Sunday, December 17, 2006

Give New York For Christmas

It's Never Too Late To Send A Little NYC Cheer

Christmas is upon us. The tree at Rockefeller Plaza is glowing, skaters are skating and shoppers are frantic. Chestnuts are roasting on streetside carts… and folks like you and I are working to get that final gift or two off of our list.

Each year I make it a point to try and use local fare in my gift giving. When I was in Chicago, it was Garrett’s Popcorn. In Los Angeles, it was Dupar’s Pies. In Baton Rouge, it was boudin balls from Tony’s.

Now that I fancy myself a New Yorker, I have been researching my gift-giving options. In a city that offers so many amazing culinary treats, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorites… just in time for Christmas! If you need that one last special gift, click on the websites below. If not, keep this list handy next time you need that special something that says, “I live in New York, and you don’t”.

Merry Christmas everyone.

The Gift of Crazy-Good Chocolate
Jacques Torres Chocolate

As much as I love Lindt, Godiva, M & M’s… Jaques Torres just does it for me. His hot chocolate is the most decadent stuff I have ever tasted, but when I can’t get it I opt for his chocolate covered cherrios. Two (2) NYC locations including a post in Dumbo.

I Need My Bagels
H & H Bagels
Know a special someone who once lived in the Village, but now lives in Iowa? How about sending them a bag of warm, crusty bagels? As popular as H & H is locally, they claim to ship thousands of bagels across the country daily. I’ll have mine with some schmear.

Send It All

It may be one of the best kitchen/foodshops in the world, and it seems I hit them every year when I get stuck on what the hell to get someone.
The champion of gifts is the “Zabars is New York” box, which includes… ready?.... Zabar's Nova, kosher salami, pastrami, Zabar's deli mustard, Jewish rye bread, plain and scallion cream cheese, Zabar's chocolate babka, Lazzaroni Amaretti di Saronno cookies, a Lindt raspberry-filled chocolate bar, DiCamillo biscotti, Pernigotti moon and star Italian chocolates, Zabar's cinnamon rugelach, Betsy's Place chocolate chip cookies, New York cheddar cheese biscuits, assorted fresh-baked New York bagels, Le Trouvillais sables fruit cookies, a Zabar's coffee mug and a pound of Zabar's Blend ground coffee. You’ll be a stud.

Send A Weiner
Schaller & Weber
Few places on earth warm my heart like Schaller & Weber, and I’ll tell you why. Homemade black forest hams, snap skin hot dogs, amazing salami, perfect brats and maybe the best selection of German mustard in NYC. A visit to this Upper East Side landmark is a joy, but when I can’t get there, I order online.

Now Thatsa Pie!
Little Pie Company

When people think of NY pies, the usually think pizza, and not apple. But at this gem of a spot, real New Yorker know that the best pies in the city spring from these ovens. All of their pies are simply delicious… but make no mistake, the Sour Cream Apple Walnut is truly one of the best pies you’ll ever taste.

What A Friend We Have In Cheeses

Murray’s Cheese
There was a time when ordering cheese mail order meant pecan logs and smoked gouda.
Thanks to establishments like Murray’s, New York’s most famous cheese purveyors, you can order nearly anything under the sun, and all of the goodies that go with.

Spread Love

If you haven’t been to Sarabeth’s Central Park South restaurant, you’ve missed something special… warm breads with the city’s best jam.
Her signature Cloudberry is now an Aquavit favorite, but I still opt for her Peach-Apricot and Cherry-Plum, which are as good as they sound. Oh yea, her Budapest Bundt Cake is also

Moby Drinks Tea
I’m not sure what I like better… having tea at Teany in the East Village, or walking around the neighborhood when I am finished. Even though I fancy myself a coffee guy, the Earl Grey Crème is fantastic stuff, and you can now ship it to your favorite ex-New Yorker, and then brag about having lunch at Inoteca next door.