Dads & Grads Edition

By Griffin Miller

Gather the family with mask-free abandon. Hug, laugh, carouse, catch up in person, and above all, celebrate every father, grandfather, and newly-minted graduate in your life in ways that eluded us a year ago. For example, liberally (and beautifully) presented feasts, musical soirees, and the unanticipated and unique gifts that remind us how well Rodgers and Hammerstein nailed it when they declared “June is Bustin’ Out All Over!” So Happy Father’s Day and kudos Grads—it looks like the best is back!


Described as the company’s most sonically-diverse guitar, Fender’s American Acoustasonic® Jazzmaster® melds electric and acoustic guitar features into one killer instrument, gorgeously crafted ebony and mahogany for unparalleled sound. For guitarists with an eye out for cutting-edge equipment, this singular hybrid is a must-have. And my gut tells me this Fender first edition isn’t only setting a musical precedent but a collectible one as well. Info:


Ever since guys realized dry, dull skin is not exclusive to women, they’ve joined the quest for an appropriate and, in their case, dude-specific solution—preferably involving ingredients sourced from nature. The skincare line Ligne St Barth Homme has it all, from its ingredient list made up of plants indigenous to St Barth to the products themselves, including a cleansing/moisturizing shower gel and a lush body lotion. As for the fragrance, its citrus meets tangy meets surf. 


In terms of dishware, my feeling is the more distinctive, the better. And while Stone + Lain’s selection of tableware is staggering, comprised of bone china, stoneware, and porcelain in a cavalcade of designs, it’s their Grace Stoneware Dish Set that won my heart for upping the June entertaining ante. Minimalistic, square, and awesome, these pieces win raves for both their heft and audacity of style. I suggest mixing it up with two sets: one in black and one in white. 


Words that hold a special meaning worn close to the heart are the essence of Blooming Lotus’s Custom Vertical Bar Necklaces. Cut by hand and personalized with names, dates, or other engravings, these pieces speak volumes to the recipient one word at a time. A delicate take-off on the traditional dog tag, the necklace can inspire, entice, fire up nostalgia, or even amuse. I like to think a baker, e.g., might like their trio to read: Eggs, Butter and Flour! 


A sausage is a sausage is a sausage. Not! True Story Foods recently launched a game-changing collection of Kurobuta Sausages. Pork lovers, get ready to step up your palate this Father’s Day BBQ with four “designer” options: Shiitake & Truffle, Chili Relleno, Sherry & Shallot, and Five Pepper. According to my sausage aficionado husband, each flavor merits five stars. No surprise to those familiar with Kurobuta, which has been dubbed “The Waygu of Pork.” 


So, Dad’s doing his patio thing: feet bare, deck chaise reclined, eyes at half-mast, and sipping his afternoon smoothie courtesy of the Cuisinart EvolutionX Cordless Compact Blender. Size savvy for New York kitchens and balconies, this dynamic little blender-with-attitude holds a charge for up two hours, so it’s possible to purée away, serve up shakes or crush it, ice-wise. Bottom line, it goes wherever the spirit moves—by car, backpack, beach bag, urban tote, etc. Info:


After four years of higher education or a lifetime of parenting, who doesn’t need a bathrobe that turns up its plush, posh nose at “just functional”? Created to inspire spa-like pampering at home, the Matouk Cairo Robe is sophistication personified with its heavyweight terry cloth cotton and upscale piping. And should you want to veer away from white on white, with lead time, you can opt for custom color piping, light or dark grey terrycloth, and monogramming. 


Lockwood, the purveyor of gifts known to exceed the mundane with a dash of whimsy, has redefined “playing with your food.” Poised to make June’s celebratory bashes more visually delectable, they’ve replaced utilitarian pizza cutters with a couple of feline versions: Panther & Cheetah. Ready to roll—literally—these cool cats make “sharp” graduation gifts (do throw in a pizza!) or a sweet slicing gizmo for dad’s casual Father’s Day gathering.Info:


When it comes to the beverage of choice for TV dads (think Homer Simpson) and college kids (think Animal House), beer has the edge. But as June 2021 is about festive toasts, let’s skip foam-topped mugs and hone in on my latest discovery: Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur. Here, three grapes come together to ensure Ayala strikes all the right notes while it compliments pretty much anything on the menu, from cheese plates and caviar to chicken wings and sliders.