Donna. Hint: Sonoma Raceway has a range of driving school courses.
Family Time “Frank’s favorite thing to do is just spend all day with the girls. It doesn’t matter what the activity is,” says Donna, echoing her husband’s sentiments. “Time is the most precious gift there is.”
Part Two: The Guide
Our Picks for the Worldly Dad
SoundShield noise-cancelling stereo headphones, $199.99, and Big Blue Studio wireless Bluetooth speaker, $169.99, at Brookstone; leather embossed tray, $35, Reed & Barton SoHo liquor decanter, $100, Reed & Barton SoHo double old-fashioned glasses, $15 each, Luxury Toys book, $60, and weathered cotton outback hat, $36, at David M. Brian; Milo Baughman recliner, $3,100, banker’s clock, $370, City Hall clock, $440, and classic 24-hour clock, $55, at Design Within Reach; F1 Continuum carry-on, $675, Lucite globe, and F1 blue flight passport holder, $18, at Flight 001; mid-century side table, $175, vintage bamboo glass-top table, $375, and vintage illustrations at Ohmega Salvage; 46x72 floor mat, $385, at The Gardener; agate crystal bookends, $40, marble shelf, $138, and brass brackets, $10, at West Elm. For shopping information, scroll down.
Part One: The Profile
What do you get the guy who already has a World Series ring? Waffles.
For Father’s Day, Oakland A’s infielder Nick Punto goes big for his dad, Lou: new golf clubs, plane and game tickets, and one year, a shiny new Maxima with a big red bow on it.
Nick wants Lou to know just how much he loves him and how much he appreciates their lifelong game of catch. Nick grew up in the Mission Viejo area, where his father was his Little League coach (as well as his basketball and football coach).
Playing in the bigs is a dream Lou let slip from his grasp. Lou was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 1967 but pursued a music career instead—only to wind up being drafted into the military.
“It means way more as a parent to see Nick make it—because I’m so proud of his success, and I’ve been able to see how happy he has been,” Lou says.
Even though Nick is in his 11th Major League season, Lou still doesn’t miss a pitch.
“He watches every single one of my games,” Nick says. “And it is still as exciting for him as when I got called up to the big leagues in 2001.”
Nick and his wife, Natalie, have three little ones—Nicole, Nash, and Nixon. All Nick wants for Father’s Day is breakfast.
“There’s a 50-50 chance I’ll be on the road on Father’s Day,” he says. “So it’s nice to just be able to be with my wife and kids, and have that big family breakfast.”
Fortunately, this year Nick will be home: The A’s will be playing the Yankees in Oakland. So he might just get his wish.
Nick’s Gift List
Golf Day “He loves golf, so I always try to get him a round on a great private course,” says Natalie. “I’m not sure where to go in the East Bay.” (Any local pros want to take Nick out for 18?)
Basketball Tickets “Last year, I got him some great floor tickets to a Lakers game, and he loved them,” says Natalie. (Note: Here in the Bay Area, “Lakers tickets” are referred to as “Warriors tickets.”)
Scrapbook “I made a scrapbook of Nick’s entire baseball career, and he just loved it,” says Natalie, who used the website Best of LLC to put the book together.
Part Two: The Guide
Our Picks for the Athlete
Celestron Nature DX 10x32 binoculars, $130, at Brookstone; Custom Flying V men’s snowboard, $550, Cartel EST bindings, $260, Cove Rip Traction Pack, $85, Anon M1 gold chrome goggles, $220, men’s Bonded black hoodie, true black heather, $85, men’s Griswold recycled slim-fit Tee, $27, and men’s Rangeley blue jacket, $130, at Burton; American Bantam red model classic race car, $495, American Bantam chrome model race car, $450, and sports books, $35–$60, at David M. Brian; Kiehl’s cross-terrain Dry Run foot cream, $18, and Kiehl’s cross-terrain UV skin protector, $26, at Kiehl’s; vintage oars, $225, and vintage illustrations, at Ohmega Salvage; MLB baseball, $20, and vintage MVP baseball mitt, $100, at Sports Authority; j/fit 10-lb Kettlebell, $26, j/fit 30-lb Kettlebell, $67, j/fit 45-cm red stability ball, $18, and Electra Townie original 7D men’s bike, $460, at Sports Basement. For shopping information, scroll down.
