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Food Lover’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 10:02 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

The best way to your Valentine’s heart may not be through fancy gifts or flowers… but through their stomach. Sharing an indulgent, edible gift with the person you love can be the most utterly romantic experience. Here, some of my favorite food finds to set hearts aflutter and make that special someone swoon.

Photo Credit - Moises De Pena
Macaron Magnifique French Macarons
In August 2012, celebrity stylist Lauren Rae Levy and her father Marvin established their Parisian macaron company, Macaron Magnifique. Handmade and completely gluten-free, these delicate French confections come in scrumptious flavors including raspberry, chocolate, pistachio, and cheesecake. Customize a special box of the sweets (available in various sizes/prices) to make your Valentine fall in love at first bite. Ooh la la!

petits fours
William Greenberg Petits Fours
This darling Upper East Side bakery features a divine assortment of desserts and speciality sweets for every occasion. A Valentine’s Day exclusive from owner Carol Becker, these oh-so pretty Petits Fours feature layers of fluffy sponge cake and fresh jam enrobed in frosting and hand decorated with delicate flower adornments. Available in large ($6) or small sizes ($3.50; $42 / box of 12), these beautifully tempting treats are sure to delight your sweetheart.

mast bros skull
Mast Brothers Artisan Chocolate Bars
At their artisanal chocolate factory in Brooklyn, brothers Rick and Michael Mast churn out small batch bars made with cocoa beans sourced from farms around the world—including Madagascar, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Wrapped in beautifully patterned, imported Italian paper, these handcrafted confections ($8 each) boast sophisticated, high-quality ingredients like Maine sea salt, Crown maple syrup, and Stumptown coffee.

murray's gift of the mongers
Murray’s Cheese Gift of the Mongers
If your significant other prefers savory to sweet, then feast your eyes on the ultimate cheese and charcuterie collection ($148) curated by Murray’s mongers. Shipped in a signature Murray’s Cheese crate, this bountiful assortment of gourmet delicacies includes Vermont Butter & Cheese Coupole, Colston Bassett Stilton, La Quercia Prosciutto, Cave Aged Pyrénées Brebis, Creminelli Tartufo Salami, and Harvest Song Walnut Preserves.

champagne truffles
Jacques Torres Champagne Truffles
Champagne and chocolate. An indulgent culinary combination that Mr. Chocolate himself, Jacques Torres, showcases in his beloved bubbly truffles. Inside the signature orange gift box, your Valentine will discover cute, cork-shaped candies made from mouth-watering milk chocolate, fresh cream, and real Taittinger Brut La Française Champagne. Cheers to that!

KitchenAid® Artisan® Series Stand Mixer
Valentine’s Day is all about love. And no other appliance has made me fall head over heels like my red KitchenAid® stand mixer. The stylish, high-performance beauty makes whipping, kneading, and blending ingredients a breeze. In striking colors like Candy Apply Red, Raspberry Ice, and Komen Pink, this dream machine (available in various sizes/prices) is the perfect “I love you” gift for home cooks of all skill levels.

eataly gift
Eataly Ultimate Italy Gift Box
Manhattan’s massive Italian food emporium offers a selection of premium gift boxes packed with gourmet goodies and signature products. A serious splurge to spoil the Italian food lover in your life ($498), this exceptional collection of rare and authentic imports includes white truffle purée, extra-aged balsamic, La Valletta saffron threads, anchovy colatura, and gianduja candies from Torino.

prestat heart box truffles
Prestat Fine Artisan Truffles
One of the top chocolate shops in the world, this London import epitomizes sophistication in both flavor and presentation. The exquisite heart-shaped gift box (available in various sizes/prices) presents distinctive dark, milk, and white chocolate artisan truffles in an array of fine flavors, including classic rose and violet crème. If these decadent delights are good enough for Her Majesty (the Queen of England’s favorite chocolate!), then your princess will surely approve.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves! XOXO

Images courtesy of Macaron Magnifique, Mast Brothers, Murray’s Cheese, Jacques Torres, Eataly, KitchenAid USA & Prestat

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The EATALY Experience

Friday, August 27, 2010 at 05:08 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

The  much anticipated new Italian food and wine marketplace, Eataly, finally opened its doors on Tuesday. Legendary Italian-American restauranteurs, Mario Batali, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Joe Bastianich, teamed up with Oscar Farinetti (founder of the original Eataly location in Turin, Italy) to create this ambitious 50,000-sq. foot culinary epi-center right in the heart of the Big Apple. I couldn’t wait to go and experience it for myself.

The smells wafting around me as I walked through the artisanal market were incredible, so I grabbed a spot at one of the many high-top tables to enjoy a glass of vino and some savory salumi & formaggio. As I stood there eating, drinking and looking around in awe, this overwhelming pang of nostalgia came over me—Eataly brought me back to the unrivaled days when I lived in the beautiful country of Italy (sigh), and for a perfectly fleeting moment, I was transformed back there.

Eataly offers every Italian delight you can dream of, with endless counters serving up of the freshest food and produce this side of Rome (think butcher-cut meats, just-caught fish, creamy cheeses and freshly made pasta, breads and pizzas), a seasonal fruit and vegetable market, and aisles upon aisles of packaged goods and groceries. While shopping, you can grab a bite at one of the seven specialty restaurants (including Manzo, an upscale steakhouse) or satisfy your sweet tooth with some homemade gelato and decadent desserts at the cafe and Lavazza coffee bar. There’s even a wine store, bookstore, an Italian housewares section, a rooftop beer garden and microbrewery (opening next month) and culinary education center.

This massive food forum is the ultimate destination to shop, sip and savor—and is designed to help customers understand and celebrate the Italian table. Excerpt from Mario Batali in the New York Post: “Italian cooking is less elaborate in Italy [than in the US] and that’s one of its greatnesses,” says Batali, who notes that restaurant preparations will be very traditional in spirit. “The ideology behind the restaurants is more about enticing the customer to take [the ingredients] home and make it themselves,” he adds. Fantastico!

  1. cured & smoked hanging meats
  2. fresh peppers & produce at the marketplace
  3. high quality butcher-cut meats
  4. freshly baked breads & pizzas at the bakery
  5. hunks and chunks of creamy, dreamy cheese
  6. the daily catch of seafood & shellfish
  7. handmade pasta by the pound
  8. aisles of groceries & Italian specialty items
  9. a cheese monger pulling some fresh mozzarella

Experience all the authenticity of Italy, bite by bite, at Eataly, 200 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

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