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posts tagged ‘truffles’

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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Bar Pitti

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 11:10 PM - Posted by Megan - (3) comments

Ciao Firenze!

Living and studying in Florence, Italy was one of the most incredible experiences in my life. Everything about this charming city—the people, culture, art, architecture, shopping and of course the delicious food and wine—was in a completely different league than anything I had been previously exposed to.

My first apartment in Florence looked out upon Piazza Pitti, a beautiful open square surrounded by the famous Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens. Throughout the day, locals and tourists alike would sit outside and sunbathe, read, shop at the adjacent street merchants or enjoy a cup of creamy gelato, while relaxing in this inviting courtyard. I was so fortunate to take in such a lovely sight everyday when I walked out my door.

Taken on the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence, just steps away from Piazza Pitti

It’s rare to find authentic fare in the States that can compare to the delicacies I became accustomed to while overseas—the Italians are truly masters of creating fresh, flavorful cuisine with a bit of love infused into every bite. While growing up, my two Grandmothers and Mom set the bar extremely high for what I consider great Italian food, and living in Florence only elevated it further.

I still hold Firenze very near to my heart and it will always be one of my favorite cities in the world. Whenever I long for those sun-kissed Tuscan days and want to reminisce about Italia, or my beloved piazza, I head down to Bar Pitti in the West Village.

Pasta Al Tartufo Nero

While there, I feel like I’m in Tuscany all over again. Black and white images of Florence grace the golden-painted walls of the eatery’s cozy interior, which is jam-packed with wooden tables, but the restaurant’s true standout is the exceptional outdoor dining space. A chalkboard of daily specials extends the already enticing Mediterranean menu offerings, while the patrons and staff speak their country’s native tongue far more than any English (I love going places where I get to practice my Italian). Plus, this establishment is dog-friendly, so I can bring Cooper along while I dine alfresco.


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