Part One: The Profile
The executive chef from The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards would like a big BBQ pit.
Executive chef Matt Greco once lived the dream: running restaurant kitchens in Manhattan, the fine-dining capital of the universe. Greco, who grew up in Texas, moved to the Big Apple and worked his way through a number of renowned restaurants before becoming opening chef at Char No. 4, in Brooklyn.
But when Greco and his wife, Ashley, started a family, New York lost its luster. “It wasn’t a lot of fun getting a baby on and off the subway,” says Greco, laughing.
The couple set their sights on the Bay Area, and Greco found a new home in the kitchen of the acclaimed Restaurant at Wente Vineyards in Livermore. “I love the garden here and all the space. My New York chef friends are so jealous: They would move out here in a second, just for the storage space,” he jokes.
The Tri-Valley has also been a great fit for Greco as a dad to his four-year-old son, Holden. “Even though I still work all the time, I seem to be able to spend more time with him here,” Greco says. “It’s so wonderful to have this little person who looks up to you. He definitely gives me more drive and inspiration to do the best job I can.”
Asked for his dream Father’s Day gift, Greco wastes no time pondering the possibilities.
“How about a big backyard barbecue pit? I mean big,” he says. “My father taught me to barbecue in Texas, and that was kind of our Sunday tradition: Put some ribs on the pit in the morning and have them ready for the afternoon. That’s what I’d want.”
Matt’s Gift List
Dinner “It’s nice to be able to take Matt out to a restaurant where he does not have to do the cooking,” says Ashley. “Lately, we really like Hawker Fare and Plum in Oakland.”
Guitar Pick “Matt’s a terrific musician. Holden loves to sit and listen to him play the guitar, so for his first Father’s Day, I had a little pick engraved for Matt from Holden.”
Concert Tickets “Matt would want to go to the Wente Summer Concerts, if he wasn’t always working in the kitchen,” Ashley says, laughing. “He would like the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco.”
Part Two: The Guide
Our Picks for the Rustic Cook
Provence Platters black La Chamba casserole dishes, $78 and $88, wooden wine barrel tray, $395, striped LinenMe napkins, $12 each, Fog Linen Work apron, $52, cookbooks, $35–$50, and Guatemalan striped blanket, $390, at Maison d’Etre; copper colander, vintage cookbook, and accessories, various prices, at Ohmega Salvage; Roost forged BBQ tools, $149, at Nathan & Co.; Adirondack chair, $250, 35x48 floor mats, $175 each, fire pit, $325, Savanna table, $255, and Savanna dune chair, $253, at The Gardener. For shopping information, scroll down.
Brookstone: 414 Sun Valley Mall, Ste. 116, Concord, (925) 609-7138; Stoneridge Mall Rd., Pleasanton, (925) 463-8346, brookstone.com. Burton: 1840 Fourth St., Berkeley, (510) 240-1160, burton.com. David M. Brian: 1129 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 947-1991, davidmbrian.com. Design Within Reach: 1770 Fourth St., Berkeley, (510) 524-1994, dwr.com. Flight 001: 1774 Fourth St., Berkeley, (510) 526-1001, flight001.com. The Gardener: 1836 Fourth St., Berkeley, (510) 548-4545, thegardener.com. Kiehl’s: 1848 Fourth Street, Berkeley, (510) 548-0130, kiehls.com. Maison d’Etre: 5640 College Ave., Oakland, (510) 658-2801, maisondetre.com. Nathan & Co: 5636 College Ave., Oakland, (510) 601-1677; 4020 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, (510) 428-9638; nathanandco.com. Ohmega Salvage: 2403 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, (510) 843-7368, ohmegasalvage.com. Sports Authority: 1235 Concord Ave., Concord, (925) 602-5311; 185 Sun Valley Mall, Concord, (925) 685-1022; 7885 Dublin Blvd., Dublin, (925) 556-3504; 1675 Olympic Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 942-0490, sportsauthority.com. Sports Basement: 1881 Ygnacio Valley Rd, Walnut Creek, (925) 941-6110, sportsbasement.com. West Elm: 5602 Bay St., Emeryville, (510) 655-1367, westelm.com.