Still need to cross a few restaurant- snob relatives and food-blogger friends off your list? Impress them with locally found cast-iron cookware, buttery caramels, limited-release beers, or stylish serveware. Of course, you don’t have to be an epicure to appreciate a gourmet gift.
The perfect foodie gift basket doesn’t have to come with hefty overnight-shipping fees. At Plum Plums in Pound Ridge, pick up stocking stuffers like locally made La Petite Occasion caramels. Or splurge on a luxe basket — Hudson Valley cheeses, cultured French butter, marcona almonds, floral honey — that will be much appreciated during the hectic holiday season.
In Tarrytown, Mint Premium Foods offers a taste of decadence that won’t break the bank. “Palates change every year, but people come in at the holidays, looking for something indulgent,” says owner Hassan Jarane, who says Italian chestnut cream, truffle salt, pâtés, triple-crème cheeses, and honey-roasted pecans from Israel (a customer favorite) are popular choices.
Having visions of sugar plums, not pâtés? Head to Sweeets in Larchmont. “When is candy not a great gift?” asks owner Dana Schulman, who sources a wide selection of European candies, including German marzipan, licorices, and French Calissons, plus perennial favorites like almond brittle and kid-friendly chocolate-filled candy canes. Or stop by Rye’s Blue Tulip to stock up on almost-too-pretty-to-eat molded chocolates — including hand-painted driedels, gelt, Christmas trees, and holiday figurines — made with Belgian chocolate, French butter, and fragrant fillings like Mexican-vanilla ganache and cranberry caramel.
For that relative who makes better roasts than reservations, you can’t go wrong at ZWILLING. The Pleasantville showroom boasts seriously high-end knives, including Japanese-style Miyabi chef’s knives, and ZWILLING’s own line designed by famed knife-maker Bob Kramer, plus enameled cast-iron cookware from Staub.
In Katonah, Charles Department Store stocks all the serious home-cook basics, from All-Clad pots and pans to a wide assortment of American-made bakeware. “I’m not going to sell anything unless I use it in my home kitchen,” says co-owner Jim Raneri, who predicts this year’s hot holiday gift will be the Breville Barista, an espresso machine with built-in grinder, which, at $600, is less expensive than most high-end machines on the market. Prefer chai to cappuccino? Pick up a hobnail cast-iron teapot in a bold color at Teavana in Yonkers’ Ridge Hill Shopping Center, plus a few seasonal teas.
You can easily make someone’s holiday merry and bright at Harrison Wine Vault. Between browsing shelves of bubbly, check out the whiskey selection — the county’s largest — featuring more than 400 bottles from craft distillers and independent bottlers across the globe. Or shop for special-occasion beers (yes, it’s a thing) at Bronxville’s Beer Noggin, where you can try one of the 12 rotating drafts while perusing more than 150 bottles and cans, ranging from saisons to stouts. “A single bottle, chosen with the recipient in mind, is a very thoughtful gift,” says co-owner Brendan Carroll, who suggests large-format 750ml bottles for holiday gifting. “These bottles are meant to be shared, much like wine, and tend to be filled with special beer.”
Have a foodie friend who loves to throw a stylish dinner party? Pick up funky-printed dinnerware, pretty agate cheeseboards, and owl-shaped cookie jars at Anthropologie in The Westchester (plus, cookbooks full of dinner-party inspiration and stylish aprons to throw over holiday-party duds). Or, keep it local at the Farm Store at the Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills, where, in addition to Blue Hill jam and honey, you’ll find handmade items like reclaimed cedar serving trays and nesting porcelain ramekins from local artisans. Don’t miss the stellar selection of cookbooks, including The Book of Greens, with recipes for all the veggies you might find at the farmers’ market; Melissa Clark’s Dinner: Changing the Game; and Ottolenghi’s new, must-have dessert book, Sweet.
Still have someone left to buy for? Head to Union Hall General Store in North Salem, where the curated selection runs the gamut, from spices, teas, and small-batch, organic foods to earthy tablecloths, stylish candlesticks, and gorgeous cutlery, dinnerware, and serveware. Basically, everything your food-obsessed friends could want.
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