EDP’s Holiday Gift Guide: Top 5 Foodie Picks for 2010, Plus Christmas Eve Dinners Out, and the Best New Sushi Place

Eat, Drink, Cook: That’s our holiday shopping motto. We’ve geared our gift-giving ideas to those who share our passion:

iPad  At first, laptops seemed so sassy and portable, until you laid yours on the kitchen counter. One gob of brioche dough (or a glass of spilled wine), and now you’re questioning that laptop’s function. The iPad’s keyboard-free touch screen and handy, available docking mounts make this the first truly ideal kitchen computer. Hang it over your workspace, and browse the countless foodie apps designed to make your shopping, cooking, and eating life smarter. (Prices start at $499)

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Benton’s Bacon Look, some people like beluga caviar, some people like Perigord truffles, but there are others in this world who really dig Benton’s bacon. This Tennessee smokehouse is the cult pig of food Olympian David Chang, who gives Benton’s a long-form shout-out in his cookbook-cum-bible, Momofuku ($26.40 at Amazon and, PS, a requirement). ($48) 

Tarry Market Gift Card Load up some plastic and let your giftee do the choosing – and we’re about talking foodie heaven for everything from dreamy Jamón ibérico to white truffles. Breads, chocolate, pasta—you name it. And, best of all, your grateful recipient can hit the Enomatic on the way in and wassail it up as he or she  shops!

Big Ice Cube Tray Think you’re a mixologist with all your fancy bitters and boutique ryes? Listen, son, you ain’t nothin’ without a big ice cube tray. The cubes that pop from this squishy silicone tray chill cocktails more effectively without adding too much water. We think this is an ideal gift, especially when paired with what’s below. ($10.09 at Amazon.com)

<<< Tuthilltown New York Corn Whiskey Awwwww, just look at it, in its cute, stubby little (sadly, fully priced) bottle. This is serious, firewater hooch and our idea of a stocking stuffer. Plus, it’s locally distilled. (On sale now for $34.99 at Westchester Wine Warehouse)

 

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Christmas Eve-ents!

Book now or forever hold your peace on Earth—these holiday tables are going fast. We figure, why spend our Christmas morning trying to soothe dishpan hands?

Christmas Eve at the Cookery
December 24; seatings at 1pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 8pm

The Cookery’s regular dinner menu is available for any party, large or small, so you can have a family dinner over at DiBari’s house.

Christmas Eve at Iron Horse Grill
December 24
Prix fixe, $55 (though an à la carte menu is also available)

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The Iron Horse Christmas tradition carries on with Chef Phil McGrath’s seasonal American cuisine available on Christmas Eve. This year, check out his five-course, prix-fixe menu, which includes lobster bisque, Sicilian seven-seafood salad, cremini-crusted wild striped bass, rosemary-rubbed loin of heirloom pork and black-and-white baked Alaska.

Christmas Eve at Crabtree’s Kittle House
December 24

Spend your yuletide wrapped in the warm embrace of the Kittle House, which promises stellar food in a cozy 18th-century Inn. Plus, of course, the Kittle House is where to raise your Wassail: Food & Wine named this landmark one of its top five wine-pairing meccas. Call or check the Kittle House website for price and menu updates.

Christmas Eve at PLATES
December 24

Look for all of your Plates favorites and a few Christmas specialties, like Chef Matthew Karp’s fabulous holiday ham and other seasonal classics. From the site: “If it snows, grab a table overlooking the park and get in the spirit!” Call (914) 834-1244 for a reservation.

 


Sakura Garden Sushi Swims into Hastings

Generally, I take chefs’ advice when I want to know where to eat. Tarry Lodge’s Chef Andy Nusser (he of Bill Buford’s bestselling Heat, Casa Mono/Bar Jamon and general, culinary world fame) suggested this new Hastings sushi joint and even hinted that it might give Sushi Mike a run. In the same conversation, Nusser called Alex Sze’s Juniper “a gem,” and since we couldn’t agree more with about Chef Sze, we dropped by Sakura to give it a try. Sure, it’s just a neighborhood sushi place, but it’s kid-friendly, the fish is fresh, and the portions, large. Here’s Sakura Garden’s (531 Warburton Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson; (914) 478-1978) creamy Warburton Roll: lobster salad, cream cheese, spicy yellowtail, and avocado.

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